Like many companies before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Olive, a medical software company, had plans to build a new headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Today, however, the company is providing its employees with more work flexibility as they have the option to work from home.
Let’s take a deeper dive to explore how Olive operates in the new workplace and how the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic will impact how we all work.
From humble beginnings to workplace flexibility
Founded in 2012, Olive is a medical software company where employees can collaborate and create as they work on innovative projects and initiatives. By the end of 2019, the business doubled its number of employees to more than 200. As a result, Olive’s CEO Sean Lane decided to begin planning for a new HQ location to accommodate the influx of new employees. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit worldwide, however, plans changed.
The new workplace amid global pandemic involves the majority of employees working from home. Since March, the medical software company has decided to scrap ideas of a new HQ and allow employees to work wherever they feel the most productive instead — whether at home, at an existing office location, or anywhere else in the country. This work flexibility is a reality in the new workplace, and many companies like Olive are fully embracing it.
What is The Grid?
As employees work from home, Lane doesn’t want them to feel like this work flexibility is simply an exception given the current circumstances. As a result, he has strayed away from using terms like “work from home” or “remote work” when describing the current model that Olive employees work under.
Instead, Olive employees work “on the grid.” According to Lane, the only two statuses that workers have are: off the grid and on the grid. Off the grid means you are not working, whereas on the grid means you are working. Employees use this to distinguish between their hours and schedules at Olive.
Can employees really work from home in any city or town in the country?
At this medical software company, the answer is yes. The company provides its employees with exceptional work flexibility with the option to work from where they’d like and wherever they feel the most productive. Physical office locations around the country remain open in the case that employees feel they are the most effective working from an office, which is still an option for them in the new workplace.
Olive has its main hub in Columbus, which will likely remain its current office for the time being. Employees are welcome to work from there if they feel more productive working from an office environment instead of a home environment.
In addition to its main hub, there are also substations as part of the grid. The two main criteria for a substation are as follows: Substations must be wherever 10 Olive employees gather. Substations must also be near a customer site.
What are the security concerns with work flexibility?
When working from home, the human threat factor significantly decreases because there are no other people around. The risk from a physical security perspective also decreases as many companies work with a VPN, which allows them to create secure tunnels in virtually any wireless network.
As a result, employees can work from essentially any location, from a cafe to their home office, without getting hacked. VPNs make virtually any location as secure as the company’s office or HQ.
With work-from-home on the rise, how will salaries be impacted?
In many cases, total compensation and taxes have to do with an employee’s location. Using Facebook’s new policy as an example, employees must report where they live each year, and then their pay is adjusted accordingly. A low cost of living will effectively reduce an employee’s pay.
With this, questions of a national pay scale come into play. Businesses and employees wonder if one day, pay will be regardless of where an employee lives.
How have businesses changed their work models as a result of COVID-19?
In the new workplace, long gone are the days of tall skyscraper headquarters and large buildings housing many employees. Those who wish to stick to this kind of model are currently finding themselves at a standstill as they cannot bring any new employees on board until at least 2021.
All businesses must reconsider their working models to accommodate a wide-spread of employees across locations better and decrease the health risks and threats associated with COVID-19. This will help avoid clusters of groups in one place and promotes social distancing.
How to prepare your company for the new workplace
At Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we know it’s essential to stay on top of all the latest trends, tools, and technology. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our consulting services and how we can help you stay up-to-date on the new workplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic.