Freedom and flexibility have always been core tenets of the culture at Mavrck. These values hinge on a strict focus on the results of each team member’s work, not the activity to get there. This results-focused behavior that’s needed to support flexibility to the fullest is a key component of the “hustle” element of our “Curious Hustler” culture personification.
From Mavrck’s earliest days, we prioritized freedom and flexibility in three core ways:
- Freedom to operate – As an early stage team of four co-founders learning how to work closely with each other and discover product-market fit, we had to allow one another the freedom to execute on our roles as best as we could. Driven by our previous work experiences, we knew that environments with significant bureaucracy and an emphasis on micromanagement were not the building blocks of innovation and creative thinking. Freedom to follow our own paths to accomplish results while being accountable for our own work was paramount to our early stage progress. Additionally, we needed to ensure that we had the freedom to experiment within our roles. Whether this was exemplified by an intern managing our email marketing strategy or by our sales co-founder, it was essential to test and learn without concern or fear of failure. That freedom helped our company and team members grow rapidly while learning to fail quickly.
- Flexibility in work – We always believed in the importance in finding harmony between life and work. When work puts pressure on life’s priorities, resentment can develop or you can be distracted with the work at hand. In the early stages of Mavrck, we always supported our team members who needed flexibility in their day. When someone needed to take care of a car problem or had a home/family responsibility that required them to leave work early, we supported them knowing that each team member would still work hard to achieve their respective goals. If team members had an appointment and commuting into work would add too much inconvenience to their schedule, we would support remote work as long as this need was proactively communicated.
- Trust in one another – As an early team, we acknowledged that we were all at Mavrck to work toward the company’s success by finding product-market fit and proving value to our early customers. We needed to trust that we would all make the right decisions when it came to how we would balance our time and our schedule. If that meant that urgent items might need to be addressed off-hours or proposals might need to be worked on through the weekend, that balance of flexibility was important. With the autonomy on how to work came the autonomy and ownership on when to work. As a team, we trusted that we would all balance the priorities of our growing company with the needs of our own lives or personal time.
Now, as a scaling company, freedom and flexibility persists, but has evolved to take on additional meanings. Flexibility is put into practice in different ways for each one of us and that diversification grows as our company size grows. For example, Mavrck employees who have kids may need to adjust their schedule to accommodate time with their family. One of our team members, David, prioritizes dropping off and picking up his children from school some days and marks those times on his calendar throughout the day to be present for his family. Similarly, Andy schedules time on his calendar to ensure he is able to eat dinner with his family and protects that time from work commitments. Phoebe also has time blocked off on her calendar dedicated to getting her two children ready for school/daycare in the morning, and for dinner and bedtime in the evening before logging back on to work in the evenings after this family time. Even with these examples of parenting, we see flexibility embraced in different ways and recognize the importance of supporting it within our culture.
With the pandemic, 2020 certainly tested freedom and flexibility in an unexpected way for our company. While the value of flexibility that we established early on in our history supported team members who needed to work from home occasionally or who were based remotely, working remotely indefinitely due to the pandemic created a whole new meaning of flexible work hours within the company. We already had an understanding that people in meetings may not be in the same room together and we were well versed in how to proactively let team members know if certain hours of the day were blocked off for life events. However, the blurring of work and life that first occurred last year required further discipline around flexibility to ensure that work did not become life. As a company, we encouraged the team to lean into the flexibility – whether that meant a midday walk, some screen downtime or other ways to recharge – and to set aside appropriate time for that on their calendars.
With the entire company of 60+ employees working remotely over this past year, our collective empathy has increased when it comes to understanding the flexibility needed within each other’s personal lives and schedules. Putting a hold on your calendar for a morning run or trusting that your team member may sign off early to get back to the project after dinner with their family is as important as ever – but now we all have a heightened appreciation for it. As before, we each continue to focus on results and what we need to work to get done and by when, not how or when we do it. This particular emphasis enables our team members to have the freedom to balance their personal and professional worlds – and mental well-being – in a way that proves to be very rewarding.
If you have successfully implemented new policies and benefits for your employees, or are looking to do so, our People Experience team would love to connect and share ideas. Reach out to us at [email protected] so we can chat!