The pandemic has triggered seismic shifts in how we work, causing many companies to transition from an office-centric culture to more flexible ways of working. This shift is largely still in the experimental phase, as businesses try to conceive of and test effective post-pandemic working models for their operations and staff.
Of course, no one knows what the ‘right’ answer is. What works for one company may not work for another; business needs will vary depending on sector, size and structure. Many organisations, however, are doing their best to make working more flexible – as well as less burnout-prone, thanks to recent conversations about mental health, work-life balance and burnout.
Some companies are going fully remote, while others are opting for different visions hybrid work environments. Here’s what four companies in four different countries are choosing to do.
Chargebee: Switching to fully remote
Before the pandemic, Chargebee, an India-founded subscription-management company, used to have offices in San Francisco, Amsterdam and Chennai. Today, it’s gone fully remote with a completely decentralised work structure that allows employees to live and work where they want.
Chargebee had been moving toward an asynchronous working model before the pandemic, anyway – meaning the focus wasn’t on everyone working the same hours, but on having teammates overlap a few hours to facilitate communication. But “like every other company during the pandemic, we had to adapt to the realities of the world and shift to a fully distributed model faster and more completely than we had originally planned”, says founder and CEO Krish Subramanian.
With meetings kept largely to overlapping hours among teammates, employees have a lot of flexibility around when they work – though meetings, of course, still need to happen. To help reduce Zoom fatigue, on ‘Focus Wednesdays’ meetings are kept to a minimum so staff can attend to their to-do list. In case projects are staggered across time zones, the company has an intranet that’s “up to date on all activities”, with conversations, meetings, documentation, meeting notes and decisions open to everyone. There are also apps, including Wingman, where employees can access customer calls and channels on Slack where employees can post questions – making “as much information as possible accessible to our employees”.