Feb 18, 2021

Work from anywhere trend picks up pace as Spotify signs on

Kate Birch
3 min
Audio steaming giant Spotify joins a growing list of firms, including Google, Salesforce, Siemens to offer employees flexible working beyond the pandemic
Audio steaming giant Spotify joins a growing list of firms, including Google, Salesforce, Siemens to offer employees flexible working beyond the pandemi...

Spotify has introduced a Work From Anywhere (WFA) policy for all of its employees set to remain in effect even once the pandemic has ended. This follows a flurry of similar flexible work initiatives announced by companies in the last 10 months. 

Following a distributed-first mentality (a workplace that isn’t built on the premise that employees need to gather in an office with traditional desk setups), the Sweden-headquartered streaming giant’s new WFA policy allows employees to “work from wherever they do their best thinking and creating” the company said in a statement.

“Through this distributed-first mentality, we are giving employees the opportunity to elect a Work Mode – whether they’re prefer to work mostly at home or in the office – as well as their geographic location.”

Long-term work from anywhere trend gaining momentum 

The new WFA work policy from Spotify, which employees more than 5,500 staff in 79 countries, follows in the flexible workplace initiatives introduced by a number of social media and tech companies since the onset of the pandemic.  

Twitter was th e first off the remote-working policy blocks in May last year, with CEO Jack Dorsey telling his employees they could continue working from home “forever”, closely followed by Facebook. But it was Google’s introduction of its ongoing remote-working policy in July, affecting 200,000 global workers, that was a bit of a green light for other companies who may have been sitting on the remote-working fence.

Since then, more companies have followed suit, with Square, Siemens, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Amazon, Microsoft, Shopify, Coinbase, Upwork, PayPal, and most recently, Salesforce and Spotify, all announcing continued remote-work setups for the foreseeable future. 

Such steps by such big-name companies are unsurprising given what has been the biggest global home-working experiment yet over the last year, with recent research from Gartner revealing that almost half (48%) of employees now expect to work from home even after the pandemic is over.

So, what’s behind the distributed-first model thinking?

While the pandemic certainly accelerated the acceptance of the remote-working model, this distributed-first mentality has playing out leadership minds for some time especially with digitisation sweeping the world.

Spotify, for example, has long championed the idea that digitalisation and globalisation are massive drivers for a more flexible workplace that better suit its business and admits that the events of the last year has accelerated this thinking.

So, what exactly is thinking behind this? Well, Spotify doesn’t believe that effectiveness can be measured by the number of hours people spend in an office. Instead, giving people the freedom to choose where they work “will boost effectiveness”. Similarly, by giving people more flexibility, they will achieve a better work-life balance, and so will be more effective employees. 

Providing such flexibility also gives Spotify the chance to tap into new talent pools while keeping its existing employees and will further challenge the company “to improve our communication and collaboration practices, processes, and tools”. 

According to Spotify’s HR blog, there are many competitive advantages of a flexible approach, describing flexible work as the jewel in its “talent attraction crown” meaning that by being flexible, Spotify can tap into new talent pools while keeping its existing talented employees.

Other companies agree. Following digital currency exchange Coinbase’s announcement that it would move to a remote-first policy in light of COVID-19, CEO Brian Armstrong said it believed remote working represented “a huge opportunity and strategic advantage for us”.

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May 6, 2021

People Moves Americas: JPMorgan, Crowe, Automation Anywhere

Kate Birch
3 min
Crowe names new CMO, GM appoints president of defence business, JPMorgan hires head of trade finance – all in this week’s executive moves round-up
Crowe names new CMO, GM appoints president of defence business, JPMorgan hires head of trade finance – all in this week’s executive moves round-up...

Discover the latest hirings and promotions in this week's roundup of executive transitions across North America.

James Budge named Automation Anywhere’s new CFO

A seasoned technology, enterprise software and cloud executive with over 25 years of experience, James Budge has joined RPA leader Automation Anywhere as Chief Financial Officer. Budge brings to the firms decades of experience as a CFO at both public and private firms and has prepped three companies for IPOs and led multiple secondary public offerings. 

Having served as COO and CFO at Genesys and as COO/CFO at Rovi, both companies with revenues in excess of US$1bn, Budge most recently served as CFO at Pluralsight, where he led the company through an IPO and increased its revenues 400%. In this new role, Budget will lead finance, investor relations, legal and IT management and importantly will ensure the copany has everything in place to become a public company. 


Steve duMont joins General Motors as President

Former intelligence exec Steve duMont has been named the new Presdient of General Motors’ Defense Business. With two decades of defence industry experience, including 13 years in the intelligence and space segment of Raytheon Technologies, duMont also has a number of years bagged with BAE Systems and Boeing as well as serving with the US Army for eight years as a pilot. As President, duMont is tasked with leading GM as it supports defence and government customers through its capabilities and offerings. 

Kjel Christensen rejoins JP Morgan to head trade finance sales

Having previously spent three years in a VP role at JP Morgan, Kjel Christensen is set to rejoin the firm following a seven-year hiatus, but this time as trade finance sales lead for the firm’s North America corporate and investment bank consudmer and retail portfolio. Christensen joins from working capital solutions provider Taulia, where he spent the best part of seven years, most recently serving as MD for Americas and APAC. He’s also had leadership roles at American Express and Costco. In this new role, located in Utah, Christensen is taksed with driving the firm’s ambitious trade and working capital finance targets fro the sector. 


Chris Goodman named Chief Marketing Officer at Crowe

Seasoned marketing exec Chris Goodman is set to take the marketing reins as CMO at accounting, consulting and tech firm Crowe. With more than three decades of experience developing integrated marketing programs, Goodman has held CMO roles at both KPMG and Accenture and has served as an executive vice present at Young & Rubicam and as a senior VP at IMG. 

Most recently, Goodman led his own marketing consulting firm and brings to the team a “proven track record, strategic vision and a global mindset”, says Crowe’s CEO Mark Baer, which will be “instrumental in helping us shape a better tomorrow for our people, our clients and the firm”. Holding an MBA from Columbia, and currently an exectuve coach at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, in this new role, will be tasked with leading the firm’s marketing and communications organisation. 


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