​As financial institutions and large technology firms the world over struggle with the issue of whether and how to get their staff back to the office, Quant has rethought the purpose of its office space with our values – particularly trust, adaptability, and respect – front of mind, writes Phil Ashton, our Chief HR Officer.

​The pandemic is thankfully now behind us. Yet, the major conversation around working patterns that it forced onto the table lingers, with firms of all sizes grappling with questions around the benefits of working remotely versus in-office collaboration.

​Some organisations have issued directives about returning to the office full-time or made the decision to revert to a set number of working days in the office every week.

​At Quant, we have been carefully considering our approach. The result being our new adaptable working framework. We introduced the framework in July, and it has been well-received internally – as well as attracting interest from other HR leaders and competitors.

​Whilst we have made the decision not to shift back to requiring a fixed number of days working from the office every week, we do wish to maximise the use of the investment in our fantastic Paddington office space and provide more opportunities for our team members to come together. We want to recognise that flexible working is not just a passing trend but a fundamental value that both individuals and collective Teams, place great value on. As Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom wrote in the Economist, most of us now value hybrid working as equivalent to an 8 per cent pay increase, with the “big two” US employment perks–pensions and health care–now becoming the “big three” with the addition of remote working.

Respecting individual needs
​At Quant, we recognise that each employee has unique work preferences and requirements. That’s why we have shaped our adaptable working framework around the concept of flexibility, allowing our team members to design their schedules according to their needs. Some of our roles, such as engineers, necessitate uninterrupted focus when creating code. For these individuals, the office becomes a valuable hub for collaboration rather than a place for individual work. By respecting these individual needs, we ensure that our employees can perform at their best, wherever they choose to work.

​Maximising office space
​Our fantastic office space is not just a physical location; it is a centre for connectivity and collaboration. We firmly believe that the purpose of the office goes beyond being a place for daily work. It is where the magic of teamwork happens. We now aim to make the most of this space by providing opportunities for team members to come together, connect and collaborate. By establishing a core number of ‘anchor days’ per month, we encourage meaningful in person collaboration that enhances creativity, problem-solving, and innovation whilst simultaneously fostering and developing social personal relationships.

​A customised approach
One size does not fit all. With diverse locations and contractual arrangements, it is impractical to have a single, homogeneous policy. That’s why the adaptable working framework is designed to be agile, considering the unique circumstances of our team members. We have grouped our workforce into three distinct groups with different guidelines tailored to their needs, ensuring fairness and transparency.

​The framework not only respects individual needs but also facilitates effective collaboration among team members. We encourage cross-functional team meetings to be scheduled when others are present in the office. This ensures that everyone can work together efficiently and contribute their expertise. By maintaining open communication and flexibility, we create an environment where face-to-face contact can be optimised and fruitful interactions can occur, leading to improved teamwork and collective achievements.

​We also wanted to recognise that flexibility and autonomy in choosing where and how work is performed have become essential elements for attracting and retaining top talent. By providing our employees with the freedom to balance their personal and professional lives, we demonstrate to them that their well-being and work-life balance matter to us. In turn, our employees are more engaged, motivated, and productive, leading to better outcomes for our organisation.

​Additionally, our approach allows us to tap into a truly global and diverse talent pool, expanding our access to diverse skills, perspectives, and experiences. This diversity fuels innovation and drives our organisation forward. By embracing an adaptable working culture, we position ourselves as a forward-thinking fintech company that understands and meets the needs of the evolving modern workforce.

​Quant’s adaptable working framework redefines the purpose of our office and creates an environment where our employees can thrive. By respecting individual needs, maximising our office space for collaboration, and implementing a customised and transparent approach, we foster a culture of trust, respect, and autonomy.

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“By respecting individual needs, maximising our office space for collaboration, and implementing a customised approach, we foster a culture of trust, respect, and autonomy.”

Phil Ashton
Chief HR Officer
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