Location, Location, Location: Viget's Approach to Hybrid
A snapshot of how Viget is currently approaching remote vs. in-office work.
I started at Viget just a few weeks before March 2020. I was living in D.C., and I was really excited about going from my remote job to a job with an actual office (with a desk and ergonomic chair! A lunch table! The promise of productive water-cooler discussions!). My dream was realized, but short-lived, as the pandemic obviously forced most desk-working employees to their home offices.
Like every organization at that time, Viget had to adapt – luckily, we were well-positioned to do so, given Viget has been productive and collaborative across multiple offices (and a small remote contingent) for the majority of its history.
That being said, we had plenty to learn in a world that has only continued to change. I’m excited to take this opportunity to provide a snapshot of how we’re currently approaching remote vs. in-office work.
It’s now summer 2022. Within and outside of the tech industry, the prevailing attitudes towards both remote and in-office work have changed. At Viget, the attitude is intentional flexibility – allowing folks to choose what works best for their personal and professional lives (you might call this “hybrid”). We officially reopened our four offices in the spring, and are investing time and resources into making sure that they are engaging, productive, and enjoyable places to work. At the same time, about a quarter of Viget is now fully remote. (I myself relocated to Chicago last year.) As we expect that number to keep growing, Viget is committed to crafting an excellent employee experience for those of us in that group.
Viget is currently thinking about the different categories of our hybrid experience in three buckets: local, remote, and local/remote. It’s been helpful to understand and be able to easily reference which category folks are in, so that it’s easy to deliberately include the right people in important meetings/events and ensure every member of the team is well-connected to the appropriate resources.
Here are the categories defined:
Local team members are those that live less than 50 miles from one of our Viget offices (Falls Church, VA; Durham, NC; Boulder, CO; or Chattanooga, TN). Local employees have a permanent desk reserved for their use, and are included by default in activities like their office’s catered Free Lunch Friday (FLF) or in-person social events, like welcoming new teammates with after-work merriment. In the spring, we celebrated Walkable Wednesdays, where Viget treated the in-office crew to a mid-week coffee, snack, or lunch outing in their respective neighborhoods.
Our remote team members live outside the 50 mile radius of any Viget office, and as such work from their homes. These employees are included in events and initiatives that are remote-first, like our Remote Monthly Meeting. We also benefit from activities designed for hybrid engagement, like #GameNight or Walkable Wednesdays, where we participated at home by walking to get a local treat, compliments of Viget. Similarly, remote folks join FLF each week from home, and get their free lunch from a local spot of their choice. I love when people share their city’s delicacies (i.e., hoagies from our Philly contingent) in Slack.
This category is definitely the squishiest to define – largely, it describes team members who live less than 50 miles from a Viget office but prefer to be remote for any reason (e.g., commute, health). As such, they don’t have a permanent desk (but they’re always welcome in the office). We intentionally keep them in the loop for remote-first events and relevant in-person meetings or events.
All employees – regardless of if they live next to an office or 600 miles away – can expect to travel 2-4 times a year for in-person connection, whether it’s for TTT, our annual holiday party, or an annual review and in-person touchpoint with their manager.
This has been a great mix for us so far, as we have been able to accommodate folks like me who enjoy working at Viget but had to relocate due to *life*. As well, without strict geographical limitations we’ve been able to attract and hire new talented, fabulous teammates from all around the country.
All Viget employees are welcome to visit offices and enjoy the benefits of doing so: work spaces with an accessible combination of open seating, private nooks, and bookable private meeting rooms; a well-stocked pantry; and proximity to cool, local things. A couple months ago, I was able to stay with friends in the DC area and work at HQ for a week. I loved being able to go for a quick walk with coworkers to grab lunch and learn more about the projects they’re working on, and it was fabulous being able to turn around and ask somebody a quick question. When I’m working from home, I appreciate having a 30-second commute and long stretches of guaranteed focus time. And, of course, I appreciate the ability to wear my Viget-branded sweatpants when the Chicago weather demands extra coziness.
While the ‘future of work’ has in many ways settled a bit compared to the last two years, how we live and work will continue to change. Viget is committed to adapting and offering options that appeal to current and future employees. If our attitude around remote vs. in-office appeals to you, we’re hiring!