Most of our blogs focus on our customers, their needs and the products we bring to meet them. In a different way, so is this one. I am happy to share some new developments that are close to the heart of two of Service Objects’ core values, Corporate Conservation and providing a Fun and Healthy Workplace. Ultimately, these developments benefit our customers, our productivity, teamwork, and our planet.
A generation ago, work usually meant commuting to an office every day. Even well into the 21st century, in a world of connectivity and remote teams, many of us still “went to work” in some form or another. 2020 changed everything about the ways we work.
From a crisis to a new work model
COVID-19 quickly made it necessary to adopt a remote working model. More importantly, it showed many of us that working from home—or from anywhere—is here to stay.
Fortunately, we were well prepared for this crisis. As a mission-critical business that needs to be up and running 24/7, we had trained and planned for the need to operate offsite in response to any kind of disruption. So Service Objects’ employees took it in stride when we had to operate remotely due to the pandemic. Thankfully we operated very well during these challenging times, with no disruption to our services or the customer care that our culture revolves around.
As we move into mid-2021, we have recently begun re-opening our physical offices in Santa Barbara, California. This has been a very positive move: the majority of SOers (our term for our employees) really like our office, their colleagues, and the ability to collaborate and build community in person. We have, however, heard from many employees that they would prefer a hybrid model of working some days in the office and some remotely.
We have employees that would prefer not to be in an office at all, and some who face greater challenges working remotely and need some office space. With that, we are embracing a mixed work environment that will meet SOers wherever they are. We see a unique opportunity to acquire and retain great talent, build better teams, and establish stronger customer relationships by embracing the future of hybrid work.
Introducing ‘SO Ready’
At Service Objects, we believe the best work happens when SOers are free to choose the work environment that best suits their talents and needs. We’re committed to building a workplace that fosters work location alongside productivity. To support this, Service Objects is adopting a hybrid approach with a framework we’re calling SO Ready. Now, with SO Ready, the workplace is any place and every place.
At its simplest, SO Ready means most employees can choose where and how they want to work. SO Ready is a natural next step to support our belief that great things happen if we continue to bring in talented people who share our core values and empower them to do their best work.
Simply put, our new SO Ready workplace model benefits everyone involved in our community:
- It benefits our employees by offering them greater flexibility in how they work for us.
- It benefits you, our customers, by supporting both retention and recruitment as we seek diverse talent to serve our customers and strengthen the business.
- It also benefits our planet. Supporting the environment is a core principle of all of our business practices, and our new headquarters combines a smaller footprint with flexible working and meeting arrangements, as well as less commuting.
Finally, we are on the cutting edge of a rapidly growing trend: according to a recent study from Accenture, hybrid workplaces represent “the future of work,” with 83% of employees preferring this approach and 63% of high-growth businesses already adopting it. Born of necessity, this mixed framework for working is now serving as a model for many successful workplaces, now including ours.