Zogics Empowers Employees to Live and Work Wherever They Choose
After more than 2 years of successfully working remotely, Zogics, a company dedicated to helping businesses operate at their best, is now permanently a Work-From-Anywhere organization for all non-warehouse staff. Similar to Airbnb, Spotify, and others who have made the decision to offer WFA, we feel strongly that giving our team the freedom and flexibility to work where they work best, wherever that may be, is the right choice for Zogics.
Newly released survey data from the Pew Research Center shows that of Americans with jobs that can be done remotely, 59% say they still are working from home much or all of the time. That's less than the 71% who reported working remotely in October 2020 but is well above the 23% with remote positions before the pandemic.
Zogics employees currently span 12 states
The company’s leadership team decided to permanently adopt WFA using feedback from our employees, who overwhelmingly felt that working remotely had been beneficial to them. Their input, combined with the metrics validating it as the right business decision, made the decision easy.
Being named to Inc. Magazine’s Best Places to Work list for 2022 validated our belief that WFA works for our team. Selection for this list, to which we’ve been named in 2 of the last 3 years, is based solely on feedback from our employees and their anonymous input. A few snippets of what our employees had to say from the Inc. Magazine survey:
“When the company made the decision to officially go remote/work from anywhere, that decision was made with the input of employees, and management is always seeking out our feedback and opinions, making sure we're happy and have what we need to work from home comfortably.”
“Zogics is an extension of family to me. Everyone is a team player, willing to help where they can, and keep a positive attitude. The culture is amazing, you can clearly see they care about their employees, and it shows in the work that is put out. We work all over the country, yet I feel a closeness and support as though we were in office.”
Adapting to home offices across the country
Diving Headfirst Into Our Future of Work
At the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, while operating at more than 10x our historical average sales volume, we made the choice to go fully remote, minus our fulfillment team, to help do our part in the initial flattening of the curve. In addition, in order to keep our warehouse staff safe and ensure we would be able to operate and provide critical wholesale safety supplies to our customers, we installed air cleaning systems in our warehouse and implemented social distancing and masking measures.
Like most companies over the last few years, much has changed at Zogics. Some of those changes include new product offerings, new staff, new productivity tools, new processes, and revised benefits, but one thing hasn't changed: our core commitment to being the best company to work for possible, putting our employees' wellbeing first and foremost.
Slack, Zoom, 15Five, IncentFit, and BambooHR are just a few of the remote communication tools in use at Zogics
In hindsight, we're fortunate that we had built Zogics on systems that instantly allowed us to operate from anywhere, without interrupting service to our customers. Prior to the pandemic, we were already using tools such as Slack, 15Five, BambooHR, and other cloud-based systems to offer our employees easy access to information and internal communication. Adding in Zoom was an easy next step to allow us to go fully remote.
An added plus for Zogics has been the ability to source top talent from anywhere in the country. We’re no longer restricted to finding candidates who are either within a commuting distance or willing to relocate to our headquarters in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. We have also found that our job postings receive several times as many applicants as they did when we were only able to source within proximity to our offices.
WFA Benefits Employees & The Environment
From an employee standpoint, research has shown that working from home means a better work-life balance, less commute stress, increased productivity and performance, and more time for family, friends, fitness, and fun (it benefits pets too, as there’s more time to walk your dog, and our pets do love having their people around them more often!).
WFA benefits our four-legged friends, too
We recently asked our employees the following question: How does remote work benefit you personally? A sampling of their responses:
“...the biggest one for me is I can live near my family while working at Zogics even though I’m about 200 miles away…”
“Being able to set up my space to how it best suits my workflow, having a quiet place to focus and really dig in, never having to think about where to get lunch if I didn’t bring anything. It’s been great, and I think we’ve done amazingly well with the transition to it full time so quickly, and grown so much more than even I expected.”
“As a working mom, I appreciate being able to not have a long commute and to be here for the kids when they need me (and I have found I cook dinner much more often than I used to, which saves money and it's something I enjoy).”
“My health has greatly improved on all fronts: I am able to eat better, I am able to spend more quality time with my boys, I am more easily able to get more consistent exercise, and I don’t have to waste time commuting.”
Reducing commutes also has a significant financial and environmental benefit, especially with high gas prices. Assuming you commute 10 miles one way a day for work, and that your car gets 20 miles per gallon, you’ll spend more than $1,200 a year on gas just for commuting at $5.00 a gallon. Plus, for every gallon of regular gas your vehicle uses, the social enterprise group terrapass estimates that 19.42 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted into the atmosphere. An employee working from home reduces CO2 emissions by 3.75 tons annually, the equivalent of planting 131 new trees.
How Zogics Culture & Benefits Have Adapted
Fostering our culture while working remotely has remained a primary focus for the company. Our team shares much of what happens in their personal communities on our Slack channels - from healthy recipes to area wildlife and scenery - and we love learning about new areas of the country as seen through the eyes of our employees. To maintain a personal connection and foster team-building, we have a daily company-wide standing meeting, as well as “after hours” Zoom events to relax and recharge. We also ensure our staff is supported by maintaining open lines of communication.
Zogics Virtual Mixology Class
We are committed to providing our employees, no matter where they live, with the same benefits we offered when we were all in the office. For example, we subsidize CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) fees so that wherever they live, our team can enjoy the bounty of healthy vegetable harvests while supporting local farmers. With our HealthCash benefit, employees also earn up to $1200 a year for exercising to spend on their health and wellness (gym memberships, fitness classes, private and group training, etc.). With our Competition Cash benefit, employees receive a $250 annual allowance to use toward competitive events, like marathons, races, & more.
Subsidized CSA helps Zogics employees enjoy fresh vegetables while supporting local farmers
We can’t forget our silent (sometimes, not so silent) WFA support, our four-legged friends, so we offer our unique Pawternity Policy, which gives new puppy parents PTO, a $200 pet store gift card, & a lifetime supply of Zogics Pet Shampoo.
How We’re Avoiding WFA Pitfalls
We also work to ensure our employees aren’t constantly “on,” as sometimes the lines between home and work can be blurred when working from home full time. Salesforce executive Karen Mangia argues in her book Working from Home: Making the New Normal Work for You, that permanent WFH can be a viable career choice if workers avoid the biggest pitfalls, such as never putting away their laptops. “Like those pretzels or potato chips or donuts right there in your kitchen, work is always available,” she warns. “But you know that always grazing isn’t a healthy strategy.”
Zogics COO Christopher Kautz in Utah
We encourage our employees to follow Karen’s main suggestions: separate work and home by means of rules and rituals. Instead of logging in right after you roll out of bed, follow a more traditional morning routine (exercise, walk the dog, grab a healthy breakfast). Be deliberate about how you use time throughout the day. Build breaks into your day, taking time to listen to music, stretch, or take a walk around the block. This helps preempt the WFA time warp (in which you’ve somehow spent the whole day staring at a computer screen) and makes room for new ideas.
The Future of the Workplace
Of course, WFA may not currently be possible for some organizations, such as manufacturing companies, though that could change with advances in 3D printing, automation, and other technologies, and those that reject the WFA structure (we’re looking at you, Elon Musk—consider this an open call to any Tesla employees that enjoy WFA to check out our opportunities here). WFA can be a source of tension between employees and management, which, we believe, will work against these companies that force employees into the office in the long run. The right strategy, organizational processes, technologies, and—most important—leadership are necessary components for success with this model.
If company leaders support synchronous and asynchronous communication, brainstorming, and problem-solving, lead initiatives to share knowledge online, encourage virtual socialization, team building, and mentoring, invest in and enforce data security, and set an example by becoming WFA employees themselves, all-remote organizations may emerge as the future of work, or at the very least, the dominant model.
At Zogics we're happily adapting as a group to this new way of working from anywhere, and it's all very exciting. Watching our team grow, and our business thrive, all while leaning into employee happiness is the driving force, which is the way we feel it should be.
Zogics supplies businesses worldwide with items that keep them operating at their best. Customers across diverse industries rely on Zogics for products in a wide range of categories such as cleaning and disinfecting, indoor air quality, safety, and facility. Zogics has been named one of Financial Times Americas’ fastest-growing companies (2022, 2021, 2020), and was included in Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America (2018 to date) as well as Inc. Best Workplaces. Together with zogics.com, the Zogics family of brands includes The Cleaning Station, Nspire Filters, Zogics Pet, and Ardent Fitness. For more information, visit zogics.com.
Want to join our award-winning, work-from-anywhere team? We're hiring! Check out our opportunities here.
We approach IAQ from a whole-facility perspective, with the goal of not only reducing contaminants in the air but also improving the comfort level of building occupants through air quality improvements.
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