In a sign of what may be to come in the post-pandemic future, a local company is taking the lead on reopening and working from home.
Today, Addison-based digital experience and mobile experience studio Bottle Rocket announced the company would be permanently moving to a “work from wherever” model, allowing its employees to choose whether to set up their desk at the office or at the home.
Bottle Rocket was launched in 2008 and was acquired by WPP in 2013 for an undisclosed amount. Since its founding, the company has grown to more than 250 employees.
“This is not an iteration of our previous working style – it’s an all-new attitude and an all-new way to think and act,” said Bottle Rocket CEO Calvin Carter in a prepared statement. “We’ve tossed out all previous notions and are moving forward with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to our people and our craft.”
The move comes as many companies around the country are looking to balance employee safety with reopening and government regulations. The company said that despite its relatively quick transition to mandating working from, over the past couple months business has largely continued as usual, giving it time to develop new ways of communication and collaboration. In addition to balancing the personal needs of its employees.
Carter said he believes the new model will help Bottle Rocket attract future talent and retain current employees, by widening the area it can recruit from, as well as provide a better work-life balance.
However, this doesn’t mean that in-office work for Bottle Rocket is completely going away. The company acknowledged there will still be need for in-person meetings and collaboration. But it said it is working on developing and implementing new tools to integrate virtual work communication and company culture.
Across the country, tech and startup companies have been looking at how to balance reopening workplaces with employee safety. Some places like Twitter have announced similar permanent work from home options. Other places, like accelerators and coworking spaces, which use in-person interaction as part of their business model, are slowing starting to reopen with more virtual options and decreased capacities. Locally, Capital Factory in Austin began reopening with some new virus-monitoring tech and removed seating to aid with social distancing.
“Covid has accelerated existing trends in both consumer and employee behavior, thrusting us into our own future,” Carter said. “This is our new normal and brands must embrace digital as their future success depends on it.”