The last 18 months have been rough. Covid-19 has forced us to change how we interact with friends, family, and co-workers. Facetime has replaced coffee dates, Zoom has replaced travel, and Slack has replaced workplace banter. Most of these changes were initially seen as negative but it has also forced us to rethink commonly held conceptions about how we interact. One of these (mis)conceptions is the need for employees to be at an office from 9 to 5 every weekday.
Before Covid-19, employees spent hours commuting every day just to spend 8 hours in an office doing work that just as well could have been done at home. Covid-19 helped us realize that a lot of time could be saved by working from home without the distractions of the office environment. However, some of these “distractions” actually help us form personal relationships with our co-workers and develop better ideas through in-person interactions. This has been lost in the fully remote work environment.
Starting September 7th, we want to formalize our remote work policy to reflect what we have learned over the past 18 months. We want to retain the flexibility of working from home while ensuring that people are available for in person meetings when necessary. Practically, that means that all employees should be available to come to the office as much as is needed based on their role and personal preferences. For some that might mean 4-5 days per week but for most that will mean 2-3 days. Everybody should be at the office at least 1 day per week because team meetings, feedback, and social events are best done in person. We will continue to provide flexibility should someone want to work fully remotely for a shorter period of time.
We will be designing our office space with a hybrid work policy in mind. We want an office space that encourages people to show up in person rather than requiring them to do so. We believe that our physical space should be a reflection of our culture and our work policies. We will continue to follow local laws/guidelines on vaccination and quarantine requirements so this will vary based on locations.
This also means that we are making a conscious decision not to hire fully remote employees. There will probably be exceptions to this rule but it will be treated as an exception based on the unique circumstances. Our work environment is optimized for hybrid and we think it’s difficult to optimize for fully remote employees at the same time. If we need talent in a certain location we will consider if it makes sense to open an office there instead. But being based in the two most amazing cities in the world should take us a long way!
The money we don’t spend on rent and desks will be spent on social get-togethers and flights between the offices to create space for connection. This will mean yearly off-sites, summer and winter parties in each office on top of all the good work the people team is doing to keep us connected virtually and in person.
Our hybrid work policy will remain in place indefinitely but is continuously up for reevaluation. The future of work is upon us and we’re all learning and adjusting as we go. We believe that regular in-person meetings are important to build a high-performing team but that might change as technology continues to break down barriers. In any case, we remain optimistic about how work is evolving to accommodate more flexible personal lifestyles.