As we near the end of 2021, incovo’s CEO Chris Thomas reflects on the changes, developments, and successes this year has brought. Plus, he looks ahead to what 2022 has in store for the team.
“They say time flies, and the older I get the more I recognise the truth in this. It’s certainly true that when you’re running a fast-paced business such as incovo, it’s easy to become so ensconced in the day-to-day organisation of tasks that you forget to sit back for a moment and reflect.
Yet it’s vitally important that we as a team take stock of how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved together. So here are my reflections on 2021 and my hopes and plans for 2022.
We helped businesses switch to permanent remote working
Whilst 2020 was the year we helped countless businesses switch to remote working in response to lockdown restrictions, 2021 was the year we proved that this model of working had genuine longevity. Understandably, many business owners were apprehensive about the shift from the traditional ‘9-5 in the office’ model to working completely remotely, and many believed they would be returning to the old approach as soon as lockdown restrictions eased.
However, 2021 marked a significant change in people’s attitudes to remote working. Having trialled it for a year, many companies were able to see the clear benefits – the reduction in overheads of running an office, the increased freedom of the team working at a time and place that suits their lifestyle, and the positive impact on the environment of quitting the commute and reducing emissions which, thanks to COP26, businesses are now more aware of than ever. As a result, 2021 marked a new chapter in many of our clients’ businesses history as the year they permanently closed their office and never looked back.
We responded to our clients’ needs and grew the business
For remote working to remain a viable long-term alternative to the traditional office model of working, employees need to be properly equipped. This means they need to have a suitable set-up – such as an ergonomically designed desk and chair, storage solutions, ICT equipment, up-to-the-minute IT packages, and anti-virus software.
Until this year, this has presented many companies with a logistical nightmare involving multiple suppliers, each providing different elements to different employees. So, we decided to fill the gap, and launched Remote Easy, where businesses could get everything they need in one place.
Thanks to our dedicated team, we are now able to deliver, install, maintain, and manage everything our clients need to work remotely, enabling them to scale back or even completely remove the need for an office.
We became champions for diversity and inclusion
At the beginning of the year, I sparked a series of reactions and conversations on LinkedIn by declaring that I don’t believe in CV’s! My thinking is that they don’t reflect the full talents of candidates and that the traditional recruitment process effectively excludes a significant proportion of people, namely the neurodivergent.
After hitting the headlines, I was absolutely thrilled when I was nominated and finalised for the ‘Diversity Hero of the Year’ award at The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards 2021.
It was amazing to hear such inspirational stories from all the nominees and see the positive changes businesses are now making.
Looking ahead to 2022
I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved this year, particularly given the difficult circumstances that the pandemic is still presenting. It’s important to keep moving forward though, so I already have big plans for 2022.
2022 – a milestone year for incovo
2022 will mark 20 years since incovo was founded by my father. A lot has changed since those early days – technology has developed, customer needs have evolved, and the world is now a different place. But I’m proud to be continuing my father’s legacy and delivering the same level of exceptional service that he was committed to.
The incovo Business Brunch will return
After the huge success of the inaugural incovo Business Brunch back in 2020, we are pleased to announce that the event will return in 2022. The event will provide a valuable networking opportunity where business representatives from right across Edinburgh, Glasgow and beyond can come together, share inspirational stories and exchange valuable help and advice.
Guiding the next generation
I’m delighted to reveal I will be mentoring a young person throughout 2022 thanks to Career Ready. This fantastic organisation recognises that every student has potential, yet not every student necessarily has access to the networks and opportunities to unlock it. Their vision is for every young person to progress to a positive post-school destination and prosper in the world of work. I’m very much looking forward to kicking off the mentoring programme in 2022 and giving something back to the next generation.”