Over this last year, companies have been setting – and then re-setting – tentative dates for their “official” return back to the office, and Convene has been no different. But, as a part of our process to prepare for this transition, we decided to speak with our team members to learn more about what would work best to suit their needs. After carefully reviewing an anonymous company-wide survey, we decided to pivot this plan. Convene is now not planning to return to HQ but instead, our corporate team will be transitioning to become a remote-first workplace.

“Moving forward, we are proud and excited to embrace hybrid work and flexibility and strive to define what it means to be a best-in-class organization. We still believe in the importance of physical space and the power of getting together face-to-face to collaborate and foster culture, but given how the world has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focused on supporting our employees and delivering them a great experience wherever they are.”

Ryan Simonetti, CEO & Co-Founder of Convene

Why remote-first, and why now?

We firmly believe that the future of the workplace is hybrid. As a company that strives to outpace innovation, this decision is a natural arrival that ultimately aligns with our mission of delivering the best possible workday experience, wherever it is. Over the last 18 months, we have witnessed our team’s talent in action, both independently and collaboratively within virtual workspaces, and expect this to continue with our new remote work model.

Here is a peak into the other factors that influenced our decision to become a remote-first corporate team:

Trust. Simply put, we trust our team to work from the space or spaces, in which they feel most productive and comfortable. Placing an importance on what space they work in feels secondary to empowering our team to put their best foot forward on their own terms.

Intention. As an extension of our confidence in the hybrid future of the workplace, we also know teams will still meet in person from time-to-time to collaborate and socialize. The remote-first model will require leaders and individuals to be more intentional and impactful in planning and executing these occasions. An additional benefit our team can realize is the added hours to their day by cutting the commute to the office. Reallocating that time towards rest, productivity, and balance is key.

Accessing top talent. With an in-person corporate model, we’re asking global talent to come to us, or restricting our talent searches to one geographic region. One of the greatest advantages of a remote-first workplace is being able to attract top talent in more markets.

One great example of how remote work has been boosting talent pools for companies recently is by taking a look at Zillow. Once Zillow announced remote-only working options to potential applicants, their hiring pool exploded 50% over the same time the previous year. 56,000 people filled out a Zillow application in the first quarter of 2021 alone. The numbers speak for themselves – remote work is here to stay.

Currently, our team members are already located in various cities worldwide, from Hawaii to the UK, and everywhere in between. By eliminating the physical restrictions of an office, we can open the door to invite the most passionate and talented individuals to join our team. Additionally, this allows our team the freedom to move to the locations of their choosing, whether that’s to be closer to family or the beach.

Understanding preferences. While the above-mentioned points support our shift to remote-first, the most important reason for this change in our working model is simply because it’s what our team wants.

Ninety-four percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely.

Understanding that remote-first is working for our team, and preferred, is central to this decision. Our team’s voice is important to us and has been heard, and we look forward to supporting them in the ways they need as we enter this new chapter of working together.