As we wrap up our first decade, we’re overwhelmed by our record-breaking revenue and headcount growth in 2019, which has bolstered our position as an industry leader. But we wouldn’t be able to solidify ourselves as the best in experience-driven, community-led, multi-Cloud solutions built on the Salesforce platform without the incredibly talented employees who have joined us on the mountain over the years.
We’re headquartered in Milwaukee, but 62% of our employees are remote workers spread throughout the country. All of our local employees are given the same flexibility to work from home or from the office as often as they choose. 7Summits has embraced its evolution into a virtual workplace, leveraging the benefits that remote working allows while instituting policies to minimize the potential drawbacks. This has enabled 7Summits to remain a premier destination for those looking to develop or continue a career in the Salesforce ecosystem.
As the calendar shifts to a new decade, the option to work remotely is almost a business imperative. More than 80% of job seekers say they would turn down a job if it didn’t offer flexible working policies such as telecommuting. 7Summits has prioritized developing an effective remote working strategy that handles virtual setups the right way to maximize benefits for both employees and the company.
There are numerous benefits for both parties when remote working is correctly managed, and 7Summits excels at adhering to the best practices for achieving positive results. It is important for companies to set clear expectations with workers regarding available hours and contact methods, and maintain regular communication between team members. 7Summits has multiple opportunities for these types of interactions to take place.
We have a standing company-wide meeting every Monday to share successes and goals across the organization. Additionally, each team holds weekly meetings where employees plan out projects’ next steps and voice their opinions in a conversational, collaborative environment. We also have an internal community called the Hive where employees can collaborate on projects, ask questions, post news and access knowledge articles and procedural documents. There are also various Slack channels for people to share shout outs, project updates and simply engage on a personal level with coworkers. 7Summits’ investment in reliable technology to facilitate audio and video phone calls also allows for more valuable communication between workers, instead of relying solely on emails.
Besides communication, many virtual workplaces struggle with creating a workplace culture that fosters collaboration and engagement. When you’re not in the same space as your colleagues and managers, it can be difficult to form relationships and connections with coworkers. 7Summits again leverages best practices to ensure that a strong workplace culture is not lost among a high number of remote employees. All of our meetings are run on Zoom, allowing people to have frequent face-to-face interactions with their peers. This includes making management and executives easily accessible to prevent people from feeling disconnected from leadership. Weekly 1-on-1s between all employees and their managers also ensure that 7Summits’ people establish relationships with their teams, even if they work exclusively remotely.
We also provide many opportunities for in-person meetings at 7Summits. Teams conduct client workshops and meetings on-site, giving them the chance to work with one another in person. Additionally, we host two team days a year in which we fly our entire staff to our Milwaukee headquarters for two days of training, collaboration and fun events. These types of efforts ensure that the culture we’ve built at 7Summits is continuously strengthened. By following many of these best practices, we ensure that the quality of our work and our culture remain high, and allow both 7Summits and our people to enjoy the numerous benefits of remote work.
By implementing a flexible remote policy, 7Summits has demonstrated a commitment to allowing our employees to take advantage of the benefits that virtual working affords. For starters, research has shown that remote workers are generally more productive than those who work exclusively in an office. This is due to people generally starting on time and not leaving early, while simultaneously avoiding in-office distractions. They also don’t have to sacrifice sick days or PTO for minor things like colds, and can instead accomplish all of their work from the comfort of home.
Allowing work-from-home options also allows our people to save time and money and maintain a better work/life balance. Telecommuting lets employees skip lengthy, stressful commutes that can include battling traffic, construction and bad weather. Simply avoiding driving cuts costs associated with gas, maintenance and parking, and gives workers hours back into their days to spend with family or tackling personal chores around the house. More time at home can help boost morale and keep employees happy, reducing stress and leading to better overall health.
The financial savings are also a major benefit to remote workers. Virtual employees save an average of $7,000 a year compared to their non-virtual counterparts, with those savings coming primarily from commuting costs, food and business clothes. While individual employees may receive other benefits by working from home, the positive effects on morale, time and finances help demonstrate 7Summits’ commitment to enhancing our employees’ experience with flexible virtual policies.
While our top priority remains our people, enabling a connected virtual workforce allows companies like 7Summits to reap benefits as well. The boost in productivity among employees helps our projects get completed quickly and more effectively. Higher morale and less stress around the office due to the flexibility to work from home at any time help further enhance our workplace culture. By offering our people the option to work where they’re most comfortable, we also hope to enhance the employer/employee relationship at 7Summits. When companies’ employees are happier, they are more likely to put in the additional effort to help the organization.
There are many other tangible benefits that offering a virtual work environment affords companies. For starters, there is a significant cost savings associated with flexible work-from-home plans. Employers saved an estimated $5 billion in 2018 directly related to remote working, like lower real estate costs due to needing less space and cheaper utilities and operational expenses. Talent recruitment is also enhanced by embracing virtual work, expanding candidate reach across generational and geographical boundaries. As future generations get accustomed to remote working, it is important to offer these options to set ourselves up for continued headcount growth well into the future. Additionally, 7Summits is able to hire incredibly talented people across the country instead of having to recruit exclusively near our Midwest headquarters. Finally, companies that offer work-from-home options tend to experience less attrition (up to a 50% decrease, in fact), as all of the benefits associated with remote working cause people to want to stay where they have that luxury.
Offering a flexible remote working policy has many positives for both employers and employees, and has become an increasingly important perk as company’s prepare for the future. 7Summits places a premium on fostering an engaged and accommodating work environment where people have the tools to succeed. By adhering to best practices and making a concerted effort to minimize potential drawbacks, we ensure our partially- and fully-remote employees get the full set of benefits that this flexibility affords.
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