When I founded 10up, building a remote company at scale was somewhat of a novelty. Our agency has been featured in case studies, books, ebooks, interviews, and articles about remote work culture, including a Forbes list of notable remote work companies. I have guest lectured at universities like Stanford and the University of Michigan on the subject. Where we were once early pioneers of a new model, companies around the globe have come to embrace remote work.
Now, more than 10 years in, we’re called to revisit how we think about remote work in the context of client service, continued pioneering of working models, and cultivating a happy, healthy, high-performing workplace.
For instance, one thing we’ve realized is that when you already work remotely or stay at home during time off, a day off doesn’t always feel like a day off. When your home and office are the same place, and “entering the office” is only few taps away on that computer in your pocket, finding a healthy work/life balance can be a challenge.
While evaluating potential improvements to the 10up workforce experience, we found ourselves asking, “Client service is our number one value — can we make meaningful changes for our team without diminishing our customer experience?”
Ultimately, we realized two things:
- The wellbeing, sustainability, and long term productivity of our team is at least as important to our clients as it is to us.
- Meaningful, impactful change can happen without disrupting the quality of service and craftsmanship our clients expect.
Focused & Flexible Fridays
This summer, we’re evolving Friday culture with a new series of programs — Focused & Flexible Fridays — that prioritize team health, focus, and greater balance in a way that we think will improve creativity, productivity, and effectiveness.
Our goals are to:
- Offer 10uppers more schedule flexibility and opportunities to take Fridays off without worrying about missing something important like a team meeting.
- Further help us attract, sustain, and support the best global talent in our space by continuing to adapt to evolving work / life balance needs.
- Create the space for focused, efficient, uninterrupted deep work that leads to better experiences and outcomes for clients.
Our efforts began years ago with the introduction of Focus Fridays — the avoidance of standing meetings and code deployments on Fridays — to give 10uppers the proven productivity (if not sanity!) benefits of a focused day “in the zone” of production.
We’ve now introduced Refocused Fridays — standardized, fully supported alternative, flexible, 4-day workweek options that enable 10uppers to frontload their time Mon-Thurs or choose a part-time schedule with Fridays off.
This summer, we’re evolving Friday culture once again with Refresh Fridays, which turns the third Friday of every month into a fully focused Friday — no interruptions or meetings, guidelines to minimize emails and Slack messages, and an intention to avoid any disruptive or especially stressful communication.
On Refresh Fridays, 10uppers can work whatever hours work best for them, and step away from the virtual office and screens on Friday once they’ve put their week’s work in. We think it will also be the perfect time to take that long weekend we all need from time to time, without the fear of missing out at the office or the emails and disruptions at your fingertips that can make it hard to really unplug.
Building A High-Performing Remote Work Culture
While we are setting some new expectations for the clients we serve — asking them to understand that we’ll be a bit less responsive on Fridays, avoiding nonessential deployments on Thursday evenings that might disrupt Friday, minimizing non-urgent disruptive communication — it doesn’t mean team members won’t be available. Coverage plans will be in place for any team members taking Friday(s) off, and of course, we will be available in the event of an emergency or urgent issue.
At the end of the day, we believe the kinds of clients that value what 10up brings to the table will understand and embrace the link between the service they want and the environment conducive to having a team that is more energized, focused, and productive. Heck, we think our clients might themselves appreciate a different kind of day to end their weeks, as well.
As I’ve said before, we expect that new work/life balance choices will play a big role in the next decade of work, and we want to be at the forefront — again. We hope these changes are just a beginning.
If you care about collaborating with a creative team that values work/life balance just as much as a smooth, uneventful platform migration, let’s talk about how we can support your digital initiatives.
If you want to work with a team that cares about your health and happiness as much as your skills and talent, come work with us.