The Way Forward

Working Our Way

Our employees share their firsthand experiences with hybrid work.

August 20, 2021

Intereum's Evolution

Intereum is a dynamic, innovative, and flexible team. To provide the best support for our people, and inform our approach to modern workplaces, we have lived nearly every strategy at one point or another. Here is the timeline of our workplace evolution:

  • Pre-2019: Resident work model: everyone has assigned desks.
  • 2019: Free Address work model: workforce chooses where they work within the office on a given day.
  • 2021: Fully Hybrid work model: give full autonomy to employees to determine where they work day-to-day.

Our experience with various work strategies allows us to provide real value to our customers. We know how work works because we have lived it, and that insight allows us to confidently inform our clients' strategies.

Hybrid work is best supported by a workspace with a variety of settings.

Let's Talk Hybrid

The magic behind hybrid work is that it supports all types of workers. Our teams have been living hybrid work for several months now and are sharing their experiences to give you an inside peek at how 'Work Your Way' is going for them.

Resident Workers

Those who need to be in-office—whether it's essential to a role or individual preference—remain supported as resident workers. Our accounting team is a great example of this. The nature of their work, which includes handling sensitive information and documents, requires secure storage and technology that we can only provide in-office. This team has assigned workstations in a group to enable collaboration and support their storage needs.

Sherri Mazanyi, Senior Accountant, prefers the transition from home to work. For her, the office offers a quieter place to focus and has ergonomic tools that are essential to her productivity.

My day-to-day [as a hybrid worker] hasn't changed much, I still have my assigned station and can pop over the panels to chat with my team. But, it's nice to have the ability to work from home if I need to.

And Sherri isn't alone, for some (especially parents) working from home doesn't provide the quiet privacy that enables focus. Take Jessica Volkenant, Sales Manager, for example:

With lots of calls and meetings each day, coming into the office is refreshing. I prefer to see people in person and have a destination to get to take me out of my home environment. I can get more done and focus on work without simultaneously wearing my parenting hat.

For Rosie Kelly, Marketing Coordinator, the workplace supports collaboration in a way that cannot be replicated virtually.

Working in the office is energizing for me. Creativity is enhanced by those organic run-ins and the evolution of ideas that, I think, only happen in-person. It's just a different energy. You know those awkward video chat moments when someone accidentally cuts off someone else and then everyone stumbles past it because no one can read the social cadence? That's the biggest momentum killer.
Sherri works in her dedicated workstation at the office in a cluster with her team.

Hybrid Workers

We see most workers fall in the category of true hybrid worker. These individuals prefer to tailor their environment to their daily schedule. Have back-to-back phone calls and virtual meetings? They can opt to work from home for more privacy. But, if you have a project deadline looming and need to coordinate with your team, that's a perfect time to head into the office for in-person collaboration.

Amy Schlangen, Manager of the Walls team, focused on how she uses the flexibility to her advantage:

My favorite thing about hybrid work is the flexibility to blend my work and home life. I love being in the office to collaborate with team members and meet with clients in person, but also love the convenience of working from home and being able to throw a load of laundry in!

Outside of the individual benefits, Amy emphasizes the impact that Intereum's hybrid work policy has had on our company culture:

I've noticed that hybrid work has brought out a true desire in employees to be in the office to interact with coworkers, have meetings in-person, & collaborate, versus feeling like they have to be there.

Many of our hybrid teams have weekly team meetings in-office. This creates a built-in opportunity to connect and collaborate every week so that the team dynamic and culture can still thrive. Hunter Johnson, Territory Manager, agrees:

I'm seeing people starting to use the office as a tool. And, more importantly, it's become a gathering place for us to connect after such a long year apart.
Remote collaboration cannot replicate the energy and organic momentum of in-person collaboration.

Remote Workers

Remote workers tend to be most successful with more privacy and quiet in a controlled environment. The best thing companies can do to support these workers is give them the best technology and tools to make collaboration seamless across teams. The seemingly small benefits of working from home are a big game-changer for remote workers.

I like the ability to be home to cook myself a fresh lunch. I'm a huge foodie, so I love to have something fresh for most of my lunches.

Hunter Johnson, enjoys the ability to tap into his culinary skills while working remotely. Saving money on food and a commute is an added bonus to the flexibility of remote work. Small benefits like these add to employee wellness and job satisfaction - they can make all the difference. For others, working remote helps them make the most of business hours:

I love being able to start early at home to maximize my workday and I get more desk time by eliminating a commute!

Sarah Swanson, A+D Representative, leverages the ability to work at home to maximize her productivity. Her role requires so much running around, dedicated head's-down work time is hard for her to come by.

Brad Nemetz, Project Manager on our Walls team, highlights his favorite aspect of being able to work from home as needed:

My favorite thing about hybrid is the flexibility to work remote when needed and wearing sweatpants while working at home.

Because sometimes, the little things—like comfort—make the biggest difference in a day.

Tips for Success

It's also important that you have the right solutions and tools in place for workers to be successful. Hunter Johnson describes the importance of technology in his remote work experience:

The right technology and communication tools make it easy for me to connect with my team from anywhere. We use Teams to communicate daily and video conferencing for in-depth project discussions

Trust is essential to the success of a hybrid work model - leaders must trust that workers can succeed with more autonomy and it's important that workers can feel the confidence and support from leaders.

Jessica Volkenant, Sales Manager, emphasizes the impact this has made on company culture:

The trust our leaders have instilled in our people is important. The high level of communication around what is happening in the office creates excitement and the time we are together is intentional and collaborative.

Transparency provides the opportunity to discuss and address any concerns and help get buy-in across an organization. Companies adopt hybrid strategies for workers, it's important that they feel supported for the strategy to be successful.