Anja Jones Translation (AJT), a British language services provider (LSP), has gone completely virtual. Staff’s last day in the company’s physical Newquay, England office was December 31st. AJT’s 20 person team will now work remotely from home, connecting through Slack and other tools.
Founded in 2014, AJT is a midsize agency that translates 1.5 million words a month for an annual revenue of 1.5 million GBP. Cloud-based translation management provider Smartling is its largest client.
During coronavirus lockdowns, virtual LSP’s have become more common — or at least virtual employees have, according to an October 2020 report from Common Sense Advisory (CSA). Before last spring’s quarantines, 78 to 83 percent of global LSP employees worked in a physical office. By the pandemic’s height, though, that number had dropped as low as three percent. In western Europe — including the United Kingdom, where AJT is based — 49 percent of LSP staffers had returned to physical offices by October, with 63 percent hoping to come back once the pandemic is over. AJT is simply among those not returning.
Company owner Anja Jones is quite clear, though, that the move to virtual LSP would have happened with or without covid. AJT began planning the shift around two years ago — when Jones realized Brexit-related visa changes would make it more costly for AJT to hire translators from the continent. Covid lockdowns simply forced AJT’s employees into the home environment, speeding up the company’s timeline. Having already worked remotely the bulk of the year, Jones decided to stay there.