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NVE’s In-Person, Hybrid, and Remote Work Policy 2021-2022

  • Brett Hyman
  • June 30, 2021

In 2019, NVE introduced flexible PTO alongside a company-wide commitment to employee freedom and autonomy. We have been on an evergreen journey ever since, and we hope every employee feels empowered to make many of their own decisions about managing their work.

Adding more permanent freedom of “where you work” is another step in our commitment to autonomy. However, this concept comes with even greater considerations. No matter what one’s role is at NVE, your personal work style could impact others. What time you decide to work, which process you choose to follow, and how you communicate are all actions that will likely involve or affect others, especially if you collaborate on a team.

Therefore, we must align on a common foundation of principles about how we work together that sit alongside freedom of where we work together. Doing so will help us bring out the best in each other and unlock the best results. If we do this correctly, we hope to accomplish the following goals:

– Assemble a thriving NVE community that empowers our team members to become the best versions of themselves inside and outside work.

– Facilitate a culture of perpetual innovation and fearless ingenuity that fuels our creative engine.

– Establish a cadence of communication through which NVE team members can execute our work efficiently, eloquently, and flawlessly.

– Afford our team more autonomy and freedom that will connect their work to greater purpose and meaning.

– Widen our lens to include broader perspectives, ideas, and mindsets into every aspect of our agency.

– Create space and process to learn from experience and continuously optimize our practices.

Part I: The NVE Hybrid Work Policy – “Work from Anywhere”

Moving forward, our policy is that employees and their managers should be able to independently choose the best location from which to do their work. We believe that working from anywhere aligns with our commitment to trust our team members to make their own decisions about how they complete their work.

We also believe in the power of in-person connection. After all, it is one of our core services. Therefore, we expect to make periodic in-person connections amongst the NVE community a high priority in how we apply the “Work from Anywhere” policy in practice.

☝There are two caveats to our “Work from Anywhere” policy:

– Due to the nature of some of our service offerings, NVE’s business model will require us to maintain certain staffing levels in strategic locations. Therefore, we will be reviewing relocation requests on a case-by-case basis with the hope of approving the vast majority of them.

– Working from anywhere only works if you and your collaborators align with each other’s expectations on communication cadence, workflow process, and individual preferences. Therefore, we will provide you with tools to establish a foundation of understanding between each other.

NVE will maintain a tangible presence in Los Angeles, New York, and London. We intend for those cities to be the primary work “hubs” for most employees. We anticipate a majority of NVE employees will continue living within commuting distance (approximately < 100 miles) from these locations.

However, NVE will create a new hub designation known as “Remote.” Employees who wish to permanently relocate further than 100 miles from one of our city hubs may request Remote relocation and designate a non-hub-location as their primary place of work. All relocation requests must be approved by the employee’s department head and HR.

Managers who receive approval to the Remote office designation may be brought into a hub office once per quarter to meet with their team in person. NVE will cover these travel expenses.

Remaining in a Hub Office

Team members who do not apply for relocation will remain assigned to their current hub office and expected to join certain types of in-person work activities. They may be required to work onsite at live events or join an in-person brainstorm at the office. We expect employees to schedule these at least seven days in advance, but most instances will come with far more notice.

The bulk of our event production work will remain in person. We will need to maintain several local team members in these cities for those “moment’s notice” walkthroughs and site visits. Event production may include people from all departments. We also expect to maintain certain production team members who work remotely.

You are welcome to work from any location and any city you wish. However, you are expected to notify your manager and teammates any time you choose to work outside your hub city. Temporary relocations for more than (1) week must be approved in advance by your manager. We encourage managers to approve those requests as much as possible.

Part II: How We Will Work

Hybrid Work on Teams

As mentioned before, working from anywhere only works if you and your collaborators are aligned to each other’s expectations on communication cadence, workflow process, and individual preferences. Assuming that most teams will have some remote employees, every team will need to align. Therefore, NVE management will provide you with tools to establish a foundation of understanding between each other.

A Few Guidelines on Alignment:

– Learn the difference between asynchronous vs. synchronous work and align with your team members about how you will complete both.

– Reevaluate your meetings, know when to meet and when to “make it an email.”

– NVE management will continue to research best practices around productivity, work/life balance, and time management. We will distribute this content as ongoing training and learning.

Team Alignment

We suggest that you develop a “Team Charter” with your Pod or Project Team. A Team Charter is an ever-evolving document that acts as a blueprint or guide to how your team collaborates on their work.

Team Charters should include answers to the following prompts:

Our Team’s Purpose

– Members and their roles/responsibilities

– Our core values (how will we succeed)
Where will we work?

– The purpose of this alignment is for the team to preemptively agree upon a schedule and location cadence so team members can plan their lives accordingly.

– Important note: Assume all teams will have remote team members. All teams must allow for remote workers to feel equally included on the team. Any team member feeling excluded breaks the spirit of the “Work from Anywhere” policy, and changes will be made.

When will we work?

– What are our overlapping hours for synchronous work? (no more than 4 hours per day)

How will we work?

– What types of situations within our workflow will necessitate meetings?

– What types of situations within our workflow will not necessitate meetings?

– What will be our cadence of communication? (Zoom vs. Slack vs. Email)

How will we measure success?

In-Office Work

The purpose of NVE’s office spaces will be for team members to craft their individual relationships with them. We will ensure that all meeting spaces are outfitted with the best technology so remote colleagues can join.

Office Cadence: Your Options

– Semi-permanent regularly planned visits: Team members who elect to utilize an NVE office as a place to work 2x or more per week. We will work with these team members to establish a permanent desk location.

– Ad hoc visits: Team members who use the office for collaborative work sessions with their colleagues or ad hoc visits with their managers. These employees will not have dedicated desks but instead will be assigned a desk upon reservation. These team members will need to request access 24 hours in advance.

– Leadership: The NVE Executive Leadership team will maintain a regular “in-office” schedule of at least (4) days in the office per month to remain accessible to employees requesting in-person meetings.

– Hybrid meetings: When hosting a hybrid in-person and remote meeting, we encourage team members to practice mindful engagement so that remote attendees feel equally included in the conversation. If necessary, we will provide training for this.

Further Guidelines

We encourage employees that choose not to relocate to utilize the office in their hub city beginning on July 6.  While there is no in-office attendance requirement, some guidelines that may work for you:

– Try to set at least (2) in-person meetings with your manager per month

– Use the office as a change-of-scenery option from home, but put it on a regular schedule, so you actually do it (monthly, bi-weekly, etc.)

– Use a meeting room for an important client presentation (virtual or in-person)

– Try to set 1 meeting per project as an in-person meeting with a client (i.e., a kickoff, a meeting to present the final plan, a pre-event session)

– Book events in our event space

– Plan work “sprints” where (2) or more team members work closely in-office for a full day or two.

Brett Hyman
President, Founder & CEO
I founded NVE Experience Agency with the guiding principle: "The right moment will transform someone forever.” When I am not leading a team of cross-industry experts in delivering transformative experiences, I am striving to be a cultural champion, a thought leader, and a social advocate.