Remote Working: Outcomes, not Outputs
We’ve been in the news a bit recently with our funding announcement and people are always interested in our remote working model, which we call #timelylife. The benefits to our team are pretty obvious, but why is it good for our company and our customers?
A sobering statistic I learned a few years ago is that only 13% of employees are engaged in their work. The other 87%, don’t like their jobs. There were twice as many classed as “actively disengaged”, which means they are going out of their way to demonstrate that they’re not happy. As I said, it’s sobering stuff in Gallup’s engagement study of over 180 million people.
When we started Timely, I knew from having built a small business before that it was going to be bloody hard. We were unlikely to succeed if we didn’t do something to buck this trend.
Luckily for us, one of the main ways that we would address this was already in motion. We had started Timely as a remote working team from day one. I was in Dunedin, Scoff in Wellington, and William in Malta. We didn’t know it at the time but this would evolve to become a big part of how we create an engaged and productive team. Many of the businesses that use Timely work the same way we do, and that helps us create a product that works well for them.
Five years later and at almost fifty people, #timelylife has become a hybrid remote model. Most of us work from home, but we also hire people to be near each other and have office spaces that we can use. Occasionally you’ll find us working in other interesting places:
— Jess Free (@jessrauby) September 24, 2017
#timelylife goes beyond foosball tables, candy, or sleeping pods as a way to engage our people. Rather, we enable our team members to do the things that really matter to them. Flexing our work place and time means we can fulfil passions like learning to fly, mountain climbing, pursuing wellness and fitness goals, being active in our communities, or more present as parents. It’s pretty easy to see how we benefit from this.
What’s not as easy to see is how our company and our customers benefit from #timelylife, and that’s where the magic lives for me. I asked a few our team members to share how it helps them with their work:
“I saw my daughter walk for the first time while I was working from home. That’s priceless. I’ve never been this motivated in a job and I will always go the extra mile helping our customers in exchange.” @keegs
“I’m not a morning person so I like to flex my working hours to when I’m most productive in the evenings. #timelylife is great because it lets me do that when I am more likely to get more and better work done.” @jojo
“I’m a restless person by nature and an avid traveller and outdoors person. I get asked a lot how productive can I really be at home and the answer is simple. 100% more. No distractions and more flexibility!” @mei
“I was concerned about productivity when I first started working from home, but I quickly found that you do your best work when you’ve always got the option to walk away if you’re not feeling it. I work mainly on the new iPad/iPhone app at Timely and some of my best work is in there thanks to #timelylife.” @sam
“My wife recently told me that my joining Timely was the best thing that ever happened to us. It’s an amazing feeling to know your family fully support you. I get to be a better dad by being around more at home. On the flip-side we need to help customers outside of normal business hours at times. Both of these are no problem with the way we work at Timely.” @bartron
“#timelylife for me is about providing flexibility to tailor your environment. When it’s better for me to work from home, I can, but when the business outcomes deserve office based collaboration we got that too. We have the freedom to optimise our working habits to produce the best outcomes for the business, for my career, and for my family.” @paul
“For me #timelylife has given me the space to give back to the causes I care the most about. I’m able to flex my hours around SPCA street appeals, or donating plasma. I find this very fulfilling and when the next big project lands on my desk to improve the Timely product, I’m all in to make it great for our customers!” @jess
A big dose of trust between an employer and employee goes a long way. Most people think that if you give people too much flexibility that their productivity and engagement will decrease. My experience is that the opposite is true. My Timely fam are living proof that a healthy work/life balance can increase motivation, improve business outcomes, and deliver an awesome service for businesses around the world.
As our company grows we’re determined to play a part in improving Gallup’s sobering engagement stats, and to keep delivering great outcomes for our company and customers.