Embracing the future of the modern professional
By Erin Feigal, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources OfficerSeptember 22, 2022
If you ask a Prime Therapeutics employee where they’re working on a given day, you’re likely to get a wide range of responses – the office, their home office, or their home away from home. And this is true for many organizations today. A new survey from nonprofit business research group, The Conference Board found that just 4% of companies surveyed are requiring employees to return to the workplace full-time, while 90% allowed hybrid work with some type of regular in-office requirement.
At Prime, we’re taking a different approach than some through the Hub and Home® model, where we don’t have an in-office requirement. Empowerment, flexibility and inclusion are the work concepts we’re driving. Employees are empowered to decide if coming into the office is right for them. If not, we have modern, virtual connections that include everyone, whether onsite or off-site. We’re flexible, and not just with our technology, our mindset is flexible as well. We support, practice and promote this flexibility at all levels in the organization, including our executive team.
Our culture through Hub and Home
We want employees to feel engaged at work and in life. Therefore, imposing a full-time or part-time in-office requirement doesn’t align with our culture, nor is it feasible given the geography of over half our employee population. If most of an employee’s day-to-day is spent on virtual calls, we don’t want to require in-office work just for requirement’s sake. We want time and effort invested in-office to be valuable, engaging interaction. Employees who are local to our headquarters or other sites have the option to come into the office, and some prefer to come in regularly, but it’s not required.
Prime has embraced hybrid work with open arms, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. When everyone is either virtual or in-office, meetings can happen with less coordination and facilitation. When the work set up is blended – some are in-office and some are in other locations – facilitating meetings has more dynamics. However, just because all or nothing can be easier, that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective business strategy.
Finding talent across the country
At Prime, we’ve found that sourcing talent broadly, and allowing employees to work from places other than our headquarters or other Prime facility, enhances us in ways that make extra meeting coordination worth the effort. We want access to talent that goes beyond our brick-and-mortar locations, and we want employees to be able to do their best work, in the most suitable environment for them.
Support for remote work, in person, and a mix of the two, required investment in technical tools and resources, plus ongoing training, and trial and error, to find the right formula. It also required participation and leadership support from all levels of the organization to help instill this flexibility into our work culture.
All this being said, there is a time and place for in-person interaction and collaboration. Instead of a daily in-office expectation, in-person interactions are set up purposefully with a draw to connect that’s beyond a day packed with online meetings. This includes team and cross-functional workshops, leadership and project forums, learning and experience sessions, strategy development, and relationship building. For some, their work is 100% virtual, while others may connect in-person once or twice a year – this is especially true for those who don’t live near a business location. For others, in-person connections may happen quarterly, monthly, weekly or more often, yet all continue to offer a virtual connection to maintain needed flexibility.
There’s great energy and enthusiasm when people connect in person. You can see relationships flourish and it enhances a primarily virtual setting. In the same vein, you can see work productivity and work life satisfaction thrive, with the ability to choose.
Work preferences and needs are dynamic, so we’re keeping an eye on what’s next and looking for opportunities to tailor solutions. Our Hub and Home model is a wonderful expression of that. We look forward to evolving this program and continuing to create an environment that supports our teams in achieving their goals no matter where they are working.
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