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Introducing HyFlex: Answering Your Questions on PAN’s Return-to-Office Plan

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Author: Elizabeth Famiglietti, Chief People & Culture Officer at PAN Communications, headshot
Elizabeth FamigliettiChief People and Culture Officer
Introducing HyFlex: Answering Your Questions on PAN’s Return-to-Office Plan

You may have heard the buzz across our social channels or in conversation with your friends at PAN that come September, we’ll be implementing a HyFlex return-to-office. We’re excited to evolve our working model, and you can still count on PAN to be the people-first, fun and flexible culture that it was before. 

Interested in learning more? We’ve answered all your burning questions below:  

What is PAN’s HyFlex model? 

HYbrid workforce with the ultimate in FLEXibility! Welcome to PAN’s HyFlex! 

Come September 7thour employees will choose the work schedule that works best for them.  

We learned during the pandemic that our employees can be successful doing their jobs 100% remote. We also learned that many of our employees like the flexibility of being able to use what was previously their commute time to do other things both personally and professionally. We are still able to deliver exceptional results to our clients, at the same time giving people the ultimate in flexibility. 

We look forward to opening our US offices in September, and hopefully a bit earlier in the UK, and we are excited to be able to give our employees a HyFlex scheduleOver the coming weeks our employees will be selecting their schedules and we will be developing a plan to ensure ALL our employees continue to have a great experience no matter where they are sitting.  

PAN is Hiring: HyFlex return-to-office schedules

Why did PAN decide to move to this model? 

The pandemic has taught us many lessons. One of which is…life is short. So, when we were thrown into the massive experiment of all working from home, we realized we can service clients, build relationships, collaborate, celebrate, and have more time for ourselves by eliminating commute time. Fast forward to now, as we plan to safely open our offices, we wanted to give our employees the choice to come into the office full-time, part-time or stay a part of our virtual community. It is time to evolve the way businesses run and we are excited to be a part of the evolution. 

Giving our employees the choice to choose the schedule that works best for them seemed like the right approach. Listening to our employees and partnering with them to create the best workforce model led us to our decision to go HyFlex.

We also surveyed the organization. We asked our employees, “What is it that you want to do? How comfortable are you going to be coming back into an office? And post pandemic, what would your desire be?” We heard a lot of, “I want to come in, but I don’t want to come in full time. I still want the ability to be able to work from home and not have a commute and be able to drop off my children or be able to go to that exercise class,” or whatever the case may be. Giving our employees the choice to choose the schedule that works best for them seemed like the right approach. Listening to our employees and partnering with them to create the best workforce model led us to our decision to go HyFlex. 

Talent acquisition was a key driver in this decision as well. In 2020, we started to look for talent outside of where we have physical offices, it allowed us to attract really great talent. We have since built a good sized impressive virtual community. As we continue to grow and add to our talented team, we want to welcome employees not only to our 5 office locations but also, our PAN virtual community too. PAN’s culture was built by the employees, the relationships, the shared experiences, the teamwork. All that remains intact regardless of where you sit.  

We covered the advantages, but what are the disadvantages that PAN expects with this model? 

We’re looking to differentiate PAN. There are not a lot of companies that are giving ultimate flexibility to their employees and allowing them to pick and choose. HyFlex gives us an opportunity to stand out in front and be a little bit of a pioneer. Our employees will be selecting the schedule that works best for them and our only ask is that they stick to that schedule for the remainder of 2021 so we can better plan our in-office set up.  

The disadvantage is it’s something new for us. Any time you try something new, change is different. It just requires a little bit of an adjustment. But that’s why as a senior leadership team, we are spending a good amount of time at our mid-year strategy session talking through how do to evolve our communication practices, tech tools, management skills and overall rules of engagement. Our goal is to ensure everyone continues to stay engaged and has the best possible experience at PAN. 

How do we anticipate the in-office experience to change? 

It’s going to be an evolution, and it’s going to be a transition. We’re used to having full offices and we’re used to having communal spaces. We’re working hard to make sure that we get back to that as close as we can, with all the safety guidelines in place. We are excited about the in-office experience returning and our CEO is planning some fun celebrations for September in addition to celebrating with our Virtual Community as well.  

What steps are we taking to ensure our virtual community remains engaged? 

Right now, everyone is working the same way. Everyone is 100% virtual. When we go back in September, it’s truly a hybrid. We’ll have some people who are in the office part time, some people who are in the office full time, and some people that remain 100% virtual. It’s important to us that we continue to keep our virtual community engaged. We are being very intentional in our approach to this model and have appointed a great leader in our organization to dedicate her leadership time to our virtual community. Her focus will be on ensuring our virtual community continues to thrive in our HyFlex model. Communication is key! We are ONE PAN regardless of where you sit. That has always been our approach so building out this community is very exciting to us.  

We want to ensure that those who remain 100% remote have the same types of opportunities that people who are in-office will have.

We want to ensure that those who remain 100% remote have the same type of opportunities that people who are in office will have, whether that be training and development opportunities, travel opportunities, project opportunities, reward, and recognition opportunities. And the same thing from a social perspective. We’re in PR. It’s a very social organization, a very social industry. We’re going to look for ways to ensure that we give our virtual community those same types of opportunities to connect with one another, to be social, to learn more about each other and to give them opportunities to connect.  

We are already integrated by having cross office teams including bi-coastal and global so we are not new to managing a workforce that is distributed. However, having employees 100% virtual while having hybrid in office employees will be new and this is the key focus area our Virtual Community leader will be working on.  

How do we plan on staying true to our people-first culture? 

First and foremost, we’re continuing to stay close to how things are going. We’re a very transparent, open, honest, and collaborative organization. We will continue to solicit feedback from our employees: how are we doing, where are the bumps in the road, do you have the right collaboration tools, do you have the right setup at home/at work, etc. 

It is going to be an evolution. We don’t expect everything to be perfect, but we have a HyFlex planning team who meets regularly to assess how it’s going to roll. We’ll continue to stay true to what we believe: putting your people first, being open, honest, and collaborative, and getting feedback from employees to make necessary tweaks to ensure that everyone is having a great experience regardless of where you’re sitting.  

Have we piqued your interest? We’re hiring! Learn more about Life at PAN and see all our open careers here. 

Hear first-hand from some of our PAN workforce on what they’re most excited for with this upcoming HyFlex model:

See all #WeMoveCareers Spotlights here!

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