Ditch the Outdated 9-5 Office Model!

Chris Thomas, incovo

Says award-winning entrepreneur 22-year-old CEO, Chris Thomas, on how the coronavirus pandemic is changing businesses forever

When the then 20-year-old entrepreneur, Chris Thomas, was interviewed by The Scotsman in 2018 he caused a stir by claiming 2020 would be the year of remote working.  ‘In the next two years, we are going to become completely remote and give up the office’ he said with confidence. 

Of course, Chris could never have predicted the pandemic that would force businesses right across the globe to adopt remote working practices so urgently. However, he was adamant that technology had advanced to a point that meant businesses could seamlessly switch to remote working, and that those businesses that did not take the leap were in real danger of being left behind.

Standing by his theory, Chris Thomas – CEO of leading IT services and contact centre provider, incovo – will officially close the company office after 18 years on 31st July, and now he is calling on other businesses to follow suit.

Within the first two weeks of Lockdown restrictions being announced, incovo had successfully transitioned a staggering 95% of their customers to a remote working model. And Chris is more convinced than ever that now these businesses have seen for themselves the many benefits of remote working, a large proportion will not return to the traditional 9 to 5 office model.

Commenting on the decision to close the incovo office, Chris explained, ‘We’re not just closing an office. We’re opening up a whole new way of working, which in turn is helping our team enjoy a new way of living.

‘No more stressful and costly commutes to the office, less distractions, more flexibility. Many businesses have had their eyes opened to the benefits of remote working over the past few months. 

‘Finally, it’s time to ditch the outdated 9-5 office model for good.’

As well as improving the team’s wellbeing, there are also financial savings to be reaped as the result of a move to remote working. For example, company accountant Jim Matheson, estimates incovo will save an impressive £55,000 per year by closing the office and enabling the team to work from home. 

To encourage other businesses to make a permanent move to remote working with confidence, Chris shares his top tips and service recommendations:

Top tips for a seamless transition to remote working

  • Equip your team: For remote working to be successful, it’s essential each team member has the right tools. What’s more, the technology must be fast, accessible and on-demand. Think about the equipment your team will require at home – do they have a laptop for example? If so, is their internet connection reliable, and is their anti-virus software up to date?

incovo recommends: Sophos cyber security software. Sophos specialises in encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management, giving you real peace of mind that your business is protected. 

  • Keep working on the go: The beauty of remote working is that you can essentially make anywhere your office, as long as you’ve got the right applications on your laptop or mobile phone to deal with your colleagues and customers.
    incovo recommends: Microsoft 365. A cloud-based, per user per month subscription model that offers web and mobile versions of Office apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus email, calendaring, teamwork, communication, file storage and sharing, security and advanced threat protection.
  • Keep communicating: It’s so important to keep in contact with each team member throughout the working day. Ensure they know your ‘office door is open’ and they can contact you via phone, chat, email or video to discuss anything.

incovo recommends: Microsoft Teams. A cloud-based addition to Microsoft 365 that offers a full phone system, team collaboration via calling, video and multiple group chats, along with a planner, to-do list and task management system.  

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