The world has changed, and like a caterpillar emerging from its comfy cocoon, it has transformed across the past year and a half to an exciting and inspiring new normal. Hybrid and flexible working is becoming the way forward for most companies, after having experienced the turmoil of the previous 18 months. These buzzwords have most likely been littering your LinkedIn feed or have been introduced into your workplace too.
At Irdeto, when it came to the shift in working style and routine, we wanted to ensure that this would be the best approach for not only our company but most importantly, our employees too! In this blog, we’ll explain our new #WorkHardAnywhere program and what it means for us.
Our employees have been open to the idea of a hybrid way of working long before COVID-19 hit. Via our real-time employee survey and continuous feedback platform Officevibe, our people had been vocalizing their ideas. Like most companies, the shift to hybrid working left us unsure about the impact it would have on productivity levels alongside employee satisfaction and wellbeing, and the global pandemic presented the not-so-perfect opportunity to trial remote working and eventually a hybrid working model for all our people worldwide.
When COVID-19 started to impact our ways of working globally, we were ready to implement and make the transition to a light hybrid working model thanks to our preparative talks internally and the preliminary planning we had undertaken. We adjusted and changed the existing plans to make sure that we were ready to roll them out during the challenging times and shifted to a fully remote working style.
A key element of our transition to adapting to the worldwide turmoil was putting Team Charters in place throughout the company and sharing them internally. Team Charters lined up each teams’ expectations about their guiding principles (like being sensitive to personal needs, trusting each other, and staying accountable), ways of working (like cameras on, daily stand-up attendance, or ensuring breaks during long meetings), and success metrics (like customer satisfaction scores, on-time deliveries, speed of releases or response times). In doing this, we hoped the communication pathways would remain clear, there would be a mutual understanding of what was required of each team, and how they could work together as smoothly as possible. Having open and clear communication within teams was the foundation to the success that followed our hybrid working style. Each team shared their Charters on our internal Yammer platform so ideas could be shared, and inspiration could be taken from each other.
We all met challenges and obstacles that we had to navigate in the rapid shift from working in the office to working at home. We provided ergonomic tips, digital wellbeing and social initiatives, best practices for virtual meetings, and how best to focus and find work-life balance. You can read more about this in our Desk Diaries blog where we interview some of our employees on all things working from home. With our employees all working from the safety of their homes, we all, slowly but surely, became more connected digitally, hosting weekly check-ins with their teams.
Once the world had regained some control in the battle against COVID-19, we decided we will fully activate the trial of the remote working policy to officially move to a hybrid way of working. By launching our #WorkHardAnywhere program globally, we wanted to maintain our strong company culture inspired by physical interactions that we’re really proud of. So, we will offer, once local government rules will permit, individuals to go back into the office to truly exercise a 50/50 split: 50% of our annual working time in the office and 50% anywhere. Of the 50% anywhere Irdeto offers up to four weeks outside our people’s country of residence. We are learning as we continue to navigate through the ever-changing environment and will amend our new approach to flexible working, while the future of work will inspire us how.
Our offices have been prepared to enable people to come back to the office, with specialist protocols to guarantee employees’ safety when maneuvering throughout. This includes deploying office-space booking routines in an App we developed with Macaw to ensure we don’t exceed a safe capacity within the building, selective lunch slots, and mapped routes around the office to create space, ensure distance and promote safe movement within the offices.
This meant that for larger group meetings, teams could gather safely virtually to make the most of their time together and maintain the fantastic productivity we had been experiencing in the months before. By having a physical office to come to and to make use of, we foster new relationships and friendships, stimulate colleague catch-ups, and allow newly onboarded employees to meet their new Irdeto family and explore their office surroundings. And of course, we open our fridge with cool drinks for a ‘borrel’ (Dutch for ‘after-work drink’) every afternoon!
To support our #WorkHardAnywhere program further, we globally distributed hand-packed-with-love gift boxes to our employees. The boxes were intended to provide some quality items that will not only increase productivity whilst at home but enhance our employees’ working from home set up and employer branding connection with the Company. Items included a $ voucher so that employees could kit out their home office, surgical face masks, and rapid COVID-19 tests so that traveling to the office was made a little easier, next to other gifts like a yoga ball, Nano Lego and sweet treats. We distributed our boxes across all our regions and tailored the contents for our employees’ locations.
Throughout this tumultuous time, we have tried more than ever to embody and demonstrate our company core values: Agility, Trust, Innovation, and Accountability. We had to remain agile in times of uncertainty, trust one another as we adopted a new way of working, innovate where possible to make the transition as smooth as possible, and finally, take accountability for our own responsibilities and duties to ourselves, team, and the company. We will continue to listen to our employees’ feedback, thoughts, and ideas as we navigate towards the future.