Hybrid work can be a polarizing topic.
On one hand, the nature of being sometimes in the office and sometimes remote is challenging. Many experience difficulty coordinating plans, communicating effectively and connecting with those who don’t have the same schedule.
On the other hand, an effective hybrid model helps create an engaging, supportive culture.
Center, with offices in Bellevue, Washington, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, has accomplished an effective hybrid model, according to Director of Sales Alexandra Petersen.
“It provides flexibility and a great work-life balance while driving efficient and effective work,” she explained.
Petersen noted that the design of the company’s new Minneapolis office, with its open floor plan and common spaces, makes it easy for employees to exchange ideas and have fun, whether that involves passing around a football or grabbing lunch together.
“The energy and collaboration that comes with being in person with your team is unmatched,” Petersen said.
While in-office attendance drives engagement, having the option to work from home is equally important. For Petersen, deciding when to work remotely allows her to stay productive and still make time for her favorite hobbies, such as playing a game of golf or grabbing dinner with friends.
In Petersen’s mind, Center’s hybrid model is a win-win for every employee, regardless of where they are in their career journey. Built In caught up with the sales leader to learn about how the company embraces both in-office and remote work, the most exciting elements of the new Minneapolis office and the perks of having a hybrid culture.
WHAT CENTER DOES
Center aims to shape the future of spend management. The company’s corporate card and integrated expense-management software enables businesses to monitor, audit and review expenses in real time.
Center believes in a hybrid approach that encourages a balance of remote work, in-office collaboration and culture building. The company greatly values the growth and energy that comes from being in person and also wants to provide all of our team members with greater flexibility.
“The company greatly values the growth and energy that comes from being in person and also wants to provide team members with flexibility.”
How often do employees go into the office?
I’m based in Minneapolis, and our policy is to be in the office at least six days per month if you live within a 40-mile radius. We have many employees who choose to come into the office three to five days per week. I personally go into the office two to three days per week.
Tell us about your new Minneapolis office. What are some of its exciting features?
It’s a beautiful, spacious environment with private cubicles that are conducive to focused work. The office also has an open floor plan with common spaces that make it easy to meet with peers or cross-functional partners. Of course, we always have a fridge full of tasty beverages and good snacks.
We’re a social and competitive group of people, so you can always find someone up for a game of darts, basketball or football. Also, our building offers a gym, coffee shop, grab-and-go lunch items and a full-service restaurant.
What do you consider the greatest aspects of both in-person and virtual work?
For younger professionals, being in the office makes it easier to build relationships with colleagues and interact more closely with leaders. Also, simply having the ability to turn around and ask someone a question rather than hop on a Zoom call makes work much simpler.
Personally, the biggest benefit of our flexible work model is the elimination of a five-day commute. This gives me so much more time in my day to be at home and spend time with my family and enjoy my hobbies, such as running, playing tennis or golf or grabbing dinner with friends, without having to sacrifice productivity. It’s also beneficial to have days with less interruption during the week to focus on key deliverables after time collaborating in-office.
Why is hybrid work the future of work?
For younger professionals who are just starting to build their careers, a hybrid model is often preferred as a desirable way to network, learn from other team members and build relationships. Everyone, regardless of their career stage, can benefit from having control over their workflow.
I personally couldn’t imagine going into an office five days per week again. Having the freedom to decide when I want to come in motivates me to take advantage of all that in-person work provides. I’m more productive when I get to create my own schedule and plan my week in advance.