Vancouver-based investment firm InvestX Financial Canada Ltd. is balancing flexibility, employee productivity and well-being by requesting all employees work onsite each Tuesday.

The ‘Together Tuesdays’ initiative resulted from the challenge of aligning various teams’ schedules in order to make the best use of the time together, says Marcus New, founder and chief executive officer of InvestX. Managers currently work onsite three days per week, while other employees come in for two days. The company has 30 employees between its Vancouver and New York City offices.

“Our expectations [with our return-to-office plan] was that managers and leaders would be in three days a week and everyone else came in two days a week. [The policy] was enforced differently by different managers and people would come in at different times. . . . The whole purpose [of returning to the office] was to have interaction and collaboration and none of that was getting achieved.”

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The program was intended to strike a balance between extremes in post-pandemic work arrangements, he adds, noting the firm took inspiration from some of its portfolio companies. “You’d see a company like SpaceX [where, if workers didn’t return], they’d get fired. Instacart was the other extreme, where pretty much no one has to come in [to the office]. Neither approach worked for us so that’s how we came up with Together Tuesdays.”

Since the program began earlier this month, employees’ responses have been overwhelmingly positive, says New. “I was really excited to see all the people in the office yesterday. For example, you get to run into people at the coffee machine and that’s how things happen.”

In addition to collaboration,  the program is also supporting employees’ mental health and overall well-being while bolstering InvestX’s talent management strategy amid a challenging labour market.

“We want to support the whole person here. We only hire highly self-motivated people but, at the same time, they have a choice [in where to work]. . . . There’s a lot of discussion over what’s the right cadence [for in-office work] — Is it two days a week? Four days a week? I think five days a week in the office is never coming back. That doesn’t mean [in-person work] is going away — it’s just going to shrink.”

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