Far away, so close: Flux's remote-first journey

 |  20 May 2020

Remote workers interacting with each other via screens
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We’re a tight bunch at Flux – we’re powered by smart people who love to collaborate to create a platform that energy retailers and their customers love. When the call came to do our bit to unite against Covid-19 by closing our New Zealand offices, we were already a step ahead.

Flux made the decision to shift to a remote-first workplace on Wednesday March 18, nearly a week before New Zealand moved into Level 4 lockdown. Most of our 150-strong team were fully remote by Friday March 20. 

Flux is just over two years old, so we still think of ourselves as a start-up, in spite of having a profitable and growing client base. Our team thinks and works fast to solve client problems and grab opportunities. Thanks to having an experienced executive team, a healthy business model and a stable industry, we’re a steady ship in these troubling times.

We’ve always been preparing for the possibility of remote working (and held a test day on March 5 to see how things could go), so in some ways the Government lockdown just helped us clarify our thinking. 

It’s now nearly two months since we transformed our two New Zealand offices into around 150 micro-sites. We’ve got Fluxsters working from spare rooms, kitchen tables and garages, connected by technology and a genuine desire to adjust to and thrive in our new situation.

We’re proud to be a ‘remote-first’, location-agnostic company. Our people have proved that we don’t necessarily have to work out of central offices in Auckland or Wellington.  To work at Flux is to be a problem solver, to be agile and nimble whatever the challenges of the day. If that means creating a standing desk from an ironing board and a washing basket, so be it. If one of our crew needs to dress up as a mime or wear an 80s ball gown to get through the day, that’s all good too.

     Jareds remote work office     Trevs remote work set-up

     Simons remote work set-up.    Sarahs remote work set-up   

    jordans remote work set-up.    Robyns remote work set-up  

Maintaining the general well being of our Fluxters has always been a priority, but it’s even more important now we’re not physically in the same spaces.  

There are lots of great things about working from home – we get to hang out with our pets and show off our baking skills, for a start – but it presents a lot of challenges too. Some Fluxters have had to juggle their usual workloads with full-time caring responsibilities and home-schooling during lockdown, others had to get used to being in total isolation. We all missed our friends and families, especially those overseas (or just across the other side of town). But we’re also becoming more creative and clever at finding ways to connect, work and play together. One of the best things that’s come out of our current environment is that it has showcased the amazing ways our crew are trying to support one another, do great work for our customers and deal with the current situation. We have Fluxters gathering for yoga and meditation, invite our grandparents or kids to coffee breaks and share tips on getting through another day of lockdown. Our usual stand-ups are happening via Google Hangout, instead of in person. We’re making it work, because that’s what we do. We’re also using this opportunity to help others – since we’re not in the office, we’re donating our usual supermarket spend to a different charity every week.

While there’s no real timetable on when ‘normal’ life will return, the safety of our crew, our community and our country remains our top priority. We will always have a place in Auckland and Wellington where our people can come together, but it will be dependent on social distancing requirements. Our pivot to remote working is part of our commitment to doing our bit. We’re proud to have proved that we can continue to serve our customers’ needs and exceed their expectations, wherever we are. Our belief in our role in the energy transition hasn't changed, even if we’re staying at home to do it.

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