Every couple of months we like to give some insight into our business. A opportunity for anyone who may be interested to see how we do things.
Last time on Insta we shared details of our small and multicultural team. At the time there were just 24 of us. We have heritage from 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and there’s a fair gender distribution across departments including our technology and warehouse operations.
Flexible working hours
This time, we want to share with you our working hours and what that means for everyone at the company. Traditionally, companies operate a 9am – 5:30pm policy. Anyone sneaking in the door past 9am is often considered to be late and anyone finishing before 5:30pm, a “part timer”.
Over the years, some business have evolved and we are one of them. We operate core hours between 10am – 3pm and outside those hours, everyone can start or finish when it suits them. It means we can collaborate, pair up and discuss things quickly and easily, without having to schedule every conversation. But it also gives flexibility to those that cannot start at 9am or need to finish before 5pm.
Something that has been a huge relief to me, especially as a parent, is that I am never late. Turning up a 9:45am is perfectly acceptable yet it isn’t a special privilege given to just me, a parent. The entire company can come and go as it suits us. There is no ‘being late’.
Multiple morning drops off and evening picks ups with small children is not without stress. But taking away the added stress of ‘being late’ for work has made such a difference.
Making work work
I started working at Whirli after I’d had my second child and the core hour policy created made full-time possible. Had the policy been stricter, I’m not sure me and my husband would have been able to make it work. We equally share our family’s needs between us which has meant he has a career that he has an equal opportunity to succeed in and so do I.
A post-pandemic working world
Now our World has been flipped on its head, I’m curious to know how all businesses will adjust. Working from home was always a possibility at Whirli. But perhaps they’ll be more of it or it will be structured differently. As a business we’re doing really well. We’re growing quickly, hiring more people. We’ve launched a new website, built a heap of new things and it was all done from home.
But many of us are missing face-to-face contact. So it’s likely, post-pandemic, there will be an even blend of office-based and home-based working. Perhaps readjusting the reasons for location-based activities, especially as the team grows. Most screen time work can be done from home, especially if it is quieter and less distracting. Perhaps office based work prioritises face-to-face contact, such as meetings, break-outs, collaborations and socials.
It will be an opportunity for every company to re-write the rules and create a working environment that is flexible. Support the person that needs quiet, focused time or encourage people to collaborate and interact more. Support the person that is simply not a morning person and does their best work later on. Or support the person that has responsibilities that don’t fit the 9am – 5:30pm structure.
And maybe, just maybe, our roads and trains will be less congested. I think we’d all vote for that!