Nosto’s Future of Work Policy: Providing flexible working options for all employees

Nosto’s Future of Work Policy: Providing flexible working options for all employees

At the start of the pandemic, Nosto – like many companies – quickly switched to a fully work-from-home arrangement, and soon witnessed the benefits and challenges that came with this. Better work-life balance was accompanied with feelings of isolation. Time saved from commuting came with decreased quality of coworker relationships. 

As we began to think about the future of Nosto and our working policies, we were faced with a question familiar to many other companies: what should our flexible working policy look like in a post-pandemic world? 

We debated three options:

  1. Return to our old policy (which did allow flexibility, but saw employees primarily work from the office full-time)
  2. Adapt a hybrid schedule that required employees to come in a certain number of days each week
  3. Have a fully remote team 

None of these seemed optimal. 

Although working from home wasn’t without pains, our team was flourishing with the flexibility it allowed. A strict hybrid schedule would create new problems of trying to track and enforce people coming in. And while being fully remote was being embraced by many companies, it wasn’t quite right for Nosto. 

Our culture is built on efficient collaboration digitally, and building friendships physically. We wanted to continue to have our offices available to our employees – a common space to share ideas, build rapport, and learn together. Our goal was to create a new policy that provided all Nostonians with a high degree of flexibility, while emphasizing our roots of innovating fearlessly and having fun—both best experienced in person.

After many hours of collaboration (both in person and remote!), Nosto’s Future of Work policy was rolled out in September 2022. And we’ve been thrilled to see the benefits it’s brought our team—including increased motivation (reported by 86.9% of employees) and improved work/life balance (reported by 78.5% of employees—an increase of 13.7% from 2022) to name a few.

So, what exactly does Nosto’s Future of Work policy look like? And how has it improved employee satisfaction?

We gave our employees the choice to work from home, work from an office, or enjoy a balance of the two

Firstly, our new policy doesn’t mandate that the team comes into an office a set number of days a week. We do, however, have physical spaces available for people to collaborate, and we encourage them to come in as often as they’d like. 

We’re “digital by default” meaning that all internal meetings will always have an option to join virtually. But it isn’t unusual for us to plan team meals and other in-office events to tempt people to come in!

To ensure our expectations were clearly outlined, we coined two categories that all Nostonians would fall into: 

  • “Working remotely”: for employees who were/are hired in  a location where there isn’t a Nosto office established.
  • “Working from home”: for employees who don’t need to be present in an office, but are situated within a commutable distance to a primary office location.

By asking “working from home” employees to remain within a commutable distance to a primary office, we offer the freedom to work from a location that is convenient for them, while ensuring it’s feasible for them to work at an office in person, or join team events as they choose.. 

Since formalizing this flexibility of working from home or from a Nosto office, we’ve found that our team is exercising their choice. The number of employees choosing an office as their primary work location has dropped from 54.7% (in 2022) to 29% (in 2023). Meanwhile, the number of employees choosing to work from an office daily has decreased by 3.2%, once a week by 3.8%, and once per month by 2.1%. 

And while we can see the majority of people now prefer to work primarily from their home, we’ve still seen an increase in the number of people choosing to work a hybrid schedule; employees choosing to come into the office several times a week has increased (from 33.1% to 37.8%), and 6.6% more employees are choosing to come in once per quarter. 

Crucially, 84.6% of employees have reported that they’re meeting with colleagues in person as frequently as they need. 

The goal of the policy is to allow for flexibility while encouraging collaboration and these findings confirm that our team is exercising that flexibility, and feel safe in deciding their own work location—knowing there won’t be a negative impact on their career path. 

We offer our team the option to work outside of the state/country of their primary location for up to 2 months a year  

When penning how our Future of Work policy could look, we also wanted to give employees the freedom to travel and work from different, pre-approved locations temporarily each year. So we introduced a Working Abroad Policy, that allows all Nostonians to work from almost anywhere in the world for up to two months per calendar year.

With dedicated Nosto offices across the globe—including Helsinki, Berlin, Salzburg, Kaunas, New York, London, Stockholm, Paris and Sydney—we, of course, welcome all team members to our international offices too. Experiencing different Nosto offices helps to build collaboration and team spirit that can be much better cultivated in person. 

We’ve been pleased to see a significant portion of the team making the most of this benefit. In 2023, 37.7% made use of the Working Abroad policy—an increase of 16.5% from 2022. And 24% took advantage of the opportunity to work from another Nosto office in 2023, which was 6.4% more than the previous year. 

We give team members the flexibility to set their own daily schedules 

Finally, we let our team manage their own schedules and adjust working hours to accommodate  personal commitments—without needing manager approval (such as running an errand during the day or starting later for a doctor’s appointment).

  • Team members are advised to communicate their daily schedules and any periods in which they’ll be unavailable to their own team, and anyone who might need them. We also recommend they update their calendars with daily start and end times for additional visibility. And have a Slack status updated when they are unavailable, with an expected return time.

Initially, 81% of employees reported that their overall satisfaction increased due to the ability to create their own schedules. And roughly a year since implementing this policy, satisfaction further increased to 86.3%.

This custom flexible working policy, centered on trust and personal responsibility, has enabled our team to work in a manner in which they are comfortable, which has increased their overall satisfaction. 71.3% of employees reported that they are less likely to look for a new job thanks to the flexibility offered by Nosto (an increase of 2.6%). 

Taking a unique approach to create frameworks for our team instead of following a rigid set of rules has been a real success for us. We will continue to review and make adjustments as possible so these flexible working guidelines stay relevant and meet the needs of our ever-evolving company. 

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