“See you in a month!”
That was essentially the message doled out to the employees of Carpool, an internal communications agency in Bellevue, Wash. From July 5 through July 29, the entire Carpool workforce will no longer be coming to the office and will instead work remotely from home, or anywhere else they feel will help them be most productive.
As a company that embodies the principles of working out loud, using collaborative tools to communicate, and modernizing the way people work, this was the next logical step in the evolution of the modern workplace.
During the so-called “Office Anywhere” experiment, Carpool employees will spend little, if any, time in the Carpool offices, located in downtown Bellevue. Though this type of experiment might seem daunting to some, for Carpool it’s more of a sidestep than a pivot when it comes to the way we work. Carpool employees often work from home, using collaborative networks like Facebook at Work and Yammer to coordinate projects, pitch ideas, and stay on top of daily workflows. With Facebook at Work, for example, Carpool was able to successfully hire two account leads who are located thousands of miles away from our headquarters. Additionally, a longtime Carpool business lead recently moved cross-country to Atlanta, Ga., without any interruption to his output or ability to communicate with Washington-based team members.
Though some may balk the idea of a working environment without a physical office, working from home and offering a flexible environment have been show to:
Reduce commute times
Lower overhead costs
Produce happier employees
Strengthen retention rates
Bolster employees’ time with family
Help the environment
In fact, in an analysis of the effects of working from home, Stanford economics professor Nick Bloom found that workers were happier, more productive, and saved the company money. Recent trends in generous paid family leave policies among companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Netflix lend further evidence to the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely. And in a FlexJobs survey of 1,500 people, 82 percent of professionals said they would be more loyal if they were given more flexibility and 39 percent said they would even turn down a promotion or forego another job opportunity in favor of a flexible work space.
“We have used collaborative social networks—rather than email—to handle our daily communications for years,” said Carpool Founder Jarom Reid. “This has allowed us to do our work from literally anywhere and, actually, it’s helped us communicate better as a company and capture the smarts of our entire company organically. With employees who already work remotely from cities like Atlanta, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and the surrounding Seattle area, we foresee a reduction in the need for a physical work space for more successful businesses in the future.”
Carpool employees share a unified communications strategy that enables them to use various tools to work together in ways that are often more productive than face-to-face interactions. And Carpool’s ongoing adoption of video and live-stream broadcasts via Facebook has allowed for asynchronous communications in ways never before thought possible.
“As a remote employee, one of my favorite benefits of the collaborative tools Carpool has mastered is that I can absorb the culture of my company and the personalities of my coworkers in real-time, despite the fact that I’m located 1,000 miles away from the office,” said Account Director Katie Stout. “It is a groundbreaking method to bridge geographies.”
Founded in early 2010, Carpool is a boutique internal communications consulting agency that provides flexible development solutions and innovative strategy to small, medium, and large organizations. Everything Carpool does is designed to modernize the way people engage with content, technology, and each other.
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