Before participating in State Street's Flex Work Program, Betsy Moseley commuted 80 miles roundtrip five days a week to State Street in Quincy — spending close to two to three hours in her car each day. Now she spends those commuter hours in her home office where she works three days a week, and drives to work the other two days.
“The Flex program definitely makes me more productive,” she said. “Not commuting all those miles is a big weight off my shoulders — I have much more time to get my work done. I'll even work more hours in a given day because of the flexibility my schedule offers me. An hour I don’t sit in a car is an hour I can spend accomplishing something.”
When she heard about the Flex program in early 2010, Betsy asked her manager if she could participate. Since her primary role involves data analysis and building critical reports, working from home made sense for many reasons. She was immediately thrilled at how much she could accomplish at home without any interruptions. From her home office, she also participates in regular meetings and interacts with her colleagues via instant message, video chat and desktop sharing. “It's like you’re there in the same office,” she said.
In addition to being more productive and saving a significant amount of money on gas, Betsy cherishes the extra time she now has for her family and for herself. “When I spent all that time commuting, I used to squeeze personal errands into the weekend because I didn't have any time during the week,” she said. “With the flexibility I have now, I feel so much less stressed and much healthier.”
Chris Weir hasn’t had a desk at State Street since 2007.In his role leading the company’s IT Process Transformation program from Canada, Chris manages a team located in various markets throughout the world. Before flexible work options existed at State Street — and before remote access technology — Chris remembers eating a lot of dinners at work and going to the office on weekends to call up a document or fix a system. When he took his global role, Chris and his manager, who was located outside Canada, agreed that the location of his “office” didn’t affect his ability to be successful.
“I used to joke that my backpack computer is my office,” he said.
Chris’s participation in the Flex program has transformed the way he manages and the way his team’s work is done. From his home office, Chris is able to manage direct reports around the globe at all hours of the day, taking advantage of technology that makes it possible: remote access, instant messaging, screensharing and video conferencing, for example.
“To be successful in the Flex program, you have to change the way you think about managing staff,” he said. “Being in separate locations places greater emphasis on communication and helps foster an incredible trust in your team.”
Working from his home office also makes a world of difference in his personal life. Prior to participating in the program, he says that he could not imagine juggling his work, family and his children’s school events. In addition, having this type of flexibility allowed him to complete his Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.
“To me, work is what I do, not a place I go,” Chris said. “My participation in the Flex program is a complete win for both State Street and me.”
In March 2011, Jeff Hayhurst and his five team members gave up their assigned offices and desks to take part in State Street’s Flex program. Because they are responsible for managing more than 40 State Street offices and joint venture locations in the region, frequent travel is essential. When they are in their respective offices — whether it’s Sydney, Mumbai, Hong Kong or Hangzhou — they use State Street’s Flex Center spaces.
“Since we are in the office about two days a week, it made sense to free up our dedicated desks to help cut real estate costs,” Jeff said. “By using Flex Centers, we save about $100,000 a year and reduce our real estate footprint.”
Throughout the region and, in particular, Australia, Jeff has seen a growing interest in the company’s Flex program. As an advocate for the program, he encourages his colleagues to consider participating and holds active discussions with managers about the program’s work/life benefits.
“Giving employees the flexibility to manage their time and where they work makes for a more productive employee, and makes their jobs far more rewarding,” Jeff said. “It also makes the company an employer of choice.”