Why we introduced a hybrid model of flexible working at Wise

People

Covid-19 changed the game when it came to how we all work. Flexibility is now key when we’re looking to attract and retain the very best talent around the world. One of the ways we’ve switched things up is by giving our employees 90 days annually to work remotely from anywhere. 

Yep, anywhere. The initiative gives our employees the flexibility to work from home whilst having the ability to collaborate, create and push things forward together too. It’s the best of both worlds!

The way we work has changed

Covid-19 and its implications need no explanation: working from home has become the norm. Bedrooms have become offices while kitchens double as break out spaces and even as classrooms for homeschooling our children. So early in 2020, we started proactively thinking about what work would look like for employees as we eventually returned to a post-Covid world. We’re a team of 70+ nationalities so baking in flexibility to see family, live in a new city or travel is in our DNA, and we trust our team — we’ve been able to work efficiently and collaboratively all over the world. 

Remote team event on Zoom

Plus, by giving our employees clarity, they’re able to make longer term decisions about how and where they set up home. 

Our people need to work remotely for loads of reasons: staying with family during the pandemic, wanting to combine work and travel (one of our requests came from someone applying to work in the Seychelles!) and to give them more time with their loved ones. Our goal is to make living globally easier for our customers, so it makes sense that we make living globally easier for the people building Wise, too.

This meant that we needed to update our policies to reflect how we were all working. But, we didn’t want to lose what makes working at Wise so unique: the energy, the collaboration and the focus on our mission. 

We’re hiring. Check out our open roles.

So, when thinking about how to change our policies, we took three things into account:

Our customers always come first

Customer > team > ego. This is a core value at Wise and one we use to make decisions every day. When changing our workplace policies, we focused on how those decisions would result in the best customer experience and product. Our customers want a service that feels personalised and solves any problems fast, so our process has to keep them front of mind when we tweak anything.

Two people working together

 

Flexibility builds efficiency

When we surveyed our employees on how they want to be set up in the long term as we emerge from lockdowns and restrictions, the majority wanted flexibility. Flexibility to ditch the commute, to be around their families, to spend time with their loved ones anywhere in the world whilst collaborating and contributing to our mission. And we thought, why not? 

Face time has a place, too

The flexibility to work anywhere is one of our underlying principles but so is physical proximity to the work. Our employees like the balance of spending some time in the same location as their colleagues, at least part of the week.

And while remote working tools have improved, there’s still no replacement for brainstorming in a room with post-its and whiteboarding ideas. Being physically together helps us ideate better and move faster. When we take the time to get together and collaborate, magic happens. Anyone who’s ever been in the room during these sessions would agree!

Three team members chatting together in the office

The best of both worlds: a hybrid model of flexible working

So, with our mission of money without borders in mind, we came up with a hybrid model of flexible working to make sure our team is: 

  • Safe
  • Able to work from anywhere they need to be (compliant with any restrictions such as national lockdowns)
  • Adhering to local tax and immigration laws
  • Empowered to tap into the power of being together. 

This means two things:

  1. Employees can work remotely from anywhere in the world for 90 days a year: Yep, just about anywhere on the planet. By ‘remote,’ we don’t just mean from home. We mean from wherever in the world our employees choose. This gives them the flexibility to visit their families, or travel and experience living the way many of our customers do. And of course, use our product while they’re at it. 🙂 If you couple this with vacation time, you don’t need to be located in one place for up to 4.5 months out of the year.
  2. Employees can work from home up to three days a week: When surveyed, over 50% of employees stated that the ‘ideal amount’ of time in the office was 2-3 days a week. In fact, 87% of employees ranked ‘seeing my team and other colleagues’ as the number one reason they want to be collocated at least part of the workweek. 

Our hybrid model serves the international nature of our employees and the global mindset that’s allowed us to help over 9 million people all over the world.

Wise’s hybrid model serves for pandemic-times, but also reflects the reality of our international team when we’re back to ‘normal’. Building up this model has been a huge team effort and we believe it allows us to attract, hire and retain the best talent. And with the best people, we’re able to move faster towards delivering our mission for our customers, saving them over £1 billion a year.  

That mission stays the same whether you’re in Tallinn, London or the Seychelles!  

Interested? We’re hiring. Check out our open positions here.