CEO of Beyond Matt Iliffe on reimagining work in a remote first world.
Design is about people. It always has been and always will be. That’s why our people and our culture are at the center of Beyond. The pandemic has created a new normal, where our people are working from home, collaborating and making work remotely. It begs the question, will we ever go back to how we worked pre-pandemic? For Beyond the answer is no.
We’ve seen the benefits of flexible working. Our people are thriving with less travel time, more flexibility, more heads down focus time with the option to meet up in person to collaborate.
It’s not just the pandemic that has contributed to the change, though there’s no doubt that people across the world who’d campaigned for flexible working - such as the working parents behind FlexAppeal in the UK - have seen their points proven over and again as many businesses have thrived remotely.
In the design and technology industry the best talent is now free to work for the best companies from around the world; those with caring responsibilities don’t have to compromise ambition because the playing field is levelled when offices are no longer tied to promotion; people with disabilities, both visible and invisible, can now perform best in an environment that suits them.
It’s far from perfect - there’s still inequalities sewn into the fabric of the system - but we’ve all taken a giant leap forwards.
At Beyond, we’re learning the lessons of the pandemic. We’ve learned to collaborate in different ways. Remote working means that we’ve all gained flexibility and time with our families; I’ve personally enjoyed traveling, working remotely and watching my kids compete in their sport. We have no intention of replacing that with mandatory office time. But we know there are pitfalls. We are creatures that need human interaction and we can no longer take that for granted.
We’re redesigning the future of work, and it’s human centered. It’s more fair. More sustainable. As a management team we are looking at new ways to structure our working days, bringing in more flexibility and benefits. We’re mindful of the importance of rituals and regular communication so everyone feels connected. We want to go further and help create a better future of work. We don’t have all the answers but we’re asking the questions as to how we best adapt and provide a great working experience that helps people feel proud of creating their best work.