More and more evidence is coming out about the benefits of flexible work hours. But while that’s all well and good, what does it mean in practical terms for employers, and employees? Kate Moran, Culture Programme Manager at HubSpot, explains why we should all be entering the Flexiverse™.
Five years ago, I worked for a corporate company. I was lucky enough to start at 8am, finish at 4pm, lunch from 12- 1 and enjoy my 15 minute cuppa with colleagues in the corridors. I loved work and I worked hard. Then I had a baby.
I returned to work and everything changed. I struggled to get in to work on time, I counted down the hours to leave, I sat alone in my new ‘office’ staring at walls and wondered how I’d ‘fit’ back in. My daughter ended up in hospital. I cried a lot. They were honestly the worst weeks I’ve ever worked. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.
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With change on my mind I applied for the role of ‘Culture Programme Manager’ with HubSpot in Dublin. To this day, I remember reading the job description along with its perks and thinking it was too good to be true. The role was centered around employee well-being and building a culture around the ideas of flexibility, autonomy and transparency. But there was more. I read HubSpot have a employee resource group called ‘ParentSpot’ whose mission is to create remarkable experiences for employees and their families. And so I applied for the job.
Today, I’m lucky to work at HubSpot and I have over 2400 colleagues globally who enjoy the same perks I do – unlimited holidays, flexible work days, autonomous work, a competitive salary, and a workspace that honestly makes me question my own home interior design choices.
Yet, the one thing I’d never trade is my time. At HubSpot, thankfully, results matter more than the hours we work. Don’t get me wrong, I put the hours in, but I do them when, where and how suits me best. On Friday’s I generally work from home. Friday’s are sacred for two reasons:
- Family: I treat my parents to breakfast in our favourite cafe ‘Honey Honey’ and I collect my daughter early from creche.
- Work: On Friday’s I get my best work done. I can knuckle down, undistracted and I know it’s when I’m most productive.
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The future of work is changing. As employees continue to juggle work and life, employers are adapting. Companies now attract top talent with truths of flexibility and systems that value employee needs. Last year, our Consumer Survey found that for the first time EVER that having a flexible work environment won out over the need for a competitive salary. 53% of those surveyed named ‘Flexibility’ as the most important aspect of work. Flexibility is undoubtedly leading the future of work and here’s why.
Flexible Work Boosts Engagement
According to Werk, a company that works with organisations and their employees to reinvent the workday, “flexibility increases employee happiness, productivity, and loyalty; it is the highest-impact, lowest-cost tool companies can use to optimize their workforce.” When employees have the flexibility to design a schedule that works best for their lifestyle, you empower them to be in the driver’s seat – both at work and outside of work. Not only does a flexible workplace attract top talent while retaining and growing current employees, but it creates a stronger, more inclusive workforce that leads to a more productive and communicative workplace.
Flexible Cultures Are Built on Trust
Flexibility is impossible without trust. Employers must trust that employees are able to produce strong results at and away from their desks. High performance is generally the outcome of open and honest working relationships where the employee and employer value each other equally.
One way to build trust is through employee feedback. It has been said, ‘feedback is the breakfast of champions’ but what matters most is what you do with it. At HubSpot, our quarterly employee happiness surveys are used to gauge what’s working, what’s not, and how employees feel we can continue to grow better as a company and as their employer. Believe it or not, HubSpot shares the results, good or bad, with the entire organization. They then take it a step further where executives take the feedback and tailor action plans to address trends.
Flexibility: Are we offering freedom?
As a working parent, ‘flexibility’ offers a different kind of ‘freedom’ for me. It gifts me family time and it allows me to be the best version of me. It removes the feeling of guilt and enables empathy. It leaves room for the unpredictable. Most importantly, for me, it makes me feel valued for the work I do, rather than when or where I do it.
If the above didn’t get you thinking of the possibilities, here’s a look at how we’re approaching the future of flexibility at HubSpot.
Enter the ‘Flexiverse™’
At HubSpot, we’re working to keep getting better at being flexible. Our next move is to help our employees identify what type of flexibility suits them best. We know no two people are the same and that flexibility looks different across roles. Werk is beginning to help us identify the six types of flexibility (known as the Flexiverse™) and we’re excited to learn about this new system.
The reality is that life is unpredictable. Work and life are ever changing. But, working for a company that recognises this and offers flexible work as a priority makes the world of difference. If your company isn’t already on board, don’t be afraid to be a change-maker, otherwise you might just miss the boat.
Are you thinking about flexible work in your workplace? Have you any thoughts or questions as how to best implement this system? We’re continuing the conversation in our Careers Group. And if you’d like to know more about life at HubSpot, you can check them out here.
Kate Moran joined HubSpot’s Dublin office in 2017 and is wife to Richard and mother to two-year old Fia-Mai. She is passionate about creating a remarkable employee experience that makes HubSpot one of the best places to work in the world.