On Wednesday 11th March, Incremental acted ahead of official government advice and made the decision to close all its offices until further notice to reduce the risk of infection and ensure continuity of service during the coronavirus outbreak.

Overnight I and, over 120 other Incrementalists, switched to home working for the foreseeable. Having been home based for almost 2 years before joining Incremental and absolutely hating it, I was dreading what was ahead.

I previously found being home based lonely, only occasionally speaking to people on the phone about a specific work related item. It was also slow – everything from the technology to the responsiveness of those who I was working with. I constantly felt under a lot of pressure; from feeling guilty if I stepped away from my desk to get a coffee and missing a call (did people think I was skiving?). I also missed people to bounce ideas off and I missed having people to provide support around me.

But, here I am again. I spent the first weekend picking up my all my kit. I reclaimed the kid’s toy room as my office. I got ready to go. And do you know what, a full week in, so far so good!

I think there are three main things that have changed how I feel about home working this time around.

Everyone is in the same boat

Firstly, everyone is in the same boat. Everyone now appreciates what it is really like, having experienced home working firsthand, and are more empathetic. I’ve had the children of several colleagues burst in during Teams calls, and instead of embarrassingly apologising and trying to hurry them out the door, they’re taking a few seconds to say ‘hello’ to everyone.

With everyone working from home, you’re not out of sync with the majority of your colleagues. All activities are now designed around home-based workers – everything from presentations and workshops, to company-wide ‘all hands’ gatherings and team meetings. Also, now that everyone is in the same boat, I know I’m not missing out on those side conversations that only happen when you’re physically together, and where most of the decisions are often made.


Technology has also come a long way in a short time. There’s fibre to my house for starters, and it even works in my garden. All our systems and data are in the cloud, so everything is as accessible to me from home as it would be in the office.

Incremental is also lucky in that we were early adopters, successfully using Microsoft Teams for collaboration. I cannot believe how well Teams is working for us and how well it has performed, considering the 600% surge in adoption (to 120 million users) that Microsoft has seen in just a few days.

Our people

Finally, I am part of a great team who I love working with. Cheesy but true. We all have a renewed sense of common purpose at this time, working hard to make things work for each other. And also to deliver critical tools for our customers to enable them to keep going, as well as pivot our approach in the market.

Our team is speaking with our cameras on (at all time!) over opting to send emails and messages. A change from how we used to operate when a team member was working from home. We have daily (virtual) stand-up meetings to kick the day off every morning where we catch up on how we’re feeling, what we’ve achieved and what the plan for the day is. I actually think this is helping us work more effectively than we ever have.

As well as these three points, there are the added benefits of it coming into springtime and with the schools now being closed, and having family at home with me. All that said, a couple of hours based from a café would still be nice.