For more than a year now, the unexpected pandemic has made many companies reevaluate the way they conduct business while prioritizing their employees’ safety and well-being at the same time. As office environments were forced to shift to remote environments, some employers started looking at the benefits of establishing work-from-anywhere models that could cut down on costs while maintaining high productivity levels and ensuring employees were happy, healthy, and safe.
Net Health has been no exception.
Since September 2020, Net Health has incorporated a Work-From-Anywhere (WFA) model for all its 500-plus employees. We recently spoke to the company’s Human Resources Team including Linda Kricher, Chief HR Officer; Sarah Browning, Senior Manager of Corporate Recruiting; and Rachel Irwin, Corporate Recruiter about the outcomes they have seen resulting from this change.
How the WFA Transition Started
Due to COVID-19 altering the lives of people everywhere, as well as the nation’s workforce, Net Health realized it was hard for employees to be at the office. After several months of employees working remotely, the company then started to survey them and it became clear that, for the most part, people enjoyed working from home. Additionally, the company also noted that there was no negative impact on their clients or business with this new work setting.
Linda admits that Net Health wasted no time getting everything in order at the onset of the pandemic. “One of the things we had as an advantage when the pandemic happened is that we were pretty well-prepared. Most people had laptops. And we had things like Ring Central, Slack, and Boombox that really enabled us to just make the transition happen,” she said.
“It was hard to justify going back to the office,” added Sarah. “As we took stock on the kind of culture we wanted to be, it was a time when everything just aligned, and the transition felt right.”
What It’s Been Like Working Remotely
As a result of being able to work from anywhere, employees have relished the convenience of working from a comfortable environment, whether it’s their own backyard or bedroom. Single moms and dads, and parents alike, have been able to be home with their kids, and, in turn, be more present for them. For others, not having to fight traffic or endure a long commute to the office has also lowered stress levels.
It’s worth noting, though, that working from anywhere has come with its own set of adaptations and adjustments for some people. “Certain leaders who have not been in this remote environment before may have found that it was initially a challenge to wrap their heads around the fact that they can be just as productive working from home. But I feel like we’ve come a long way,” said Rachel.
Linda also believes that the WFA environment has been an opportunity for highly productive individuals to fully collaborate and engage with their team members. “Some managers may have had to adapt to a remote workforce and be more intentional about their communication and checking in with people,” she said. “Thankfully, though, for the most part, people have adapted and learned new skills.”
Company Culture and Diversity Matters
Just as important for Net Health has been fostering a culture and atmosphere where employees feel like they’re in this together. Through engaging Slack channels and Employee Resource Groups (ERG) – such as Net Healthy, the Black Experience Resource Group, the Working Moms Group, the Culture Club, and more – people have seized the opportunity to get together for fun, virtual activities as well as thought-provoking discussions on important, relevant topics.
Whether it’s a candidate in Oregon, Atlanta, or rural Pennsylvania, Net Health has also acquired talent from all parts of the country. “We are wide open to get talent from anywhere and make sure we have a diverse workforce,” remarked Sarah. “With qualified candidates, we can then provide them with the tools and resources and confidence to be successful in any environment.”
A Formula That Works
While it remains to be seen how much longer we’ll be in the thick of the ongoing pandemic, one thing is certain: Net Health’s work-from-anywhere environment is here to stay.
“It’s been over a year since we transitioned to working remotely, and our culture’s as strong as ever. It’s evolved some, but it’s as strong as ever, if not stronger,” said Linda. “Nothing is perfect, but it’s worked for us.”
And, as far as we’re concerned, we couldn’t agree more.