Like a lot of businesses right now, at GearedApp we are constantly adapting and finding new ways of working. Although we’ve always fostered a flexible culture within our team, this past year has acted as a catalyst in our approach. Working from home isn’t just an option anymore, it has become the norm.
What we’ve learnt from this last year is that everyone enjoys a different style of working, and each member of the team thrives in an entirely different environment. Whilst many of the team are relishing working from home, others are dying to get back into the office. Going forward, we want to make our workplace as inclusive as possible, offering the team the ability to work from wherever they feel most comfortable.
Read on to discover how we’re embracing flexible working, the opportunities it has brought for us as an organisation and how we’re going to make it work post-pandemic.
How we’re Embracing it
Flexible working hours
The team at GearedApp are a close-knit, friendly bunch and we pride ourselves on being pals. Part of this is understanding that everyone has a life and commitments outside of work – we’ve never been big on the strict 9-5 working week. At GearedApp, we all have a level of control over our working hours. As long as everyone’s there for our daily team meeting at 9.30, the team can start anytime from 8 onwards.
Extended lunch breaks
During the pandemic, it became clear to us that we would all benefit from even more flexibility in our working day. With the days getting shorter and the lockdowns getting longer, we decided to allow the team to take extended lunch breaks. Anyone who wishes can get out and about during the day and catch some well-needed Vitamin D. This policy has been great for our work-life balance. Restrictions may be easing, but this is definitely sticking with us.
Life can be hard sometimes, especially this last year, and sometimes you just need a day off. Whether it be a day on the couch or a day in the outdoors, we allow the team to take up to four F*it days throughout the year – no notice, no explanation necessary. Policies like this help us to foster a more inclusive and open culture within the team. It’s okay not to be okay and we actively encourage the team to take time for their mental wellbeing.
Since the recent easing of restrictions, the team have been getting out on one-to-one walks. Every month, each member of the team has a catch-up with one of our co-founders to discuss their progress at work, how they’re doing and a general chat about anything going in their life. Anyone living close-by has the opportunity to have a socially-distanced meet-up rather than virtually. It’s been great for us to feel a little more social and get out in the sun during the working day.
How We’ll Work Post-Covid
Online-first approach to meeting
First and foremost, from now on our default approach to meeting will be virtual rather than in-person. Our daily team meetings will take place online, giving the team the flexibility of working from the office, home… or wherever else they fancy. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t open to face-to-face meetings – there’s nothing better than meeting a client in person. It just means that we can be more flexible with our clients and team on how we communicate. Additionally, meeting online allows us inclusivity with our remote team members working from across the globe.
Individual approach to flexible working
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to working styles. As life starts to get back to normal, there will be open discussions with every member of the team individually to discuss exactly how they would like to work. Whether it’s five or zero days in the office, no routine is off the cards. If you want to test-drive working in the office but decide it’s not for you, no worries – everything is flexible.
Dedicated collaborative time
Although our approach to meeting will be online-first, it doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate the need for meeting in person for our company culture. At the end of the day, we’re all friends and we want to see one another. We will dedicate specific time for collaborative team days, allowing the team time to see one another and do some team-bonding. It’s important for us all to spend time together on a regular basis to feel like we are a part of the team.
What Flexible Working Has Done for Us
If you’ve been keeping up with our socials, you will notice we’ve been doing some hiring this year. The pandemic has allowed us the opportunity to hire further afield then just Edinburgh or the UK, but even internationally. Our latest recruit, Paul, is working with us remotely from England. Additionally, our Mobile Developer, Aleks, works remotely from Bulgaria and we even work with a couple of talented developers in Hungary- Richard and Dávid. It’s been great for us adding some diversity to the team and being able to get the perfect match for us.
Meeting online gives us the opportunity to quickly schedule calls with both the team, contacts and clients. No more rushing across the city to fit in numerous meetings. It’s great to be able to schedule calls quickly and easily, helping us improve communication.
Online communication means that our client-base isn’t restricted to just Edinburgh or Scotland. With meeting virtually now the norm, we can work with anyone across the globe. What this means for us is that we can work with those who really fit our Tech for Good values. Starting conversations with other values-led businesses is a big part of our mission – check out our Tech for Good video series to find out more.
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