“I have never seen a company like this that cares – actually deeply – about the wellbeing of their team members.”
Over the past year, and in response to COVID, companies have begun to take a more human-centered approach to the way that they operate. One of these companies is Webflow, a visual web development platform that allows people to design, build, and launch completely custom websites without writing code.
Our team recently sat down with Angela Gaylor, Webflow’s Head of Team Engagement, to learn more about the company’s people-centered practices. The takeaways and can’t-miss excerpts from our conversation are shared below.
Employees are more than their job title.
COVID has made us realize that Joe from accounting is actually a father, husband, cat-lover and trivia master - he’s not just good with numbers. In other words, COVID has forced both employees and employers to recognize that people have other responsibilities and passions outside of work - and that that’s okay.
Employees are feeling more seen than ever before, and this recognition is leading them to feel closer to their colleagues, and more loyal and committed to the companies that they work for.
"Because of COVID, suddenly] everyone knew each other’s partners, roommates, and children – it was really different and very accepting. Everyone always said, ‘bring your full self to work,’ but really and truly, people now understand that there is more to you than your job and your spreadsheet…You now see this human side of everyone, you see those messy moments, you see that people are struggling, and now you know how to get behind them.”
Companies should be family-friendly.
Families (and even pets) are now being viewed as extensions of the workforce. They make appearances (both unexpected and expected) in team zoom calls, and are invited to company-wide, virtual activities.
Most recently, Webflow hosted a virtual Take Your Kids to Work Day which involved a comedy troupe, a family experience that companies would not have thought to host even a handful of years ago.
“I remember when I was little, it was a really big deal to go into the workplace with your parents. You would be told to sit there and be quiet. But now, it’s starting to be a different thing. It’s really been a wonderful shift.”
Flexibility is everything.
This past year has taught us that providing employees with flexibility is both entirely possible and absolutely necessary. While yes, some people do need to head into the office each-and-every day to do their job (and have been during COVID), the majority do not.
Flexibility was the primary theme in our conversation with Angela, who continuously reiterated Webflow’s commitment to trusting employees and providing them with choice. Webflow, in fact, is so passionate about flexible working, that its CEO even supports the digital nomad lifestyle. In his view, doing your work is all that matters, what doesn’t matter is where you do it from.
"Our founder is so forward thinking …he advocates for a global workforce. As long as you’re collaborating in the way that your team needs you to (and that will be different for every team)…you can be almost anywhere and working from any time zone. So, as we scale globally, that open mindedness is really, really prevalent and I think it will be an interesting adventure.”
Flexibility: It’s is a win-win.
Not only is providing employees with choice just the right thing to do, as its best for their wellbeing, but providing flexibility benefits the company as well. It keeps employees engaged, enables them to do their best work, and helps with the recruitment and retainment of top talent.
“You want to offer choice and the flexibility. Some people are like, ‘I work better in an office,’ and other people are like, ‘I work better from home,’ and other people are like, ‘I like doing a little bit of both’…I also think flexibility is a perk that top talent is looking for now. And you know, being rigid, or having a rigid mindset…I don’t think is the answer but providing them with choices and solid options is the key.”
For Webflow, this model has worked well. The company has experienced significant growth year-over-year both from the product and people side.
"We want everyone to feel like they're able to actually live their life and have a fulfilling career without having to choose between the two. Work is so much of your life; there is no reason it shouldn't be additive to your overall happiness."
Webflow’s people-centered approach to operating, paired with the company’s success, made us feel that this operational style really is the way of the future. After all, what is a company without its people?
Eager to learn about other company’s approaches to the workplace of the future? Don’t miss our previous conversations with: