Blog Article

How Paystone Adopted a People First Return to Work Strategy

Author: Agata Zasada

It’s been a few weeks since I started at Paystone, and I’m excited to share some really cool and progressive things the company is doing, especially with the new normal each company is currently wrestling with. Before I move on, I want to recognize the leadership team for their ongoing dedication to our company, our people, and our industry. Their ethos and thinking was well underway in advance of me joining and their efforts have paved the way for our success.

We are a People First company, this is our strategy.

What is this "new normal"? Every company and hundreds of articles mention the “new normal” or “return to work” or “hybrid” models. Much of them are theoretical at best, and at worst, fail to serve the people who have been working endlessly for almost two years in suboptimal conditions. 


Why remote doesn’t work.

Going remote fully hasn’t been the choice of most companies in 2020, and there are some unfavourable outcomes, such as: no on the job training with new people, limited bonding and assimilation, and of course - very limited human contact.

On the other hand, forcing people into an office also doesn’t make sense. People have gotten some perks from being fully remote, like flexibility, sweat pants all the time, no commute, and I am sure so many more. Using force on employees is generally a bad idea. 

Which brings us to the most common option, Hybrid. But we’ve seen online (and I won’t link to those headlines) some backlash of going Hybrid. Some of them are more loose and flexible versus others, but ultimately you are still limiting your talent pool to be near your pre-pandemic locations. Or worse, you let people be fully remote, except your long standing employees? I know and I feel fortunate to not be in this situation, but what if you spent a fortune and even own office space, what now? Here is the thing, we’ve learned a lot through this pandemic, but what I think universally we have is that things are just that, things. Life is what matters, so put your people first. 


Now, about us. 

We are many things, but one thing we aren't is a conglomerate company that has entrenched ways of working, invested in assets like buildings or hardware technology such as smart boards. We are nimble, we are iterative, and we are curious. And with that, here is what we’ve designed with the intention to do just that; adapt as needed, tweak here and there, and listen to our people.

The People First strategy is location agnostic, which means we aren’t attached to any location or city. While we have locations that exist from pre-pandemic operations, they are now considered ‘hubs’ for those who want or need them. Our people can live anywhere within North American time zones, and if they want to be in an office, we’re offering access to hub office locations to fill those gaps. For those who prefer a hybrid, they can do that too. Ultimately, we’re designing all People Experiences to be as similar all the time, regardless of your location on any given day. So Town Hall for example will be a similar experience. Company events may not be a single location, but things to tie the ‘theme’ across them. 

Will this mean we won’t see each other? Of course not! We’ll have company-wide events in person. Again, with the People in mind as the focus. If someone can’t come or join, we’ll ensure they can have a similar (if not the same) experience being fully remote. That will include things like equal access to information and potential in-home similar experiences. 

The ultimate goal of our people first strategy is to give our team the option as individuals and as teams to choose whether they want to work fully remote, fully back to an office, or hybrid based on what makes them most productive. Even for the ones who like the hybrid option, it’s ultimately their choice of what days and times they would like to work from home or at one of our hubs based on what works best for their lifestyle. We will meet talent where talent is and enable our people to develop a lifestyle that suits them. 


How to make your own decision?

Reflection over the last while is key. While the world was in turmoil, did staying home come naturally to you, did you excel and be more productive, or did you sit there dreading each moment? Finding the balance between all the above questions is difficult. Here are some key questions to ask yourself to find a potential fit:

  • If I was forced to be in an office each day, what would my level of happiness on average be?
  • If I had no access to interact with people who aren’t in my natural line of work, would my level of morale suffer?
  • Do I struggle or excel with in-person interactions?
  • Do I find it difficult with too much time on a screen call like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft teams?
  • Do I have better or worse balance in a fully in-office environment or fully remote?
  • If I had a magic wand, what would the ideal feel and look like?

Ultimately, not all jobs, careers, and companies are perfect for everyone. If what I’ve shared here is of interest, check out our careers page and follow us on socials. We're hiring roughly 50 new incredible people to join our team before we hit 2022! Paystone believes the future of work is this, putting People First and going where the incredible people are, this is what will lead to even more engagement, further retention, and diversity.

Agata Zasada

Agata Zasada

With over 10 years of experience in HR, Agata thrives in high energy environments, loves a good challenge, values being mentored and mentoring and driving organizational impact. Her expertise is in leadership, employee relations, and strategy development and execution.