By Ticker founder and CEO, Richard King
I’ve always enjoyed getting out of the house and going to the office, and not just because I have a five-year-old at home.
But I’ve realised that my enjoyment wasn’t about anything physical. For me, work life is about the team and the vibe we’ve created.
Once we’d made the switch from office to all being at home, it was almost embarrassingly clear that most of the business world had been dragging its heels on remote working – for no good reason.
I don’t want anyone to dread the Monday morning commute ever again. I love my work, but even I would get that Sunday-evening feeling after a fun weekend, dreading the morning’s traffic.
We collect many millions of miles of driving data, so we’re also hyper-aware of the impact on the environment. Cutting an entire business’s commuting emissions is a contribution we’re proud of, and it’s made us think about more ways we can make a difference in the future.
One of the most exciting changes is the talent we now have access to, because widening our recruitment area means we can be more inclusive. We’ll need to carefully onboard new starters and make sure junior roles get enough mentoring, but that’s a challenge any rapidly growing business has to meet.
So, with all that in mind, we’re now a remote-first company. We’d made the decision before even Facebook and Microsoft announced they were going remote, simply because it had worked so smoothly from day one. We’ll always have an office so that people can get together and be creative, but much of the week will be at home.
We’ve never been a company that segregates knowledge or business strategy, but it’s become even more important to me that everyone knows how the business is doing.
As we strive to be one of the most successful connected motor insurers, I want to keep everyone tuned in to the vision. I speak to the whole company every single morning for a few minutes: we review how we’re doing against our KPIs on a graph affectionately known as ‘the worm’ and briefly update on the key projects.
We introduced a consultant psychologist a couple of years ago and she’s talked to us about the need to accept what’s happened and adapt, rather than just treading water until things ‘go back to normal’.
I think we’ve been quite good about that. Even though we initially hoped, like everyone else, that the pandemic would be over quickly, we acted as if it wouldn’t be. Which is just as well, we know now.
Being practical about the gravity of the situation, and encouraging everyone to accept and adapt has helped us stay positive. We moved through the confusion and grief for how things were, and started new traditions together.
Throughout lockdowns and the pandemic overall, it was a priority for me that fun remained a part of our lives. And that will never change – we’ve just swapped the venue.
Although no one has had it easy in this pandemic, I want my team to be able to at least enjoy the silver lining of working remotely. It’s forever changed how we work.
Now, we owe it to ourselves to turn a forced situation into a healthy new balance.