An IT consultancy that moved to a 100% remote working model during lockdown claims its introduction of a ‘Flexi3’ policy has boosted employee attraction and retention.
Microsoft Windows migration specialist Camwood rolled out the policy – which allows employees to finish work at 3pm once a week – 12 months ago.
It was among a raft of changes brought in by managing director Andrew Carr designed to boost staff morale.
Camwood’s decision to introduce a ‘Flexi3’ policy has the same aim, Carr (pictured left) said.
“Once a week, anyone can finish at 3pm and do whatever they want – go and pick up the kids or go to the gym – just to give them some downtime away from the screen,” he explained.
“It’s been very well received. We do encourage people to do it. There’s always an excuse why you wouldn’t, but we make sure people do, because it’s a really important part of that flexible working pattern we want to give.
“We’re very much an outcome-based business. We don’t need to see people putting things into screens 24 hours a day. As long as we’re delivering against the targets we’re setting ourselves, the business is happy.”
Windows of opportunity
With around 30 staff, Camwood competes with the global outsourcing companies in the application packaging space, selling 50% through the channel and 50% direct.
“We’re very much focused on helping organisations migrate from one version of Microsoft Windows to another, and then repackaging the applications to make them compatible,” Carr explained.
Despite the IT spending slowdown, Carr said he foresees strong demand for Camwood’s services over the next two years, particularly with Windows 10’s October 2025 end-of-life date now looming.
“Customers are already thinking ‘we’ve got to go to Windows 11 – how do we do that early? Because if I leave it until six months before, there may well be supply chain issues of getting devices refreshed and testing applications’,” he explained.
“Everyone’s off on the hype curve talking about generative AI at the minute. But we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of getting data sets in a decent place to be able to use machine learning to interpret and use that data. So the key thing for us from a service delivery point of view is still how do we automate what we do, without losing quality.”
Camwood took the opportunity to close its office when the lease expired two-and-a-half years ago, which Carr characterised as a “really positive thing”.
“We have some really good technical people who, without doing them a disservice, put their headphones on in the morning and just get on with their jobs.
“So we have seen productivity increase as a result of working from home.”
As part of the employee benefits revamp, staff can also now give a day of their time to a charity of their choice and dedicate two hours each Friday to personal learning and development.
“Clearly, if there’s a customer incident or challenge, we may need to react to that, but we positively encourage and block it in people’s diaries to make sure they are taking some time out to do some learning and development,” Carr concluded.