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5 Remote Workplace Culture Examples from the Tech World You Can Follow

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No surprises here: companies that built the tech powering remote and hybrid work are embracing a “work-from-anywhere” model for their own employees. From Slack to Asana, top tech companies discovered that their employees—and their bottom lines—benefit from increased flexibility around how and where people work. 

And it’s no wonder! A new report released from Future Forum found that 34% of office workers were asked to return full-time to in-person work in early 2022. When they did, stress and anxiety levels hit new highs—and employee sentiment scores hit record lows. 

Trying to avoid similar challenges at your own company? Below, we’ve taken a look at the new remote work policies of five top tech companies. We’ll tell you how their workplace culture offers examples for distributed companies everywhere—and what you can take away from their models.

1.Airbnb

Perhaps more than any other company, Airbnb has completely embraced a distributed workforce. After all, exploring new locations is a huge part of their business model!

According to Fortune, the company has introduced multiple perks, including a work from home (WFH) “forever” policy, as well as impressive location flexibility. 

“If the office didn’t exist, I like to ask, would we invent it?” CEO Brian Chesky asked the magazine. “And if we invented it, what would it be invented for?”

After announcing the change, Airbnb saw an immediate uptick in interest on their careers page. Plus, they’re reporting noticeable increases in productivity and revenue.

What Defines Their Remote Workplace Culture?

  • Work from home “forever”
  • Work in more than 170 countries for up to 90 days in each location
  • Single pay tiers ( i.e. employee compensation is not tied to location)

Business Bumps

  • Increase in interest in careers page
  • Increases in productivity and revenue

2. Slack

Slack is the enterprise tool for helping distributed teams communicate, and the company has been one of the fastest adopters of remote work. 

Late in 2020, Slack announced that most of their new positions were open to remote candidates, and, in 2022, CEO Stewart Butterfield told CNBC the company was “remote-first” rather than “remote only.”

In addition to prioritizing remote, asynchronous workflows, Butterfield is reimagining Slack office spaces as places where employees can gather for meaningful collaborations. 

The company will also hold offsite meetings to “deepen relationships, establish trust and allow Slack management to make decisions in a real-time environment,” according to CNBC. 

What Defines Their Remote Workplace Culture?

  • Remote-first work, from recruitment to hiring to day-to-day operations
  • Meaningful offsites and using office space for collaborations
  • Investing in management and soft skills training

3. Salesforce

By February 2021, Salesforce declared the traditional 9-to-5 officially “over.” 

"An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead; and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks," Brent Hyder, the company’s president and chief people officer, wrote in a blog post.

Instead, the customer relationship software behemoth permanently extended full-time remote work options to employees who don’t live near a Salesforce office. For those who can safely commute, flex work schedules require in-office work 1 to 3 days per week. Last but not least, a small contingent of employees continues to work 4-5 days at their offices.

What Defines Their Remote Workplace Culture?

  • Full-time remote optional
  • Flex employees come to office 3 days/week

Business Bumps

  • Broadened recruiting efforts
  • Improved equity and inclusion

4. Asana

Unlike its peers, the project management software company Asana has been slower to adopt sweeping remote work policies. For a tech company with software designed to ease the challenges of remote work, this resistance to remote work came to many as a surprise.

At the beginning of the pandemic, they allowed employees to work remotely on Wednesdays only. The policy has since shifted to accommodate WFH for employees on both Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Why the emphasis on the office? Well, a big part of their workplace culture hinges on face-to-face collaboration. "We really believe from a culture perspective that collaboration and trust are spurred and reinforced by the daily shared experiences, those face-to-face communications," Asana’s head of people, Anna Binder, told Protocol last year.

While Asana execs admitted this policy might impact their recruitment efforts, they suggested that boosting retention through workplace culture was a bigger priority.

What Defines Their Remote Workplace Culture?

  • Remote work on Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Three-day office work week
  • Face-to-face communication and shared experiences in the office

5. Canva

When it comes to remote work policies at Canva, the graphic design software giant is putting the decision-making power in the hands of individual teams.

According to Business Insider, Canva adopted a flexible work model in August of last year after conducting extensive employee surveys. Employees are only expected to come into the office eight times per year. The company has also moved to “meeting-free” Wednesdays to allow employees more time to get work done.

“We believe traditional workplaces will become the exception when it comes to the future of work,” Canva said in an announcement. The company felt that working remotely during the pandemic had “disproved the notion of collaboration being best in one way or in one place.”

What Defines Their Remote Workplace Culture?

  • Flexible work model
  • Come to office 8x/year
  • Meeting-free Wednesday

Business Bumps

  • Boosted revenues
  • Increased company valuation
  • Growing user base

What Now? How These Remote Workplace Culture Examples Can Help Your Team

Whether your company has already gone remote full-time or you’re still re-evaluating your workplace policies, there are plenty of workplace culture take-aways from tech giants like Slack and Canva.

Here are a few best practices for assessing and rolling out changes to your workplace culture:

  • Find out what your employees want. Don’t make decisions in a vacuum! Just like Canva did, take the time to survey your employees and consider their needs before making major policy decisions.
  • Decide what your company values. You don’t have to go full remote to provide employees with more flexibility. Asana’s WFH policies are a great example of this. Because that company highly values in-person collaboration, they moved to a 3-day office workweek. This way, their team still has the opportunity for meaningful in-office interactions that are a part of company culture.
  • Consider alternative ways to give employees time for deep work. The rise of asynchronous work has increased other forms of labor, including responding to emails and attending meetings. Policies like the “No Meeting Wednesdays” rule adopted by Canva give your team real time to put the pedal to the metal.
  • Find opportunities to improve equity. Remote work also opens up your recruitment opportunities, just as Airbnb and Slack discovered. If you want to make a serious investment in pay equity, embrace a single pay tier across all positions, just like Airbnb did, to recruit and retain employees.
  • Keep everyone connected. Even distributed teams can have a rock-solid workplace culture! Build in meaningful moments of connection, collaboration, and community with employee event software like Welcome.

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