Advertisement
City

The Questionnaire: Tech leaders on their company’s post-pandemic plans

Plus the next big workplace trends and what they don’t miss about the Before Times

The Questionnaire: Tech leaders on their company's post-pandemic plans
Michele Romanow

CEO and co-founder, Clearco

What they do: Provide financing and financial services to tech startups Founded: 2015 HQ ’hood: Downtown Employees: More than 500

In-person, remote or hybrid? We have adopted a flexible work-from-home policy, but we also have a physical office for those who want to use it. One employee perk we introduced during the pandemic was… a $300 work-from-home stipend to help staff create a comfortable space. We also ran Clear Days last summer and fall, which gave employees one Friday off a month. Who doesn’t love a long weekend?

For our company, the pandemic was… scary and challenging. We had to throw the playbook out the window. We adapted, and we grew like crazy. We’re now valued at over $2 billion.

One thing I miss about pre-pandemic work is… the energy of late-night brainstorming sessions, where we place a big UberEats order and roll up our sleeves to solve really tough problems.

One thing I don’t miss about pre-pandemic work is… sad desk salads.

Preferred videoconferencing platform? Zoom.

Advertisement

The workplace trend that people haven’t caught onto yet is… more execution, fewer meetings.

By not commuting, I saved… probably an entire lifetime. I spent the extra time with my family, being outside and working out. Oh, and sleeping more!

My favourite place to work at home is… by a window overlooking nature.


The Questionnaire: Tech leaders on their company's post-pandemic plans
Jeanne Lam

President, Wattpad

What they do: Help aspiring authors reach readers directly Founded: 2006 HQ ’hood: Downtown Employees: 300

Advertisement

In-person, remote or hybrid? Once it’s safe, we’ll have a hybrid model with some employees working from home all the time and some employees coming into the office when it suits them.

One employee perk we introduced during the pandemic was… a $200 monthly allowance for transportation or home office expenses. We also increased other annual benefits, like $1,000 for psychotherapy and $700 for things like massages and home gyms.

For our company, the pandemic was… a driver of record-breaking growth and imagining new ways to connect.

One thing I miss about pre-pandemic work is… the rejuvenation that comes from connecting with co-workers in between meetings and work. Oh, and coffee not made by me.

One thing I don’t miss about pre-pandemic work is… the subway. Sorry, TTC. Thanks for the good times.

Advertisement

Preferred videoconferencing platform? This question is triggering.

The workplace trend that people haven’t caught onto yet is… I’m still waiting for someone to invent WFH snack carousels.

By not commuting, I saved… 70 minutes a day, which I spent working—and not on my tan.

My favourite place to work at home is… outside! I like joining meetings on my phone while walking around my neighbourhood.


The Questionnaire: Tech leaders on their company's post-pandemic plans
Kim Tabac

Chief people officer, League

Advertisement

What they do: Provide a platform that manages workplace health benefits Founded: 2014 HQ ’hood: King West Employees: More than 500

In-person, remote or hybrid? Nobody is required to show up at the office, but people can come in as often as they want. We also have WeWork passes.

One employee perk we introduced during the pandemic was… allowing staff to take home their monitors, office chairs and other equipment. New hires got money to set up home offices.

For our company, the pandemic was… enlightening. We didn’t pretend to have all the answers. Instead, we listened to our employees and ended up adopting new ways of supporting their health.

One thing I miss about pre-pandemic work is… things that used to annoy me most—like the coffee machine that was always broken, or the sparkling water tap that kept splashing me in the face.

Advertisement

One thing I don’t miss about pre-pandemic work is… the DVP.

Preferred videoconferencing platform? Zoom all the way.

The workplace trend that people haven’t caught onto yet is… Employees will choose to work the way they work best. If your company isn’t offering that, they’ll find it elsewhere.

By not commuting, I saved… two to three hours a day. I spent that extra time on my Peloton. I have an epic streak going and haven’t missed a day since the pandemic started.

My favourite place to work in my home is… my office, which allows me some physical separation between home life and work.

Advertisement

The Questionnaire: Tech leaders on their company's post-pandemic plans
Ashira Gobrin

Chief people and culture officer, Wave 

What they do: Provide financial services software to small businesses Founded: 2009 HQ ’hood: Leslieville Employees: 350

In-person, remote or hybrid? Fully remote work isn’t sustainable—humans aren’t made to function in isolation—but nobody wants to give up the flexibility. So we’re going to find a middle ground.

One employee perk we introduced during the pandemic was… an extra day tacked onto long weekends so our teams have more time to relax and recharge.

For our company, the pandemic was… an opportunity to focus on what is most important, like our customers and our employees’ work-life balance.

Advertisement

One thing I miss about pre-pandemic work is… the proximity to the people I care most about.

One thing I don’t miss about pre-pandemic work is… how much we took for granted.

Preferred videoconferencing platform? Zoom, but it doesn’t beat face to face.

The workplace trend that people haven’t caught onto yet is… returning to the office for a jolt of energy. It’s easy to forget how invigorating it is to be surrounded by people who inspire you rather than to be handcuffed to a desk at home all day.

By not commuting, I saved… 90 minutes a day. But a commute gives me space to mentally prepare for my day and wind down from it. When I don’t have that, I have to carve out time for reflection.

Advertisement

My favourite place to work in my home is… my office. It evolved over the pandemic and has become a mindful and creative place for me.

 

More on the Office of the Future

What should the post-pandemic workplace look like?
City

What should the post-pandemic workplace look like?

Shorter work weeks, VR meetups, wellness stipends, office-wide quiet time and other productivity-enhancing, morale-boosting perks

NEVER MISS A TORONTO LIFE STORY

Sign up for This City, our free newsletter about everything that matters right now in Toronto politics, sports, business, culture, society and more.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Big Stories