We have been discussing the future of work and what it will look like for a couple of years, and have always concluded that globalisation and digitalisation are drivers for a more flexible workplace, that is better for both the company and our people.
Then 2020 came. Overnight, we were forced to work from home, which was in and of itself a litmus test of our culture and values, and even though we are not yet on the other side of this pandemic, or the racial and social challenges that the last year has shed light on, we are proud to say that Spotify’s culture stands strong. The events of the past year have accelerated my and the Executive Team’s thinking about the future and we believe that the time to start transitioning into becoming a flexible/distributed-first company is NOW and we’re pleased to introduce our Work From Anywhere program for all employees.
Our beliefs are:
- Work isn’t something you come to the office for, it’s something you do
- Effectiveness can’t be measured by the number of hours people spend in an office – instead, giving people the freedom to choose where they work will boost effectiveness
- Giving our people more flexibility will support better work-life balance and help tap into new talent pools while keeping our existing band members
- Operating as a distributed organisation will produce better and more efficient ways of working through more intentional use of communication and collaboration practices, processes and tools.
Starting this summer we’ll be offering more flexibility to employees by introducing My Work Mode as well as flexibility when it comes to work location.
- My Work Mode – our employees will be able to work full time from home, from the office, or a combination of the two. The exact mix of home and office work mode is a decision each employee and their manager make together.
- Location choices – we will also introduce more flexibility when it comes to what country and city each employee works from (with some limitations to address time zone difficulties, and regional entity laws in the initial rollout of this program). Here, our employees have the same “My Work Mode” flexibility, and if someone chooses a location that is not near a Spotify office, we will support them with a co-working space membership if they want to work from an office.
Having a flexible approach is a great advantage and jewel in our Talent Attraction crown, as we found with our global Flexible Public Holiday benefit that we launched 2017 and our Employee Incentive Mix, launched in 2019.
We also realise it’s likely to have an impact on our in-office culture, which we’re proud of but listening to our employees and embracing the need for change, and finding our way of making adaptations is definitely the way to continue to evolve our culture for the long-term. We will be sharing more about this as we go.
A flexible working culture is built on trust, communication, collaboration, and connection and acknowledging that we’re all individuals, with different needs and rituals gives us the right frame of mind to let go of a few chosen truths and instead find what’s right for our business and our people. We have considered labour law, tax and insurance readiness for our workforce to be ‘working from anywhere’ – whether that’s working from home, in a café, hotel lounge or a co-working space. And, not forgetting the investment required to make sure the safety and growth of our people.
Part of our DNA has always been controlled chaos. So, in the spirit of this, we’re trying this out knowing that there are likely to be some adjustments to make along the way. By experimenting and unlocking all talent we also enable diversity and inclusion, and making new jobs and markets available.