How CarGurus Makes Hybrid Work Successful for a Changing Team

CarGurus takes time to make sure the workplace is structured for success.

Written by Taylor Rose
Published on Nov. 10, 2023
How CarGurus Makes Hybrid Work Successful for a Changing Team
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Tech companies possess a standout advantage when it comes to hybrid work models — having well-oiled tech stacks and a supportive network makes for a smooth shift to and from the office.

With this seamless pivot comes immediate benefit. Things like a wider talent pool, more accessible working conditions, lower operational costs and happier employees are all advantages of hybrid work. 

Even better, the bulk of the workforce is in favor of some kind of flexible working model. For example, a July 2023 Bankrate Economic Indicator poll found that 64 percent of workers prefer fully to be remote and 68 percent prefer hybrid work, as opposed to fully in-person work. The study also found that 81 percent of respondents support a four-day workweek. 

Tech companies who wish to hire more women and younger employees should consider the demographic breakdown of those in favor of hybrid work. Bankrate found that three in four Gen Z workers, millennials and women are in favor of a hybrid work model. The company also noted that 92 percent of women working full-time are in favor of at least one flexible work option. 

Offering a hybrid work model allows many tech leaders to expand their hiring practices and meet the diverse needs of their teams. Built In spoke with Ryan Aghdam, director of software development engineering at CarGurus about how the eCommerce company makes hybrid work successful for its growing teams. 

 

Ryan Aghdam
Director of Software Development Engineering • CarGurus

CarGurus is an eCommerce company that is moving the entire car shopping process online and guiding customers through each step.

 

When did you introduce a hybrid work model?

We officially adopted our hybrid model in June 2022, as part of our official return to office plan. At the time, we set out to give employees the flexibility to which they’d become accustomed during the pandemic while recapturing the energy and spontaneity that made our in-office experience so valuable. 

 

How often do you ask that folks physically come into the office? 

We ask that people come in at least 40 percent of the time over the course of a month, though some opt to come in more often because they feel especially productive in our collaborative environment. By providing free lunch and covering commuting costs, CarGurus makes it a little easier when they do.

 

Team members confer in the office.
CarGurus

 

What makes your hybrid work model successful? 

The power of choice for individuals and teams is what makes the hybrid model successful here at CarGurus. Different things work for different people and teams.

Over time, each of my four teams has found the rhythm that works for them. We have found the right pace based on the type of work each team does, individual schedules and commutes, personal preferences and needs, and what types of problems need to be solved on a given day.

Of course, this level of flexibility would not be possible without trust. We build strong teams powered by good people who know they can depend on each other to get things done regardless of where they are working on a given day.

 

“We build strong teams powered by good people who know they can depend on each other to get things done.” 

 

What approach does your team use to help guide your hybrid work? 

While some teams set “anchor days” on which all team members meet in the office, others — including mine — tend to go with the flow of people’s schedules. An automated, recurring Slack message asks who is coming in the following day or week and people make their plans from there. 

Generally speaking, people opt to do “heads down” work — like writing code — from home. Most people choose to use in-office time for broader problem-solving and brainstorming with others. That said, we recognize that schedules change and stars don’t always align. That’s part of our flexibility too. Collaboration is always a Slack message or Google Meet away.

 

Read moreBehind the Build: CarGurus’ New ChatGPT Plugin

 

 

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

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