Battle for talent: Fighting burnout, Americans are rethinking their 9-to-5

When a potential candidate interviews at Shopify for a role, they hear about the company’s work culture, benefits, and a pandemic-inspired offer: the ability to work anywhere in the world. world for 90 days, remotely.

Called Destination90, the program allows employees to work from any location, Shopify office or not, in any time zone, for 90 consecutive days. The company launched the program in August 2020, having permanently transitioned to a digital-first organization a few months prior, in May 2020. The idea was to give employees the option to spend the height of the pandemic where they felt the most. comfortable. It has remained so popular that it is now a standard employee benefit.

“We do most of our work remotely by leveraging digital collaboration, communication, and connection,” says Kimberley Mullins, director of talent development at Shopify. “It allowed us to create a universal experience that lets our employees decide where and how they work.”

Mullins says Destination90 benefits employees of all ages and life stages. She has seen team members explore their home country, experience life in a foreign destination before potentially moving there full-time, spend time with elderly parents and grandparents, including as caregivers, and generally living the digital nomad lifestyle.

Employees have traveled all over the world, including destinations such as Turkey, Brazil, France, Finland and Uruguay. The company shares employee stories of their experiences on LinkedIn and through an internal documentary series, Digital by design.

Mullins calls Shopify’s embrace of remote working “cutting-edge,” and the company is certainly trending. Not only is TikTok full of videos of people showing off how they work from anywhere, but a recent Microsoft study found that 80% of employees said they were just as or more productive since moving on. from a distance.

This same study noted that as people experience the benefits of flexible working, companies need to meet employees where they are. It also includes hybrid work models, a framework up 7% year over year, according to Microsoft research.

If people are not currently part of a flexible work environment, more often than not they consider changing to a job that offers it. The study showed that 52% of people plan to switch to full-time remote or hybrid work this year, opening the doors to an influx of resumes from companies like Spotify, Lyft, Twitter, Hubspot and Coinbase, which have all announced permanent remote and hybrid work options. In fact, CNBC reported that Spotify has offered to pay for a local coworking subscription if an employee moves to a spotless Spotify office area and, of course, wants office space.

The remote and hybrid work setup presents another benefit that today’s employees seek: balance in mental health and wellbeing. Employees can more easily head to their gym in the middle of the day, jotting down a swimming emoji on Slack, or take time out to celebrate a child’s last day of school with a pizza lunch before heading home at a desk.

WorkSpaces by Hilton combines remote offices with hotel amenities for a day that can start with coffee in the lobby and video conferencing in a distraction-free office, then end with a dip in the rooftop pool.

Courtesy of Hilton

Employees are also finding that vacations are more manageable with digital-only work, and hospitality companies like Hilton have responded by getting people online from their hotels and resorts. Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer at Hilton, says Hilton saw a 30% increase in guests booking extended stay rooms in 2021.

“[People] realized they could go to a beach in the winter and still have the same virtual background,” says Schuyler. “It strengthened a segment of customer travel beyond the traditional business travel schedule, mixing weekdays and weekends into what is more widely known today as ‘workcation’. .”

Schuyler explains that the work-plus-vacation setup was bolstered by their Global Travel Survey, which found that 40% of Americans would consider their summer a success if they spent a working day in a beach chair instead of a beach chair. a desk chair, and 81% wanted a successful work day to end by the pool or the beach. As guests seek to incorporate fun into the 9 to 5, Hilton has deployed creative solutions and experiences on the spot.

Hilton now offers a variety of amenities to what Schuyler called “bleisure” guests: beach palapas outfitted with laptop charging stations and cooling pads; dedicated office spaces with standing desks so clients don’t have to see their work in their suites; Wi-Fi blocking jackets for customers who wish to disconnect completely; digital detox morning routines that help clients disconnect and focus on health and wellness before the workday begins; rock-solid cocktail menus for sips during Zoom meetings; and extended stay offers that include up to a free week.

Schuyler says Hilton has also responded in more subtle ways, incorporating design details that promote relaxation, renewed energy and focus. For example, a property’s private office space may include a terrace for natural light during breaks from a computer screen and many properties incorporate healthier eating options, including the use of local and seasonal ingredients in restaurant menus.

“Travelers are looking for experiences that address their holistic well-being in more ways than one,” says Schuyler, also noting the company’s offering for non-guests: WorkSpaces by Hilton.

WorkSpaces by Hilton, launched in 2020, is a daily work-from-hotel fee for people looking for private office space close to home or another extended stay. It combines remote offices with hotel amenities for a day that can start with coffee in the lobby and video conferences in a distraction-free office, then end with a dip in the rooftop pool and beers from the brewery. internal.

According to Schuyler, the offer attracts entrepreneurs, small business owners and even employees of large companies, some of whom work from home and want to get out of the house for a day. (Let’s say, maybe those with kids.) As more companies have re-evaluated hybrid and remote working options, it’s seen more travelers using WorkSpaces.

A recent Microsoft study found that 80% of employees said they were just as or more productive since being remote.

Courtesy of Hilton

Personal benefit could be important for employees who take advantage of the ability to work from anywhere. Mullins says the different work environments encourage employees to “energize themselves and come to work with that inspiration,” and Schuyler notes that the workcations also allow individuals to learn about local communities and engage in career opportunities. volunteering. This leads to more comprehensive and diverse perspectives.

It offers employees the opportunity to participate in organizations such as Venture With Impact, a four-week co-working retreat that includes time for remote work in current employment with skills-based volunteer projects in destinations such as Chiang Mai, Thailand; Medellin, Colombia; and New Orleans, Louisiana; or Remote Year, a work and travel platform that facilitates trips around the world from a week to a year, with a strong donation component.

As Mullins says of travel for his Shopify colleagues: “We want people to expand their horizons in every way, and that includes exploring different corners of the globe. We believe these opportunities are important for our people to gain new perspectives, stay engaged and do their best.

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