No of staff: 12
Start year: 2003
Work area(s): provider of live streaming solutions online for TV and radio
From its inception, Octoshape has provided its staff members with free work hours and the opportunity to work from home.
“There is no control. We don’t feel it is necessary to ask people to turn up at 8am if they would rather arrive at 1pm”, says Ms Pernille Vestberg, Business Development Manager. Ms Vestberg is responsible for the HR division and is convinced that it is possible to effectively combine a flexible setting with professionalism at work.
“It doesn’t matter to our customers if you are programming in the morning or in the middle of the night. The question is rather that our developers do their work well, and that they feel fresh and invigorated to do this.”
Staff members are free to coordinate their working week and can schedule their time according to their own work rhythms and projects. In other words, they can come and go as they please. This flexible work setting, which is so important to the company and its employees, is the natural consequence of the company founders’ previous experiences in workplaces, where regular work hours limited their productivity. Such firms focused on the wrong thing: when you were working, rather than how well you were working.
Pernille Vestberg highlights the importance of management support:
“The CEOs’ encouragement of flexible hours is clearly very important. It makes it easier for people to accept that others arrive later than them. I think the biggest challenge for any company trying to implement this kind of flexibility is building a respect and acceptance that people have different arrival and leaving times.”
Trying to adjust to different conditions is something that Ms Vestberg knows only to well, having worked at companies with a fixed, 9-5 schedule:
“I can really tell the difference when I’ve had my full rest in the morning. I have more energy, I am happier, I can keep several balls in the air at one time and so on. Now I am always thinking, how lucky I am that I don’t have to meet at a certain time each day and very early too, as I had to before. I certainly wouldn’t be as fun to work with, and I wouldn’t be able to perform at my best, which is really important to me.”