A different way of working that makes more business sense
B Corp Patients Know Best reveal their secret recipe for creating a healthy, happy team
By Gurpreet Sarai, Head of Marketing and Communications at Patients Know Best
Advancements in software, technology and internet connectivity have given way to a different way of working which, for the first time, serves both the interests of employees and businesses.
Mobile phone contracts and high-speed 4G connectivity are widely accessible and affordable, creating unparalleled advantages for employees and businesses to truly embrace the benefits of remote working.
As a company that offers a global solution, Patients Know Best (PKB) employs staff from anywhere in the world. We have employees living in the UK, Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, Croatia and Poland, plus a few with no fixed location who enjoy the benefits of moving around.
Remote working gives our team the flexibility to work from any suitable location that they choose — whether that’s at home, from co-working spaces or even on the beach, as long as there’s a suitable wifi connection and no risk of sand clogging up the device — which has happened on the odd occasion! However, we all stay connected with tools like Slack and make the effort to re-group every couple of months as a ‘PKB family’ for a face-to-face company meeting.
Having no fixed office means that we can employ the very best people based on their skills and experience, without being confined by geography. This is essential if we are to meet our social mission to ensure that everyone has (a) access to their health information and (b) the chance to understand what this means for them, so they are empowered to make shared decisions about their own care.
This ambition can’t be accomplished without a team who really believe in what they do. We’re fortunate that every PKB team member truly values the social purpose of our company and the mission that we’re collectively working to achieve. We use this as motivation to get the job done every single day.
We are not bound by traditional work practices — by working flexibly, staff can manage personal commitments in conjunction with career aspirations, enabling both high achievement and a better work-life balance. There are several benefits to working in this way. It saves the company money, reduces our carbon footprint by limiting commutes and also enables people to live life the way they choose, without feeling restricted by their work. Time spent commuting is replaced by time spent with family and friends. This is the secret recipe for a happy, healthy team and great productivity.
We asked our team how this flexibility suits them:
Dave, Solutions Architect
Fully remote working has allowed me to pursue my passion for travel while continuing to grow professionally.
The work-life balance has been ideal as I’ve been able to visit 12 countries over the last 8 months. By working remotely and not spending my time commuting into work, my perspective on the world has continued to evolve. I believe that understanding different cultures and values is paramount to a peaceful and interconnected future.
Unfortunately this isn’t an option for most employees in other companies and, as a result, they must make a choice between either immersing themselves in other cultures and interests or pursuing a career. If this opportunity was more prevalent, I think the world would be a kinder and more understanding place for everyone.
My wife and I moved to the mountains of Andalucia 3 years ago to live a more sustainable life in greater connection with nature. Our plan is to create an eco-tourism project to share our vision with others, but it turns out that this is an expensive exercise…
The flexible work arrangement with PKB lets me balance the time and money requirements of our renovation in a way that would be completely impossible with a traditional job. As well as the positive social goals we work towards within PKB, they also help us enact our own bit of change for the future, outside the workplace!
I suffer from a damaged spinal cord which severely affects my mobility. Working for Patients Know Best, which embraces flexible and remote work, provides many benefits for someone in my situation. The first (and probably the most significant) advantage is not having to struggle with a daily commute, which can be both time consuming and tiring; in my previous role, my commute would take three hours per day!
This is quite liberating, meaning my energy can be applied to spending more time working and being able to commit more time to my personal needs. I also gain substantially from having freedom during the work day to do some necessary rehabilitation exercise, which helps to alleviate my health issue and promote wellbeing. Not working in a busy office with potential distractions also means I can focus more directly on work tasks.
Ruth, Product Development
I used to take four buses and two trains daily to get to work, spending over 4 hours a day commuting. Now that I am working remotely from home, I have those four hours of my day back to spend doing things I enjoy, like horse-riding.
To learn more about working at PKB, see our latest careers.
Patients Know Best is a founding B Corp in the UK, Social Enterprise and SaaS (Software as a Service). They operate a population health information exchange with patient control of data sharing. Patients Know best is designed for use by all health and social care organisations to provide integrated care and patient access to information across populations, regionally and nationally.
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