Tech can lead remote revolution

Chris Sainsbury

Chris Sainsbury, Founder and Managing Director, UX Connections

Technology can lead, and enable, a revolution in remote-working.

Recently, Adzuna, the online job search portal, published statistics about a huge rise in both searches for remote positions, and for new job titles like ‘head of remote working.’ Remote jobs being advertised have risen by 147%, while searches for jobs that mention opportunities to work at home have risen by 660%. I wasn’t in the least surprised by its findings. What did surprise me was that the trend has taken so long to catch on, and that some business leaders have been so slow to identify a remote workforce as a viable, and long-term option.

When I founded UX Connections, my vision was to support clients with a truly flexible team of trusted specialists in their field: the very best UX consultants I could find, who would, in turn, work their magic on the exciting contracts we should win together. I also knew that, in building a culture of trust for my team, I would be able to trust them to work remotely; it would be over to me to manage them, and build trust in myself in order to lead them.

In the eight years in which UX Connections has been in operation, I have found that, in addition to trust playing a central role, with a few other key component parts in place, namely, self-motivation, and creative, open channels of communication, managing a team remotely can be straightforward. I have never looked back. 

Other businesses have dabbled in flexible or remote-working, but this year has been the real game-changer across sectors globally. 2020 has forced business leaders all over the world to rethink their working model, and, while some might rail against the remote-working revolution – Natya Sadella, Chief Executive of Microsoft, said this week that companies ought not to dictate where their employees can work – it’s clear to me that we do need to be flexible. The Covid-19 pandemic is a complex beast, and its trajectory far from predictable. Business leaders would do well to invest in how their people can work remotely for the long haul.

While technology systems have enabled us to work in ever more innovative ways, so too can technology, as an industry, lead the charge in how we operate remotely.  Embedding the capacity to work in less than conventional means and in so doing, enabling flexibility, is enticing,  especially to younger employees. With Facebook hiring a ‘remote work director,’ and other tech giants following suit, the sector can, and should, make remote working a sustainable model for the future.

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