The workplace is undergoing a real-time, radical transformation, which shows that no matter what happens in the future, work and everything that goes with it will never be the same. Although it was born out of necessity, the mass adoption of the remote working lifestyle in industries like ours demonstrates that we as a society are more capable of being productive, efficient, and empowered while working outside of the office than we ever knew was possible.
The rise of working remotely
The practice of remote work has historically varied across the globe, but it’s fascinating to see different cultures now embrace working from home, even when such a practice was not previously well-accepted. For instance, Japanese technology firm Fujitsu recently announced it would reduce office space and allow staff to work remotely, or from smaller satellite offices. This type of approach is very new for a Japanese company and indicates the widespread shifts we’re likely to see in the coming months.
At Criteo, while we’ve been in constant communication with our teams throughout the pandemic, we also ran a survey to check in with employees about how their work preferences may have shifted during this time. An amazing 91% of our 2,700-person workforce responded, showing how invested everyone is on this topic. 75% of respondents stated they want to work from home more than they did before COVID-19, and 93% would like us to consider expanding our existing flexible working approach after the pandemic is over. These learnings will continue to help us create the best possible working environment for our employees.
Our first priority continues to be the safety of our employees and our customers — and that is guiding every decision we’re making right now. For this reason, all Criteo employees worldwide can work from home for the remainder of 2020. For those employees who really cannot work from home we will partially re-open a number of our offices, with limited capacity and with safety measures in place.
Also, since there is still so much unknown about COVID-19, we will conduct all meetings, both internally and externally, virtually instead of face-to-face to protect our employees, customers, and suppliers. We realize that various countries, cities, and states are beginning to re-open, and while we greatly value seeing our co-workers, customers and suppliers in person, we need to ensure that everyone continues to stay safe.
Supporting and empowering employees
While many people may like the added flexibility of working from home, we recognize that it’s not ideal for everyone. Some face the very real challenges of working with limited space or adapting the home environment for both work and childcare purposes. Recognizing those challenges and supporting teams is crucial for any company leveraging a remote work plan. We continue to have ongoing conversations with our employees to optimize our policies to best support our team’s varying needs.
For many, the lack of a physical home and office barrier can make it difficult to switch off, so we encourage employees to have a balanced approach to how they work remotely. We’ve trained our people managers to establish clear expectations that, even if they are sending emails during nights and weekends, because that’s when their schedule allows, they don’t expect their teams to be responding during those times.
This helps keep our employees balanced and healthy, as well as supports their ability to provide the best possible service to our customers. We’ve also doubled down on more self-care for employees by providing enhanced access to online mental health resources and individual counseling, Zoom-based meditation sessions, and more frequent check-ins and career development discussions.
Helping marketers move forward
Aside from providing the best possible service to our clients, we’ll also continue to help marketers navigate shifting consumer and advertising trends through our unique research and analytics. Each week, our teams monitor and release the latest consumer trends across twenty countries to analyze the economic impact of coronavirus and what it means for consumers and marketers. We provide these insights in our Criteo Product Insights Finder – an interactive tool for marketers who want to see the latest ecommerce trends in one dashboard.
We also recently launched a consumer survey, asking more than 15,000 consumers worldwide how coronavirus has changed their lifestyles and buying habits. These insights are shared within a 2020 Rebound Report to help guide marketers on what’s important to their customers and better adapt their advertising strategies for the rest of the year.
Looking towards the future
When planning for both the short term and the long term, the common theme is flexibility. We need to be flexible ourselves, in order to adapt to shifting trends, but also provide that flexibility to our teams who need it to be more productive and balanced. Once the pandemic has subsided — hopefully in the not-so-distant future — we will be able to see our coworkers and customers in person, and we will be stronger for having mastered both in-office and at-home work.
In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and see you on Zoom.