Even before remote work was the standard, Plative has had a #WorkFromAnywhere policy that encourages our employees to set up shop from anywhere they can work effectively. This could be a local coffee shop, home office, or even a different city every month for Plativites who prefer the digital nomad life! We trust our people to do their best work, from anywhere. It’s that simple.
I sat down with a Plative Regional Vice President, George Shalhoub to learn more about how he is embracing a #WorkFromAnywhere lifestyle.
How have you embraced a #WorkFromAnywhere lifestyle?
If fully is an acceptable answer, let’s go with that. Back in January, I was ready to renew my lease in New York; I love my city. Then I thought, as Plative has grown I’ve spent many weeks on the west coast for business; going from the airport to meetings, to client dinners, on repeat until I’m back on a plane three days later with no time to explore the city. So when I decided I was going to travel around this year, I made Los Angeles, CA my first stop.
I’m actually writing this from a Venice Beach Airbnb I booked for two months. I drink coffee most mornings on the beach; walking through the water like I’m in a 90’s boy band music video. I do yoga on the beach at sunset and spend my weekends on my bike, riding 40-50 miles through Topanga Canyon. I still haven’t met Will Ferrell or Larry David, but I’m not giving up hope.
Most of my meetings are aligned with the east coast, so working those hours on the west coast has its pros and cons.
- Pros: Starting work early means I can wrap up around 3pm
- Cons: Since most of my team and client portfolio is on the east coast, sometimes I’m working from 5:30am – 7pm, putting in a 12-14 hour day
LA has been amazing, but after these few months, my journey will continue in Seattle, New Orleans, Chicago, Miami, and I’m sure some other stops along the way. It’s going to be an exciting year and I’m grateful that Plative gives me the freedom to be able to do it.
How has working from anywhere affected your quality of life?
After the year we all experienced in 2020, I needed to get away from the cooped-up feeling. I needed to move, explore, really anything other than continue working from the same apartment. I needed to change my perspective and break the poor work/life balance I had created during the last year. Most days I worked from 7am-7pm during the full lockdown. When sanctions were lifted I found myself doing much of the same, and that’s no way to live. While I care deeply about what we’re building here at Plative, if not done so in a sustainable way it will impact my performance at work and my personal happiness. Mostly, the ability to WFA has given me the chance to explore what lifestyle suits me best and which lifestyle makes me the best version of myself at work and outside of work. #WorkFromAnywhere gives me a choice in the lifestyle I want to live, and if I don’t like a current/future one, I can change it just as quickly.
Do you feel trusted to work from anywhere?
Absolutely. Being trusted to work from anywhere starts with the individual deciding to take us up on the offer (or in this case myself). When I knew I wanted to take this year to travel, I quickly told my boss. He was all for it but explained there would be some personal considerations. For example, we have leadership meetings at 8:30am EST because that’s the best time for India, Manilla, New York, and California together, so I had to know going into it that I would have some 5:30am PST meetings.
Are they brutal? Yes. Is it worth it when I’m done with work at 2-3pm? Also yes.
I knew if I were to be consistently late to those meetings or skip my job responsibilities, I’d erode some of the trust that I started off with. I feel 100% trusted because we’ve set up an environment built on trust. People, process, and systems – we preach it all the time internally. As long as our people follow the process our systems will support their decisions. I’m living proof and loving it.
I hope you read this from the beach, and if you’re not, we’re hiring.