The importance and benefits of a flexible work environment: an interview with our HR manager Anique Brandsma July 15, 2020

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How does the flexibility at Flow Pilots translate practically? 

We give our team the choice to work from home or our office in Antwerp. But giving a maximum of workdays at home, we ask everyone to come to the office at least twice a week. 
One day is mandatory, Friday = team day! We organise a variety of team activities, meetings, lunch etc. 
We work 8 hours a day, when you start, end and take your breaks depends on your own schedule.

What are the benefits of this flexibility?

A lot of us are living a high paced life and combine family/friends, sports, recreation and an interesting job. Working from home can be a solution to lower the pressure and to enhance motivation and concentration. There’s no travel time, there’s flexibility in your daily schedule and you have the possibility to work on moments that are best and most efficient. On top of that, there’s less disruption for a remote worker so they can work with an enhanced concentration. 

 

“The core of how we work is based on trust and responsibility.”

 

How do you prevent people from taking advantage of this flexibility?

We’ve been working remotely since the start of Flow Pilots. We keep close contact with each other via our chat, agenda and planning systems but more importantly, we have a way of working that is set up with remote working as default. These tools are very clear and insightful to see when and on what someone is working.  Straight forward agreements about availability are natural to us. The core of how we work is based on trust and responsibility. If on any occasion there would be uncertainty, we address this immediately and make sure things get cleared out and the course is adjusted.

 

Why is it so important for Flow Pilots to enhance this flexible mindset? 

We notice very clearly that our team members flourish in different settings. We want to make the most of this and see our team happy at work and at home. When you see you can contribute to the happiness of your team by enhancing working from home, at an office, in a hub somewhere else or a combination of these, the choice is easily made. Due to this flexibility, we attract developers from all around Flanders. 

 

“Feeling good in your job goes much further than what happens behind your office desk.”

 

How does this flexible mindset translate into other aspects of Flow Pilots? 

Because of this flexibility, we are very agile. For example, during the Covid-19 crisis, we were perfectly able to continue working with relatively small adaptations.  Our infrastructure and mind-set were already on point. We easily introduced online coffee chats and even our 1-2-1 sessions were successfully arranged online. 

A lot is possible because we are very transparent in our expectations and leave a lot of space to support the initiatives and needs of our team. For example, you’re able to drive from Ghent to Antwerp on times that suit you best, combine your dentist appointment with a working day. One of our colleagues is designing his own app next to his job at Flow Pilots. This entrepreneurial spirit and the development that goes into this project is very valuable to us as well. You want to attend JSCamp in Barcelona? Go for it! We even encourage you! Want to participate in a weekly podcast? Perfect, our CEO does it as well. 

A recent culture survey showed that Flow Pilots members really appreciate and value this open, flexible, involved and inspiring company culture. This culture is an incredibly important base for our developers to continue to develop themselves and to feel at home. So yes, working remotely is part of our company culture and natural to us.
But more than that, flexibility is a mindset that contributes to a happy and less stressful life. We value all aspects of your daily activities because happiness and feeling good in your job go much further than what happens behind your office desk.