Even before COVID-19 changed our lives forever, Transpire embraced flexible working.
As a company founded around the idea that technology can improve our lives, we recognised early on the benefits of flexible work. Our people have the option to work from home or office and manage their hours in a way that balances their work and personal commitments, passions and interests. In 2022, as we emerge from lockdowns and closed borders, we’ve taken flexible work to the next level, with the introduction of our Work from Anywhere (WFA) guidelines.
Many of our team have family based interstate or overseas, which has made the past few years especially challenging. Additionally, we believe that more flexibility can further increase wellbeing, motivation and retention of the best talent. Transpire staff can apply to work from anywhere – away from their designated home office – for up to four weeks per year.
As you can imagine, this new approach to flexible work has been popular already! Many staff have taken the opportunity to travel while keeping up with their workload.
Mary hasn’t seen her family for three years, and the whole crew have made their way to Canada to welcome her sister’s baby.
“I am so glad I get to spend time with my pregnant sister. Although, one week in and I am already missing Melbourne coffee! My working hours here are 4pm-12am and it’s actually perfect for me. I am a night owl, I get to sleep in and spend half the day with my family before I start work”
For Josh, WFA meant he could go on an important family trip to Amsterdam and Spain, despite not having anywhere near enough leave for a multi-week Euro-trip. He said:
“It could’ve been a stressful time being overseas when you’re new and don’t have much leave, however having all our work in the cloud, plus the flexibility and faith from my team allowed me not just to work but also have a relaxing time away.”
The hot European summer wasn’t all good news, as his laptop overheated one day when working outside – a good reminder that working away from the trusty home office is not all smooth sailing. Most of us have become reliant on multiple screens when working, but travelling with spare monitors is not always feasible. For Lenna, who spent some time working in Thailand, this led to some crafty thinking:
“I used the tv monitor in one of the hotels as my second screen for a couple of days and then when I moved into our airbnb, I rented a computer monitor from a local student on the island!”
Reliability of power supply and internet was also an issue to contend with. After years of border closures, Rex was able to visit his family in the Philippines, and as an important side benefit – escape Melbourne winter! However power cuts in the area he was in made things challenging, meaning he had to rely on a portable wifi device.
And hours, of course, are an important consideration, with an important part of the guidelines being the need to work AEST hours, or as close as possible, to allow for the all important collaboration time and meetings. Working in Asia was relatively straightforward for Rex and Lenna, being only a few hours behind, but Canada and Spain presented bigger challenges for Josh and Mary, with many very early mornings and late nights.
For all the undoubted benefits, these stories highlight that working remotely does bring with it some challenges. Flexibility of location also requires flexibility of attitude and hours. We will continue to listen to our people and seek ways to provide an environment where personal lives, passions and wellbeing are all prioritised.