At ITMAGINATION, we have long embraced hybrid working models, offering our team the flexibility to work from wherever they prefer while still being able to access the office when they needed or wanted to be there.
In March 2020 - March 12th to be precise, things changed - fast, and we moved to a 100% remote setup in the span of one business day.
Since that time, a lot has changed in the world, and this is especially true for technology companies such as ours. We have the privilege of being able to work remotely, without the need to be physically present in a specific place at a specific time.
With this privilege come many expectations, and we have seen a massive shift in the workforce due to this. Companies such as Salesforce, Coinbase, LinkedIn, Square, Spotify, and many more have committed to allowing a big portion of their employees to work remotely 100% of the time if they are interested, indefinitely.
A recent study by Microsoft found that “73% of employees want flexible remote work options to stay [in their jobs]”, which signals how important the availability of remote work is for the majority of people.
At ITMAGINATION, we definitely like to stay ahead of the curve ,however, more importantly, we want to adapt to what our team wants.
We are constantly checking in with our colleagues, and reaching out to understand their preferences, requirements, and what improvements we can make as a company. The latest and most important decision that we have made is to move to a remote-first setup, regardless of any easing of pandemic restrictions.
Three months after the start of lockdown last year, we asked our team about their preferences for the future, not knowing that it would be virtually impossible for more than a handful of people to work from the office for the next year at least.
We repeated this same survey in March 2021, and that cemented our decision to go fully remote, indefinitely.
In the span of less than a year, half of the team members who initially wanted to return to the office changed their perspective and voiced their opinion that they're not interested in being at the office full-time. This brought us to an overwhelming majority of 73% of people who were against, and 11% who didn't have a specific opinion, so the choice was clear - ITMAGINATION was to become a remote-first company.
"Our team guides our decisions" says Dawid Łażiński, Co-Founder and Board Member at ITMAGINATION. "We ultimately want to cater to their needs and preferences, and want to continue providing an environment where everyone's voice matters."
We understand that each of us has different needs, lifestyles, living conditions, and that means that flexibility is required.
Some of us might be working from a smaller apartment and need the office space to be able to focus. Others might enjoy working from the office a day or two per week to connect with team members and recharge through face-to-face interactions. We are not all the same, and we understand that and can see it through our survey results where only 57% of all team members would like a remote-only approach to work, with the rest preferring a hybrid or highly personalized approach.
This is why we are going remote-first rather than remote-only. What does this mean in reality? We will be primarily remote but still offer our team the chance to work from an office at any given time as it suits them.
This way we will still provide the necessary infrastructure for team members who prefer to work from the office - whether it’s one day a week, two days a week, or five days a week - while giving the people who want to work fully remotely the flexibility and infrastructure needed to work from wherever they want to easily and smoothly.
Again, we relied on our team's voice, and we could see that even though the majority did not want to go back full-time to the office, a much smaller percentage wanted 100% remote work, which gave us a signal that people want the freedom to be able to choose if they want to come for in-person meetings when they would like to recharge and reconnect, and work from wherever suits them best for the rest of the time.
Whether it's an interview, a technical assessment, contract negotiation & signing, or onboarding, we have it all covered. This past week, we celebrated 20 new team members joining us, onboarding fully virtually from all across Europe!
Of course, this boost in efficiency wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for our outstanding IT team, led by our Head of IT - Mateusz Głusiec, who were able to make the transition for the whole company within one business day! Mateusz walks us through the process and the most important considerations we kept in mind to ensure a smooth transition for both our team and our clients.
When we switched from primarily in-person to fully remote work last year, we had several key elements that our organization needed to meet to ensure a smooth transition for both the team members and the company itself.
1. Airtight Security
The most critical factor of going fully remote. This includes securing team members' workstations, ensuring the compliance of the operating systems, and encryption of media and data transmission by implementing DLP solutions.
This is a key aspect for our team members who can rest at ease that their equipment and data is secure, and a crucial point for our clients who can rest assured that their data is protected and that no sensitive information is shared with any 3rd parties.
2. Unparalleled System Performance
Our team has been working in a hybrid model for a long time, which has allowed us to scale our systems so that there are no bottlenecks.
3. Top Of The Line Hardware & Servicing
We provide our team members with state-of-the-art equipment that includes next-business-day support from the manufacturer, thanks to which we can repair the equipment at the team member’s home directly without sending it to the company's headquarters.
4. Optimized Logistics
When it comes to the process of sending and collecting equipment from team member, everything has changed here.
ITMAGINATION has introduced a new equipment shipment and collection process to make sure that team members have all the necessary tools for their work and on-time delivery. As an ITMAGINATION team member, you don’t need to leave your home for any equipment deliveries, upgrades, or replacements.
The main goal of these changes is to allow remote work in the same technological comfort as in the office, without any limitations on end-user support and excluding system performance difficulties.
ITMAGINATION pays special attention to the quality and safety of our work environment, and we were granted both the ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO/IEC:27001 (Information Security Management) certifications in 2020, and we have passed the most recent audit which extended the certificates for another year, confirming ITMAGINATION’s business maturity both operationally and technologically.
What are our plans for the future? For the foreseeable future, we will remain a remote-first company indefinitely.
However, in the same team-first spirit as before, we will continue to check in with our team periodically to assess our next steps and approach. Post-pandemic, we will possibly aim to have more in-person integrations and workshops based on feedback from many team members that they would like these activities to resume once it is safe to do so.