At our last company meeting we shared our introduction of Flex Work 2.0.
This is a new way of working allowing for complete flexibility of our people to work in an office, or at home, as often or as little as they want to. But the journey towards true choice for people to work flexibly has been a decade-long one across the industry.
I remember a conference in London in 2019 that described remote working as being the future of work. There were stories from HR folks about how difficult it was to get flexible working over the line in their workplace, let alone a push to embrace remote working. It was painted as a decade-long journey we were on, to transform industries and normalize the idea of someone sitting at home doing their job. So much work to still be done. So many attitudes to shift and stereotypes to break.
Enter Covid-19. The villain of our story.
In one fell swoop, Covid-19 turned our decade-long journey into the world’s largest remote working experiment. Those convinced that it was impossible for people to be productive at home were given no say in the matter. With little planning or thought, we all had to make do with the circumstances, from rethinking how people communicate and interact to renovating our kitchen tables to become our new desks. Covid-19 did more in two months to accelerate remote working than what HR teams around the globe have been able to achieve in two decades. Remote working went from being the future of work to just being… work.
Jonny, our Head of Product, enjoying his new remote working set up
Very few people will look back on 2020 fondly. It will however be remembered as the year that remote working went from being a distant concept to one of the top priorities to get right in most HR team’s playbooks. Unless the HR team was already in a 100% remote company (and even then it’s debatable), no one has been immune from the challenges that shifting to remote has brought upon teams despite what the rampant success stories on LinkedIn about how successfully they ‘pivoted’.
FundApps was in a fortunate position heading into lockdown. It didn’t feel like too much of a pivot (last time I will use that word, promise!). We had all the tech and routines in place, working from home was normal, and our business model pretty resilient to a pandemic. Yet over the past 6 months our people have experienced a whole breadth of emotions, reactions, challenges and even successes as a result. Some folks spoke of a new found focus they have found at home and the quiet productivity it brings to them. Parents tried to find some kind of balance and routine of trying to work while homeschooling the kids. Others realised how much they missed the office environment, the organic conversation it brought and the sense of company and camaraderie that Zoom can’t quite replicate. But just like everyone else, we kept moving onwards.
Our Business Development team taking part in a virtual mixology social 🍸
In May a colleague asked me: “What happens after lockdown?”. At that point I think I’d been alone in an NYC studio for 3 months without any in-person contact so I made some wisecrack response questioning if there even was a life after lockdown. In hindsight, it was a great question. Most of the office-working world had kept things operating for three months from home, so... What happens after lockdown? Do we just scrap the office and keep going to save a few quid? Do we go back to the way things were and pretend like that experiment never happened?
The only thing we knew for sure was that we needed to understand more about how FundAppers wanted to work. We surveyed the team and amongst the results we discovered this:
Which of these would you be interested in a post-Covid19 world?
🏢 20% want to return to the office every day
🏠 20% want to stay working from home every day
📆 60% want the option to do a mixture of both.
And to add some fun to the results:
🌍 70% want to be able to work temporarily from another location
What fascinated us the most about this is that whilst remote working might be hot sh*t in the media right now it’s not what works for every FundApper. In fact, it only seems to truly work for 1 in 5 FundAppers with the other 4 wanting at least some form of office involvement as part of their work experience. What most FundAppers crave isn’t remote working. It’s choice. True flexible working. With that in hand the question was no longer ‘what happens after lockdown?’ but something far more exciting: Can FundApps become a company that operates with offices, work-from-home and work-from-another-location but still operate with the pace, agility and spirit we’ve all come to know and love?
Enter Flex Work 2.0. The hero to our story.
At the July company meeting, we shared the survey results, what we learnt from them and announced Flex Work 2.0 - that once it was safe to do so, FundAppers would be able to choose a work arrangement that works for them, from 5 days in the office to 5 days at home and anything in between.
We will shift to a more asynchronous model for our routines and communications, and start to view our offices not as where work gets done, but as a location people can choose to do their work from. We’ll bring the family home for dinner (i.e. offsites, team-building and company events) and we’ll invest equally in both the at-home experience and the in-office experience. We’ll also support people to work from other locations temporarily, with some restrictions and processes in place for working abroad given the tax and social security implications.
We don’t see remote working as the future but rather a part of our future for how we’ll work. The future of work is choice. Choice to choose a way of working that plays to your life and your strengths - from the daily commute 🚆, to having more time with your family 👩👩👧, to the social interactions and banter with colleagues 😂, to quiet time at home 🎧.
Now if Covid-19 could just hurry up and die, that’d be fab!
Sounds like something you'd like to be a part of?
As a growing company we are always on the look-out for the next generation of FundAppers to join the team. If you'd like to help us build the future of compliance and have fun while doing so then check out our jobs page! 💪