Alex Triplett, CFO/COO at Appfire, joins the GrowCFO Show to discuss hybrid working and how to make it successful. Alex shares the culture and ways of working at Appfire and how the organisation embraces hybrid working as a core value.
Hybrid working for a finance function refers to a work arrangement that combines remote and in-office work for employees within the finance department of an organization. This approach allows employees to work from different locations, such as their homes or satellite offices, while also spending some time working from a central office location.
Key aspects of hybrid working for a finance function include:
- Flexibility: Employees have the flexibility to choose where they work, whether it’s at the office, at home, or another suitable location. This flexibility can help individuals balance their work and personal lives, potentially leading to increased job satisfaction and better mental well-being.
- Remote Work: Employees can perform their finance-related tasks remotely, using digital tools, cloud-based platforms, and communication technologies to collaborate with colleagues, complete financial analyses, prepare reports, and engage in virtual meetings.
- In-Office Collaboration: While remote work is a significant component of hybrid working, employees are expected to spend some time at the office. This time is usually dedicated to collaborative activities that benefit from face-to-face interactions, such as team meetings, brainstorming sessions, training, and certain complex financial discussions.
- Technology and Infrastructure: Organizations must provide the necessary technological infrastructure to support remote work for their finance teams. This includes secure access to financial systems, reliable communication tools, cybersecurity measures, and access to required data and documents.
- Performance Measurement: Managers often focus on measuring employees’ performance based on outcomes and deliverables rather than solely on the amount of time spent in the office. This shift towards outcome-based evaluation can promote accountability and results-oriented work.
- Communication and Collaboration: Hybrid working relies heavily on effective communication and collaboration tools to ensure that remote and in-office employees can work seamlessly together. Video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management tools keep everyone connected and informed.
- Work-Life Balance: Hybrid working can provide employees with a better work-life balance, as they have more control over their schedules and can avoid lengthy commutes. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout.
- Employee Preferences: Employee preferences for where and how they work are considered. Some individuals may thrive in a remote environment, while others may prefer the structure and social interactions of working in the office.
- Challenges and Considerations: Hybrid working also comes with challenges, such as maintaining a sense of team cohesion, managing communication gaps, and ensuring remote employees have equal access to opportunities and information.
In the context of the finance function, hybrid working can be particularly beneficial, as much of the work involves data analysis, report preparation, and financial modelling, which can be performed effectively using digital tools. However, it’s crucial for organizations to carefully plan and implement the hybrid work model to address potential challenges and ensure that the finance function continues to operate smoothly and efficiently.
Alex discussed his role as CFO and COO at AppFire, a fast-growing enterprise software company that provides next-generation apps to enhance platforms like Atlassian, Microsoft, and Salesforce. He emphasized the importance of culture and human connection in the company, which was a key factor in his decision to join.
Kevin and Alex discussed the topic of making hybrid working work. Alex shared that their organization has been hybrid since its inception, emphasizing flexibility and the importance of in-person interaction through hubs and department gatherings. They also mentioned their finance team’s global locations and the efforts to have virtual and in-person meetings for collaboration and connection.
Alex and Kevin discussed the flexible working approach in their organizations, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and output rather than fixed working hours. They agreed that allowing employees to work remotely and integrate work with personal life leads to better productivity and work-life balance.
Kevin and Alex discussed the challenges of working from home and the importance of balancing deep work and social interaction. They emphasized the need for varied meetings, regular one-on-ones, and in-person gatherings to foster collaboration and build relationships within the team.
Alex and Kevin discussed the costs and benefits of hybrid work, including the savings from not having offices in every location and the additional travel expenses. They also discussed the importance of intentionally building relationships and the value of in-person meetings and employee travel opportunities.
In the discussion, Kevin and Alex talked about the tools and strategies they used at Appfire to make hybrid work successful. They emphasized the importance of having a clear vision, understanding work patterns, and fostering a culture of collaboration and human connection.
Kevin and Alex discussed management techniques in a hybrid working environment, emphasizing the importance of paying attention to employees’ emotions and body language to gauge engagement and address issues early on. They also highlighted the significance of regular check-ins and open communication with team leaders to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of the entire team.
Alex’s background. (0:11)
Why did you decide to work at Appfire (2:18)
Flexibility in work. (7:39)
Collaboration in the office. (12:52)
What about the coffee machine or water cooler conversation (17:56)
The cost of doing hybrid work. (23:29)
How do you build a culture in your company? (27:53)
Management techniques for a hybrid model. (32:51)