The Key to Hybrid Work? Equity.

If companies want a successful hybrid work model, they have to make sure their in-person and virtual employees get everything they need.

Written by Avery Komlofske
Published on Aug. 10, 2022
The Key to Hybrid Work? Equity.
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At Remitly, a hybrid work model is a no-brainer — it helps the company reflect the population it serves.

“Our primary line of business is international remittances,” said Thaiz Chanman, Remitly’s vice president of human resources. “Many of our customers are immigrants who stay connected to their families digitally, and we connect digitally as a global company.” Due to their distributed workforce, Remitly’s team has a strengthened connection to their clients’ experiences.

The company also makes a concerted effort to treat their distributed teams with equity and empathy through company-wide meetings and dedicated support for work-life harmony.

“We’ve made a commitment to offer an inspiring, productive, inclusive and equitable experience for everyone on our team — no matter who you are, where you’re located or when you work,” said Chanman. As work needs and situations change, Remitly is prepared to change its strategies while still keeping inclusivity and humanity in mind.

Meanwhile, Convoy’s hybrid work model allows it to support employees outside of its Seattle and Atlanta hubs, expanding its reach across the country. This structural breadth is fitting, given that Convoy’s purpose is to grow sustainability in the freight industry — an industry that reaches across the United States. But even as the Convoy team grows more distributed, they, like Remitly, are focused on providing an equitable experience for all employees, regardless of their work model.

“We know that virtual and in-person models provide different experiences — and while all events cannot be equivalent for different participants, we’re committed to ensuring the employee experience can be equitable,” said Madison Kraus, Convoy’s director of recruiting.

Built In Seattle sat down with Chanman and Kraus to learn more about Remitly and Convoy’s hybrid work models, and how they aim to make everyone feel like part of the team.

 

Team members in the office having a video call with remote colleagues
Remitly

 

Thaiz Chanman
VP, Human Resources • Remitly

 

Tell us a little bit about your company’s hybrid remote work model.

At Remitly, we believe work is not the place you go. It’s what you do. Each of us works in our own way, so we default to our employees to choose between being office-based or fully distributed.

Office-based employees can choose to work from the office one to five days a week. A fully distributed employee works nearly exclusively from a home office or virtual location, with supported travel for in-person moments that matter two to four times per year. 

To deliver on this promise, we’re balancing time zones, cultural differences and communication modes for Remitly employees across the globe. We are being intentional about how we work together and experimenting to find long-term solutions. We’re also seeking to build employee experience through moments that matter, from an individual teammate finding work-life harmony to a team meeting regularly in-person, or through shared company rituals like company meetings.

 

What’s the greatest benefit your company has seen from transitioning to a hybrid remote model?

The shift to a hybrid work model serves as a tangible reminder that we are connected through our customers, mission and values — not our location. 

We believe that hybrid and remote work gives us the strategic benefit of customer empathy. Remote work allows us to hire top talent where they are and use their cultural experiences and expertise to support customers. This transformative change has put us further on the path toward becoming a truly global company, united by our shared purpose to transform the lives of immigrants and their families by providing the most trusted financial services on the planet.

The shift to a hybrid work model serves as a tangible reminder that we are connected through our customers, mission and values — not our location.”

 

What’s one challenge you’ve encountered while implementing a hybrid remote model, and how has your company overcome it?

In the old office model, employees had very similar work experiences — nearly everyone had the same desk, went into similar offices and worked roughly the same hours. Today, flexibility of when, where and how we work is the norm. Our individual work experiences are quite different, but we all need the same access to opportunity to excel, grow and contribute, whether we are hybrid or remote.

Managers are engaged with employees on adapting our culture and norms to our new reality. Most of us learned to work remotely during the early days of the pandemic, when work-life boundaries took a backseat because in-person connection to our communities was not available. To succeed in the future, we want to help our employees experiment with new hybrid work habits that connect them to their Remitly community, prevent burnout and help them practice work-life harmony. We’ve invested in inclusive engagement across the employee lifecycle — from onboarding to daily meeting practices to performance management. Our people leaders have led much of this change, and we’re excited to see the new world of work we craft together.

 

 

Madison Kraus
Director, Recruiting • Convoy

 

Tell us a little bit about your company’s hybrid remote work model. 

Convoy has no minimum days in office required at the company level. Each organization figures out what’s best for driving customer impact in terms of blending remote, hybrid and in-person meetings. When we gather together in person, we focus on creating in-person opportunities that provide for meaningful connections, collaboration, learning and a sense of community and belonging.

 

What’s the greatest benefit your company has seen from transitioning to a hybrid remote model? 

This looks differently across teams and individuals. Many employees have found they enjoy coming in 1-2 days a week to mix up their routine, while other teams have found they like to gather in person for specific meetings — like strategy planning and social events — on a quarterly or monthly basis.

We’ve seen Convoy employees adapt to hybrid work differently based on their roles, responsibilities and personal circumstances. Our hybrid working model has also allowed us to hire and support teammates outside of Seattle and Atlanta, which has brought new perspectives and skillsets into the organization.

Our biggest focus going forward is how to drive meaningful connection as our company grows and becomes more dispersed.”

 

What’s one challenge you’ve encountered while implementing a hybrid remote model, and how has your company overcome it?

Our biggest focus going forward is how to drive meaningful connection as our company grows and becomes more dispersed. We’re focused on maintaining a collaborative start-up culture, and we’re using a range of tools to do so.

Like other companies, we’re also testing and iterating as we experience true hybrid meetings and how to bring out the best in everyone.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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