Spotify Announces 'Work From Anywhere': How Does It Work?

Pim
Written by in Practices
- 3 min read

Spotify does it again! Once again, the music streaming service challenges conventional wisdom by allowing employees to work from anywhere. They are pro-actively turning the lessons of the pandemic into new ways of working. Here's how.

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Spotify recently announced big changes in their policies on working mode and location. They heeded lessons learned during the pandemic.

Now employees have even more freedom in deciding where to work.

How does it work?

Spotify's 6,500+ employees will be able to work from wherever they want. They can work from home, the office, a café, or anywhere they wish—or any combination of these.

There's just one guardrail: "The exact mix of home and office mode is a decision made jointly by each employee and their manager."

If employees want to move to another city or country, they can do that too. If there is no Spotify office in the vicinity, the company supplies membership of a co-working space.

And there's more.

They will continue to pay New York and San Francisco-level salaries (based on the job) to employees working remotely. That's significantly different to other tech giants who have talked about allowing remote work, but reduce salaries when employees move to locations with a lower cost of living.

“Most of our offices are in large cities like New York, London and Stockholm, but we know that moving to or staying in these cities isn’t always realistic for—or attractive to—potential employees,” said Travis Robinson, Spotify's head of diversity, inclusion and belonging.

“This is an opportunity to scrap the idea that big cities are the only places where meaningful work can happen, because we know first-hand that isn’t true. We want employees to come as they are, wherever they are and whatever their circumstances are” he said.

Cheers to that!

Beliefs

While this approach to increased flexibility is something to celebrate, what's even more beautiful than the practice itself are the beliefs and principles behind it. As Spotify states on its blog:

"Our beliefs are:

  • Work isn’t something you come to the office for, it’s something you do
  • Effectiveness can’t be measured by the number of hours people spend in an office – instead, giving people the freedom to choose where they work will boost effectiveness
  • Giving our people more flexibility will support better work-life balance and help tap into new talent pools while keeping our existing band members
  • Operating as a distributed organisation will produce better and more efficient ways of working through more intentional use of communication and collaboration practices, processes and tools."

A lesson in doing business in 2021.

Controlled chaos

Spotify has for years set itself apart by how they run their organization. In our visits some years ago, we got an exciting peak into their way of working, then.

It's great, now, to see how things are evolving, based on listening to employee needs.

"We also realise it’s likely to have an impact on our in-office culture, of which we’re proud. But listening to employees, embracing the need for change, and finding our way of making adaptations is definitely the way to continue to evolve our culture for the long-term."

"Part of our DNA has always been controlled chaos. So, in the spirit of this, we’re trying this out knowing that there are likely to be some adjustments to make along the way."

This experimentation based on the needs of employees is what Spotify does—and what sets them apart.

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