Flexibility and trust: fundamental aspects of GMV’s work models

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions implemented have forced many companies to make abrupt changes to their ways of working, with a need to reorganize around a totally different, unplanned format. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, results have been achieved during this period that would have been seen as unimaginable under any previous scenario.

Working remotely certainly affords employees some advantages. They are able to save time and money on commuting, and many also find it easier to concentrate when working from home. However, it has also become clear during this time that some essential elements have been lost, specifically those derived from interpersonal contact. This can have a negative effect on innovation and creativity, training, professional development, and the transfer of company culture and values. It can also make it more difficult to build and maintain connections.

By weighing the pros and cons of all of these aspects, and in view of the company’s guarantee of compliance with its commitments, GMV has now implemented a work model based on two fundamental elements: flexibility and trust. With this approach, priority is being placed on each supervisor’s authority and close working relationships with his or her team members, which clearly differentiates it from the models being defined at other companies. This represents a commitment to the future, in an effort to find the best fit between efficiency and productivity, team development, and a personal work-life balance. It is also a way to harness the advantages of both office and remote work.

Hybrid work models require a high capacity for work organization, from all personnel and their supervisors. They also require individual responsibility, to ensure that the activities assigned are properly performed, regardless of where they are taking place. This in turn requires a high level of trust, which is something that has been demonstrated throughout this turbulent period.

The other essential aspect is flexibility. The work performed at GMV is neither routine nor automated, and this means that needs can change depending on the tasks being performed at any given time. The periods during which teams are present on‑site should match these needs and also cater to the needs of each team member, which can be subject to changes as well. Combining these two elements requires great flexibility, understood in every sense of the word.

The person who plays the most important role in finding a balance between these two elements is the immediate supervisor, who has first-hand knowledge of the needs of each work activity, as well as the situations being experienced by his or her team members. Based upon this perspective, a hybrid work model is being defined, which as a reference combines approximately 60% on‑site work with coworkers and 40% remote work. The team supervisors are the ones responsible for organizing this allocation of time, in close coordination with their team members. The percentages cited above are given as guidelines, and they can be adapted depending on the needs of each activity.

The most essential aspect of the hybrid model is thinking about the reasons why it is important to go to the office, in order to differentiate between activities that can be performed more effectively with interpersonal contact (such as teaching and learning, creativity, managing critical situations, etc.) and those that are essentially individual in nature.

There are also other circumstances where this type of flexibility is not applicable, because of the need to use means and resources that cannot leave the facilities, whether these belong to the company itself or to third parties. For example, this includes those who perform their work using fixed infrastructures such as laboratories or hardware production tools, and those who rely on information with a certain confidentiality level that must be subject to strict security procedures. In cases where activities are performed on‑site, the company is establishing specific compensation mechanisms.

The model also includes a third situation for employees who submit a request to perform their work remotely because they have a personal interest in doing so. In most cases, this is because they have moved, or have plans to move, to a city other than the one where their workplace is located. These cases are being analyzed individually, because there is a need to verify the feasibility of this work model for each specific employment position, while also considering the implications it could have on each person’s team members, or even on their own professional development in the future.

Analysis of this model has involved participation by many people within the organization, to ensure that it can be applied in all of the company’s activity areas and geographic regions, in a manner that will allow the more than 2,500 employees at GMV to perform their work in accordance with the same basic systems. These models are now being gradually implemented at the company’s various offices, taking into account how the pandemic is developing in each location. So far, acceptance of this new approach has been very positive.

Multi-purpose spaces that promote a sense of belonging

These models bring with them a need to re-study the company’s use of spaces, infrastructures, and resources, to ensure that work can be performed effectively, while also maximizing productivity and efficiency. To do this, GMV is progressively remodeling its offices in a way that improves flexibility in terms of use of the workstations, to allow grouping of the various teams or portions of teams working on‑site at the offices. The spaces available for meetings are also being increased, both for scheduled in‑person meetings and for hybrid meetings, with spaces also being created for informal, unplanned meetings and for videoconferencing.

During this time period, investment in technologies for collaborative work, cloud services, and secure access has been another key aspect that has allowed remote work to be a successful experience for most people.

As explained by Ignacio Ramos, Chief People Strategy & Infrastructure Officer of GMV, “This is not about going back to where we were before the pandemic began, or about continuing to apply the measures we had to adopt in order to address it. Instead, it is about defining an advanced, flexible model as a commitment to the future, so that we can continue to ensure that GMV is a company that can respond to the market’s strictest demands, while also meeting the needs of our people, who are the essence of the company’s competitive advantage”.

More info:
Corporate Marketing and Communications
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Source URL: https://gmv.com/communication/press-room/press-releases/corporate/flexibility-and-trust-fundamental-aspects-gmvs