Why these Colorado startups don't believe in the 9-to-5

November 10, 2016

Whether it’s needing to work from home with a sick kid or hoping to leave early to get good seats at Red Rocks, all of us have dreamt of working outside the 9-to-5 at one point or another.

Fortunately, many startups have come to reject the 9-to-5 and have implemented flexible working policies, like flexible hours, the ability to work remotely and unlimited PTO.

And Coloradans know a little something about the value of flexible working hours — in fact, Flexjobs’ CEO and founder, Sara Sutton Fell, calls Boulder home.

“Studies have shown that people who work from home are at least as productive, if not more productive, than people who work from an office,” she said. “But productivity isn't limited to remote work. People with flexible schedules, who are able to work when it makes the most sense for them, are also more productive... Another benefit we've heard about from our partner companies is that, through flexible work, they can make sure talented, quality employees stay put.”

Here’s why these Colorado companies offer flexible working options for their employees — and how they pull it off.

 

Responses provided by Stefanie Stevens, Human Resources and Compliance

Why did you implement flexible work policies?

We’re super hands on and it’s a very collaborative workspace. But we understand life is life, and there are things outside of work. So we’re as flexible as possible as long as you’re getting the work done.

What role does your team play in the success of these policies?

The people we attract and the people we trust to hire and bring on board as part of our team are basically just people that are self-sufficient and have an intrinsic drive to do well. We don’t have any slackers — anybody who isn’t putting their best foot forward every day wouldn’t want to stay here anyway.

How do you hold people accountable?

We don’t need to be watching people or checking up on people or putting limits on time off because, generally, people are going to take advantage of what’s fair. You don’t want to leave anybody on your team stranded.

What’s the key to having successful flexible work policies?

Know what’s important to your employees and what’s going to help them succeed to get the job done. It’s not going to be the same for everybody.

 

Responses provided by Miranda Moore, Marketing and Public Relations Manager

Why did you implement flexible work policies?

Promoting work-life balance here is really important to everybody who’s part of this company. It’s what keeps employees happy. One of the most important parts of creating a positive work culture is having employees who look forward to coming into work every day. These policies make it so they can unplug and enjoy time with their families.

How do you hold people accountable?

Everybody holds themselves accountable to a standard where we expect them to get the work done as needed. We’re very attentive to the people we bring on staff here. As we’re going through the hiring process, we make it known that this is our policy, so we get a sense of the people we’re bringing in and whether we think they’ll be able to abide by these standards and hold themselves accountable.

How have the policies been received by your team?

These are policies we really take to heart and feel our staff enjoys and appreciates — it’s something we want to continue to offer.

 

Responses provided by Meghann Pricer-Smith, Director of Recruiting

Why did you implement flexible work policies?

The culture of Boulder's tech industry supports it. We're a tech-driven company. We're expected to work flexible hours to meet deadlines and release dates, so why would we track their time? We try to accommodate different people depending on where they are in their lives and offer the work-life balance they really want. It’s almost a culture that’s bred and expected in this area.

How did you create your policies?

Tons of research on how policy breeds a culture of trust and accountability. We want to attract and retain that type of talent.

How do you avoid abuse?

If somebody’s abusing that policy, they’re underperforming in other areas of the job as well — it’s a culture fit thing, and it shows they're not right for the team.

 

Photos provided by featured companies. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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