2024-05-31

The new norm

Remote work is here to stay. Learn how we are embracing this new way of working

A significant shift in work culture happened in 2020 - during the pandemic, businesses around the world had to embrace remote working. This was a big adjustment for many, and new technologies were being developed to help address these changing needs. Fast forward to today, and we see hybrid working as the new norm.

Here at Machine Discovery, we adopt a remote-first culture with colleagues spread across the United Kingdom and the United States. One of the many benefits of this model is that we have no locational constraints, i.e. it allows us to hire the best people for the job, regardless of where they are from. As a result, we are proud to represent numerous different and diverse cultures within our small (but growing) team.

Working remotely for us also means working flexibly. We have a results-driven work schedule, allowing colleagues to enjoy a better work-life balance and time for outside hobbies. Trust plays a crucial role in the success of our remote-first culture. It is also important that we maintain a collaborative team environment by using various systems to work together and share lessons learned.

A successful remote culture should prioritise employee engagement. Apart from online meetings, it’s important to make time to bring everyone together for in-person team gatherings to brainstorm specific topics, with interactive sessions and team-building exercises. These collaborative discussions play an important role and provide a lot of value to the company. We are able to explore and build upon one another’s ideas and suggestions, which would have otherwise not been possible during a virtual meeting.

Our teams connect frequently for lunch or other social events, but of course, virtual bonding is important too. At Machine Discovery, we have informal online coffee breaks that are in the diary every week. Everyone can drop in, and it is our opportunity to get to know each other better. There are also regular journal club meetings, whereby relevant published research is discussed.

Team brainstorming session

Another area we’ve prioritised is social outreach, and we take on the responsibility of making positive contributions to society. As part of this initiative, we have programs in place to mentor future researchers, work with a select number of charities, and provide extensive internship opportunities.

Working globally and in a virtual environment has many benefits, and we fully embrace this way of working. However, we must not forget about the importance of gathering in person to connect, inspire and collaborate with each other.

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