Currencycloud, an embedded cross-border solutions platform, has announced plans to invest £1.5 million on measures to embrace remote-first working across its business as it envisages life after the pandemic.
The policy marks a mindset shift, with remote work being assumed as the default going forward. Offices in prime locations such as London, New York, and Amsterdam will remain part of the footprint, however plan to be refurbished and optimised for relationship building and collaboration as opposed to siloed open-plan working. They will also be used at employees’ discretion, with no set quota of when employees are required to be in the office.
The company is spending almost half of the £1.5 million funding on the London and Cardiff offices to bring ‘collaboration to life’, replacing old desks with team-based workspaces and collaboration pods.
Mike Laven, CEO, Currencycloud, said: “We accepted immediately the shift to remote was a long-term change. Rather than resisting, we chose to embrace the opportunities we saw. While our focus has always been on employee safety and wellbeing first, we’ve found we’ve also been able to preserve the unique Currencycloud culture we value and maintain and even increase our productivity servicing clients in a remote environment.”
Support will continue to be provided to employees to enhance their home working experience. This includes a £500 stipend for all employees to go towards home-office equipment, shifting training online to platforms that support remote workforces such as LinkedIn Learning, and adopting Bonusly, an online peer recognition programme that is optimised for remote workforces and will make it easier for cross-team visibility. Currencycloud has also taken the unique initiative of offering all employees one day per month in addition to existing holiday entitlement to focus on mental health and wellbeing and switch off from work.
Barbera de Jong-Elder, Chief People Officer, commented: “For too long flexible working is just something that’s been paid lip service. We’re not just throwing our weight behind this approach in terms of policy but using this moment as an opportunity to reimagine the workplace, embracing the feedback from our people.
“Open-plan offices are an unhappy medium that neither best-served collaboration nor focused solo work. Our saying is you shouldn’t have to commute to compute, saving intense work for home and teamwork and group ideation for the office.”
The company is already seeing the results, with its employee net promoter score – a benchmark for employee satisfaction – doubling since the start of the pandemic.
“We believe that successful remote work is not just about maintaining productivity but our unique company culture which we value so much,” added Laven. “In an office environment, culture can be nurtured organically to a degree, but we’ve found we have to make a much more concerted effort to achieve this remotely. This is particularly true for a company like Currencycloud, where we have teams spread across different geographies and time zones.
“The key has been consistent communication – for example, running weekly virtual all-hands meetings for the entire company. However, we also believe it’s vital to not just discuss work and the pandemic but socialise and catch-up on other things that may have previously happened by the proverbial water cooler. When the lockdown first hit, I started doing fortnightly CEO sessions where people could ask literally anything – from the future direction of the company to what music I was listening to and what was in my fridge. Nothing was off-limits. We’ve also tried to continue to have fun and look after employee wellbeing, running virtual yoga, wellness and Pictionary sessions. One of our core values is to #BeHuman, which we’ve tried to embrace and stay true to. The key is that people always feel part of a team working towards a common goal, even while working at home.”