Flex drop 4/5

FlexAtThreads x ABW

The way of the flex

When we started our flexible working research, we realised early on that although the term flexible working was widely used, people were often talking about different types of flexibility. Everyone would say, “I’d like more flexibility” but could mean anything from the option to work remotely, the ability to choose their hours, all the way through to free doggy daycare. So we have to roll it back and put a line in the sand to say what flexible ways of working meant to US at Threads.

Do you Flex, Bro?

Are you ready….

We categorise flexibility as:

Where you work | Activity Led

Example: Location, i.e in-person onboarding or remote deep work

When you work | Client Led

Example: hours of work, internal or external clients, inc SLA’s

How you work | Culture Led

Example: Working styles and culture code

What you work on | OKR Led

Example: Company and team quarterly OKRs

Where you work

What is Activity-Based Working

Activity-based working (ABW) is a concept that links the main activity (or activities) of a role, and the optimum location for that activity to be completed within. The term can be applied to both the physical set up of Telephone house (activity-specific zones) and an individual’s location (activity-specific geographical location).

Why are we digging Activity-Based Working for Threads?

Repeat after us “Threads is very complex with many different departments, roles and teams that work on razor-sharp SLAs to keep us on point”. When we put together solutions for providing more flexibility, we wanted to give people the information they needed to work in the optimal location for their main activities, without feeling they had to ask to do so. We felt this supported our team members to have more control over their ways of working. In order to do this, we had to find a way that helped us to categorise multiple locations and activities without being overly prescriptive. Enter activity-based working!

The 90’s called; they want their desk jobs back

Sounds great, But what does this REALLY mean for me

We’ll be trialling activity-based working when we “go back”. Between now and then, your department heads will document all of the main activities your team completes, and where the optimal location is for these to be carried out. They’ll discuss this with you to get your feedback before we test the activities.

If you’re a Video Editor, for instance, you may have two main activities;

First Activity | Shoots — On set

Second Activity | Editing — Remote

If you’re shooting, you know you’re on set. When you’re not shooting, you can probably work better remotely. This ties in with our commitment to up to 60% remote work, as the other 40% would be on set.

What does it mean for the office?

Michael “Tinsel Time” Handley is figuring this out in Q2. Because we don’t know how teams/individuals will want to use the office until they start to do so, we can only make assumptions about what sort of set up is going to be useful. What we do know, is that we want to eventually pivot the office to a zoned model, where people can come in to do focus work, collaborative team sessions or Threads events.

Want to know more?

Look out for Kate’s IG video in the coming weeks which goes into more detail, and our sparkly new principles we designed to help us get to grips with the new ways of working.

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