Remote work has been a hot topic for a minute now, with a large majority of us experiencing it for the first time a little over a year ago.
While this big shift was a direct result of necessity, people not only liked it but many studies found that remote work has positive effects on overall employee experience and even productivity.
A study from the CIPD found that 81% of employees believe that remote working increases their productivity. From the same study, it states that 89% of employees consider flexible work to be a key motivator, ranking it higher than financial incentives (77%).
And sometimes, the best people just aren’t pooled in one city or country.
To learn more about the remote experience at Pleo, we caught up with three of our full-time remote workers who were visiting our HQ in Copenhagen – Ermis, People Partner Lead working remotely from Athens, Greece, Bianca, a staff engineer based in Quebec City, Canada and Martín, a product designer from Málaga, Spain.
Is this your full-time remote position?
“I used to work in the HQ office but transitioned to remote recently”, says Martín, “It started as an idea of working from Málaga for about six months or so – mainly to reconnect with family and friends after living in Copenhagen for almost seven years.”
“With the recent world situation, it just made sense for me to stay there, and the switch was pretty seamless.”
Both Ermis and Bianca have worked in remote (or remote-ish) positions before.
“I was working as a freelancer before joining Pleo”, says Ermis, “So I did work remotely, in a sense. I would meet clients from time to time, but I didn’t go to a specific office and didn’t belong to a team.”
“At my previous company, everyone was remote. It was there that I was able to try out if this way of working was something for me or not”, says Bianca.
“When I joined Pleo, it was nice to have a mix of both (remote and office work), which in my opinion, is the best.”
What do you do to stay “close” to your colleagues?
It’s all about communication.
“Put yourself out there from the beginning,” says Bianca, “Since you're alone, you need to reach out and continuously meet people. We have weekly coffee chats that you can sign up for where you are randomly paired with someone in the company that makes this very easy.”
“Be active in Slack - there’s a lot of communities and channels to be a part of,” says Ermis.
Martín echoes this but highlights that you shouldn’t only be communicating about work.
“Create time for conversations that aren’t related to projects you’re working on. Share something that’s going on in your life and just get to know your team, even if they’re all in a different country.”
“And definitely attend the Team Camps”, adds Ermis.
Why does remote work run so well at Pleo?
“In general, I would say that it really feels like Pleo wants you to feel respected and valued, and enjoy working no matter where you are,” says Ermis.
“There is also a lot of respect for remotes in terms of how the company functions”, he adds.
“For instance, meeting rooms across offices have a proper set-up with 360° cameras that will focus on the speaker and soundproof rooms. There’s also a lot of documentation, whether that’s in Slack or recording more company-wide sessions – you definitely don’t feel like you’re missing content or information.”
Not to mention, each remote employee receives a budget when they join the company so they can purchase the equipment they need to set up the perfect workspace from their home – all purchased on their very own Pleo card, of course.
“Pleo also sends gifts for special events, like work anniversaries or birthdays,” adds Bianca.
“Someone actually takes the time to find a chocolate shop, for example, close to your home and have this sort of “improv gift” delivered. You feel so touched when these things happen because you don’t expect it and the small gesture really makes you feel so happy.”
Do you think that remote and/or flexible work is the future of work?
No surprises here – all three said: Yes.