When the first COVID-19 shutdowns roiled the globe, Absolunet’s Talent and Culture team got to work. They created focus groups and surveys to better understand our colleagues' needs. Four personas emerged.
The Absolunet team is no stranger to the concept of personas.
Our experts work with brands, distributors and retailers to create personas that will guide our clients' digital transformations. Recently, our colleagues and many other workers have themselves undergone a digital transformation:
- In the US, 40% of American workers, or 63 million people, were employed in occupations that potentially could be performed remotely (Pew Research Center).
- In Canada, at the beginning of 2021, 32% of Canadian employees aged 15 to 69 worked most of their hours from home, compared with 4% in 2016 (Statistics Canada).
- And in Ireland, “home-only telework rates” were high at 47% (The Irish Times).
In this widespread digital shift, it was fitting that the team used personas to better understand our new reality and to provide bold guidance on next steps.
The 4 personas that emerged from the focus groups:
The results of the survey highlighted a wide range of preferences.
The In-Person (5.2%)
5 days a week in the office
5.2% of our colleagues said they want to be back in the office 5 days a week. They want an assigned work space even if the rest or part of their team is remote.
The Free Spirit (28.6%)
2 to 3 days a week in the office
28.6% of our colleagues want a mix between telework and the office, dividing the week between home and office. They say this will depend on the season, their mood, the tasks, and the team. This Free Spirit persona isn’t interested in a fixed schedule. They will come into the office if needed and are willing to use a shared desk.
The Occasional (55.4%)
4 to 5 days WFH / 1 day a week from the office
55.4% of Absoluneters want to work from home 4-5 days a week and come to the office only one day. They want to be present for occasional in-person team meetings and company events. When present in our physical spaces, they will primarily be using meeting areas.
The Virtual (10.8%)
Work from a foreign country or 100% telework
10.8% of people want to be completely virtual, allowing them to work in a different geographical location. Or they might live down the street from the office but feel better and more productive at home.
Absolunet’s Next Steps
After completing the focus groups and the survey (with an 80% participation rate), it’s now up to the Absolunet team members to decide what they want.
Following all sanitary measures and government regulations, we are partially and then fully reopening our multiple offices. The spaces are being adapted to accommodate less fixed desks and more places to gather (like couches and conference rooms). We will have mobile screens so that the teammate who fits The Virtual persona can call in to collaborate with the In-Person.
Since starting Absolunet 22+ years ago, one of the leadership’s driving questions has been: “how do we create the best culture and environment for our people?” This adaptation and flexibility is part of that equation.
Things will change and the Absolunet team will be ready to adapt.