"Agile methodologies don't mix with remote working"

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I work as a senior technologist for an investment bank in London, and I welcome staff on my team returning to the office. 

This is because it's far more difficult to implement agile methodologies when our people are working from home. 

Agile is about working in a far more responsive way and responding incrementally as things arise. It means breaking things into much smaller units of work while keeping your north star in mind. It's not entirely free format - there's still a lot of structure, and that structure requires a lot of communication.

In our business, everything we do has dependencies. As we work our way through a problem in an agile way, these dependencies are far easier to manage if we're in the office and able to communicate smoothly with each other. It's not impossible to use agile remotely, but it's certainly more difficult. A lot of the benefits of Agile are derived from teams being co-located and looking over each other's shoulders. 

At the same time, I believe that as humans we are naturally social and benefit from being in the office. The role of a developer or a technology manager is naturally creative, and that creativity is fed when you're working together in the same space. 

I don't doubt that many technologists will disagree with me, but I have seen the benefits of working in the same physical space in action. I'm not arguing that we need to be in the office all the time: hybrid working has a place. But for technology teams in banks to be truly high performing, it makes sense to be in the office more often than not. 

Adeline Collins is a pseudonym

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