Creating radical flexibility in the workplace can be a “win-win”

by Alison Michalk March 22, 2023

As discussions continue globally about the benefits of remote, hybrid and on-site working models, our experiences over the last couple of years at Quiip have strongly reaffirmed our commitment to a remote working model.

Quiip has always been a fully remote working team and, with a business which is now 12 years’ young, I was recently asked to share my learnings about successfully establishing a flexible workplace. And I don’t need much encouragement to do so!

As Quiip’s founder, I’ve seen first-hand how letting go of control, and instead fostering a culture of “radical flexibility” – with genuine anytime, anywhere work and transparent open-book leadership – creates a more effective team which is leaner, more collaborative and produces better business outcomes. 

Our remote working story 

When I started Quiip, I wanted to create a remote, distributed team because I wanted to create a great workplace. 

I’d already been running one of Australia’s largest online communities – Essential Baby – with a remote volunteer workforce of 25 people. I’d seen how well it worked, especially for those with a lot to juggle! Extrapolating that model to create a company was intuitive. I had also just given birth to my second child and commuting to an office made zero sense!

A decade on, and our commitment to a flexible workplace is strongly intertwined with our status as a certified B Corporation and belief in doing business in ways that value both people and the planet. 

Quiip’s team members are now located around Australia and overseas. With no shared office space, we are genuinely a fully remote team. We predominantly work asynchronously, prioritising online collaboration tools and with fewer meetings. 

Instead of boxing our work hours into a 9-to-5 day, 5 days per week, we aim to support our team members to work at times when it suits our clients, their customer bases, and individual lifestyle preferences, family, household and other commitments. 

Discovering the benefits of remote working 

In addition to flexible work hours for our team, some of the key benefits we’ve found for an all-remote business over the years include:

o   strong employee satisfaction and retention rates, year on year

o   attracting a highly experienced, skilled and empowered team 

o   minimising interruptions to workflow and excellent productivity 

o   avoidance of COVID-19 risks associated with a shared office environment and reduction in workplace contingencies 

o   a focus on continuous improvement in client and team communications

o   robust process documentation

o   no time spent commuting and avoidance of transport-related emissions

o   enabling team travel

o   staff working across different time zones and the ability to support clients 24/7

o   no owned or leased office space, associated costs and wastage

o   increased flexibility to scale the team

o   creating a workplace culture based on trust, respect and positive collaboration. 

Are all-remote workplaces the future of business?

Remote working clearly may not be suitable for all teams and at Quiip, we also highly value face-to-face interaction and any opportunities to bring our team together in-real-life. As a team of online community and social media managers, we are also able to leverage our group’s high-level communication skills.

However, I genuinely believe every organisation can learn more from its remote working experience, demonstrate trust in their team, and build a better, safer and stronger work environment. Creating a workplace that’s more inclusive, open and designed to meet employees’ needs is a fundamental part of becoming a trusted, customer-focused organisation.

For Quiip, a fully remote workplace remains the future for our business. I hope others will join us on the journey.

Discover the Quiip story, our journey to become a B Corp, and how we apply radical flexibility to our business operations by listening to my chat with Venessa Paech on the Community At Work podcast (under 60 minutes).