How GOSS is growing in a post-pandemic world
GOSS CEO, Rob McCarthy discusses how the pandemic has transformed working-life at GOSS and what the future holds.
March 2020 saw what was the biggest shake up of day-to-day business operations, not just for us here at GOSS, but for businesses across the world. The sudden shift from in-office to remote working could have come as a shock to us, but we were fortunate enough to have remote working practices in place so that our staff could easily pick up at home, where they left off in the office. Fast forward to the present day, and the lessons we've learnt from the pandemic have enabled us to boost client satisfaction and relationships, whilst also enabling our staff to have work-life balance that suits them.
Growing staff satisfaction...
When it comes to our staff satisfaction, the pandemic has helped GOSS to move into a position of ultra-flexibility, where our staff are in control of where they choose to work. Pre-pandemic, we always boasted a flexible working policy, but the last two years has help to cement this as a core value of working life at GOSS. Recently, we've often been asked the question "Are you all office based again, if not when will you go back?" or "Are you 100% remote working now?". What we've found over the course of the past two years, is having a remote workforce is actually very effective and productive. Give good people meaningful projects, clear goals and responsibility to deliver and they'll often surprise you with their creativity and commitment. We've also found that having people who wish to come together in a physical setting, and spark ideas off one another is beneficial to our overall approach, as some of us have returned to the office. So, following the advice of one of my favourite memes.... "Why can't we have both?". So that's just what we have done at GOSS.
We now have more of our workforce distributed around the UK than ever before, but we still have a collection of people visiting our office every day. To accommodate this hybrid working scenario, we adjusted the way we conducted meetings both internally and externally, which continues to evolve and adapt. The office has had more meeting rooms/breakout areas added, and a switch to some hot desking areas (so people can be near one another) are just some examples. So far, this new format is working amazingly well. I don't think we would ever force people into a long laborious commute again, and at the same time, for people who find it convenient, why would we deny them that home base they want?
Growing client satisfaction...
If our recent client survey is anything to go by, then the pandemic has most certainly helped boost client satisfaction and provide us with new ways to ensure we support our client base. We've been talking, promoting, and pushing digital transformation for many years, however, there was always a certain amount of hesitancy from many organisations for many reasons. The pace of digital ambition was dragged out as a result and limited what could be achieved within certain timescales. With the impact of the pandemic, and what seems to be a change in approach to digital, many of those barriers have either melted or been blown away by necessity. Peoples' mindset has moved from "why should we digitise this process or service", into "why can't we digitise, automate and allow self-service for this process or service".
Organisations have experienced a surge in digital growth since the pandemic began (as discovered in our latest digital self-service survey), which has also been the case for our client organisations using the GOSS Digital Platform. This increased, but steady flow of work, growth and new product capabilities has helped provide us with new clients and innovative projects, whilst also steering GOSS into new markets and territories at a rapid pace. Working within the technology industry has always been exciting, but these past two years have help take things to the next level. It's a big thank you to all those organisations that have built and enabled services using our Platform, not just for our sake, but for the millions of citizens across the UK who are now able to complete requests, forms or services online in a simpler and quicker fashion. This growth makes us even more ambitious to keep innovating our Platform, ensure that it keeps lowering the entry barrier for digitising services, and deliver more value, quicker.
The 'new normal'... are we there yet?
So, is it all unicorns and rainbows? No, there are some interesting challenges that we continue to work on, even experiment with and are constantly keeping an eye out to see if anyone solves these problems. An example... one thing we work really hard to do is try and keep the GOSS culture of help, support and teamwork. This is often re-enforced via strong social ties that are built up, not just by working together but also through those social chats in the kitchen while making coffee or over lunch. Not being in the office so often, those kind of spur of the moment conversations have become more of a rarity. So how can we recreate them? Should we even try? Without them will the personal bonds between staff grow, or be as strong? The one thing every person at GOSS always says, and a core GOSS value... "it's the people that make it a special place to work". We certainly must not lose that. So, the questions remains, are we succeeding in doing this? I suspect it's too early to know yet, especially as the team continues to grow. We will certainly be watching this area very closely.
One thing that is evident, is the huge benefit on how we can collaborate with our clients. We have always prided ourselves on being a trusted partner rather than a supplier to our UK-wide client base. Pre-pandemic, being based several hundred miles from our clients often made meetings and communications slightly tricky. Now, we can all attend daily stand-ups remotely from wherever we are, for whatever client project we are working on. Asynchronous sharing, investment in documentation and modern tools, help to re-enforce positive project behaviour further. Meeting all individuals at a client's organisation involved in a project, and for them to meet the team of GOSS staff working on their projects has been a real joy. No longer are people just a CC line in an email, or row in a Gantt chart.
We can be pretty confident that no one knows what "the new normal" will become yet. One thing that is clear, it will continue to be a busy time for everyone at GOSS, and a time for new and innovative patterns to emerge that help us grow and meet these challenges.
We're always looking for new talent to join the GOSS team. If you love working closely with clients and being a part of making online and digital self-service easier for people up and down the UK, then why not check out what positions we've got available.