Work Anywhere is About Trusting and Empowering Employees

Autonomy and Location Drive Innovation

Many companies are having a hard time with their remote work policies. An employee-centric mindset can change this. Just as we try to take the perspective of the customer when making decisions about products and services, we should use the same rigor and put ourselves in the employee’s shoes when developing policies that impact them.

At Veeva we put a lot of thought into developing the Work Anywhere policies we rolled out in September 2020. It started with the core belief that our people want to be productive for themselves, their teams, and their customers. We need to trust and empower them to decide how best to make that happen. Many of our approaches are grounded in the idea that employee autonomy is a key ingredient to engagement and innovation. We also believe innovation is fueled by increasing the diversity of thought from people with varied life experiences in diverse locations working together.

We considered how Work Anywhere can impact employees’ work and home lives and the importance of durable policies that provide stability and clarity and came up with these five main policies. They work for Veeva and you may find them useful to consider.

1. Work from Anywhere

Work from the office or from home on any given day.

It’s about getting the work done in the way and place that works best for each person. This company policy applies across all locations and departments. The exception is for ‘location workers’ like facilities staff who must be onsite to perform their work.

2. Work Anywhere Does Not Mean Live Anywhere

Product teams should live within two time zones of their development hub to facilitate collaboration.

Salespeople should be in the same region as the customers they support and visit. Sorry, no living in Hawaii if your customers are in Boston.

3. Change Location, Not Compensation

When an employee moves within a country it does not cause a change in salary.

Where you live impacts you and your family. Not knowing if your compensation will change if you move (and if so by how much) or if you will even keep your job can cause stress and uncertainty for everyone. We wanted to eliminate that.

Work at Veeva. Live where you want. Be productive.

4. All First-Class Citizens

There is no such thing as a ‘remote employee’ at Veeva. The term implies if you don’t work in an office you are somehow different.

We have specific Work Anywhere practices to ensure all employees are treated the same. For example, there is an imbalance and awkward dynamic for someone joining a meeting via Zoom or phone while everyone else is in a conference room together. So, our norm is, if one person is on Zoom, all join via Zoom from their own workspaces, that way everyone can engage equally, whether in the office or at home. Another example is our quarterly company call, which I have always held alone from my desk rather than in-person with a group in one office while the rest join via Zoom.

5. Invest in Offices as Hubs for Collaboration

With Work Anywhere our offices function as hubs to draw people in, create social bonds, and where random connections and mixing of ideas happen. We’re investing more in offices, culture, and offsite meetings, not less. Our new offices are smaller with layouts that facilitate connections and collaboration. We recently opened a development hub in Boston and now have 34 offices worldwide.

When we started down this path more than a year ago, there were many unknowns. But we knew we’d learn, adapt, and figure it out together. Thanks to the Veeva team for making Work Anywhere such a positive change.

Founder and CEO of Veeva. Advocate for corporate social responsibility.