Three Takeaways from How HubSpot Employees Want to Work in 2022
By Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot
In 2021, many declared the office to be dead. On the other hand, some companies called employees back to the office full time. Truth is, people don’t thrive in extremes. They do their best when they have the flexibility to do so.
As part of our investment in a hybrid work model, we ask HubSpot employees each year to choose how they want to work based on three options:
- @office (you come into a HubSpot office 3 or more days per week)
- @flex (you come into a HubSpot office 2 or fewer days per week)
- @home (you work the majority of your time from home in a HubSpot-approved entity)
We recently shared the data with our company on how employees want to work in 2022: 52% of our employees prefer to work from home, 12% in the office, and 36% selected the @flex option.
While remote work may not be new for HubSpot, we’ve entered a new era. Remote employees make up the majority of our population and nearly every team is hybrid with 88% of HubSpotters choosing to work from home at least some of the time in 2022. These numbers aren’t necessarily unique to HubSpot or the pandemic. We continue to see research showing that the majority of employees want to continue working from home on a regular basis even post-COVID, so we can expect that this trend will continue.
Ultimately, our future of work selection survey data verifies that flexibility is still a top priority for HubSpotters everywhere. But, that’s not it. Here are a few other reflections I’m taking away from where HubSpot employees want to work in 2022:
1. We aren’t out of the woods yet.
To quote Taylor Swift’s eponymous song, we are still in the depths of a pandemic. Our data reflects the fact that the arrival of vaccines doesn’t temper the fact that people are still concerned about in-person experiences and events. And, after two years being remote, people are growing accustomed to working from home. But, this doesn’t mean we’ll go to one extreme or the other. Just as we shouldn’t rest on our laurels of a strong culture about the office, we can’t solely solve for virtual. Instead, we have to be open to new ways of thinking, doing, and leading to truly be successful. As part of that, in 2022, we’ll double down on providing flexible options for people based on preference, continue to listen to our employees to understand their concerns, and adjust our support based on their feedback.
2. Your zip code is no longer correlated to your growth opportunities.
Historically, there’s been a negative correlation between remote work and career growth. A survey by CNBC and SurveyMonkey found that 52% expect those who work in-person to have better career opportunities in the future than those who work remotely.
At HubSpot, our CEO works flex from San Francisco, our new Chief Product Officer works remotely from Seattle, our SVP of Marketing is remote in Ireland, meaning there isn’t a level ceiling for those who choose to work remotely or flex. In order to be a true hybrid company, there should be no career growth incentive for coming into a HubSpot office. With a distributed leadership team, we set a strong tone of equal opportunity from the start.
Opportunities in career growth, mentorship, and upskilling require a foundation of equality and inclusion. This year, we’re committing to spending more time on proximity bias education and analyzing promotion and new hire data by work preference to ensure we avoid biases in either hiring or promoting HubSpotters.
3. There’s a desire for more meaningful connections.
Hybrid work has made it difficult for people to connect and build meaningful relationships with colleagues. In fact, our 2022 Hybrid Work Report found that 40% of remote workers miss spontaneous, in-person connections with colleagues and 49% of in-office workers found staying motivated and connected with their team to be the biggest challenge. The idea of connecting has historically included in-person events, travel, and face time. There’s more we can do to enable employees to easily and comfortably build connections with each other. That’s why we’ll prioritize connection in three categories: serendipitous, local, and internet-based.
One of my favorite examples from the past year is from our Singapore team who developed virtual rows where the rows you would sit in in the office are mimicked in Slack, so you can still chat more with people about both work and non-work topics in smaller and more informal settings. I love that some of our best ideas are coming from teams trying things and seeing what works, and the Singapore virtual row Slack groups are a wonderful example of that.
As we enter the third year of a pandemic, we have an opportunity to build upon what the past two years have taught us: that work isn’t a place, it’s a thing you do. We may not have perfected how to run a hybrid company, but thanks to our employees’ feedback and vulnerability, we know a bit more about what HubSpotters need to do their best work in 2022 and beyond.