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Spotify to employees: If you want to work from another country, go for it

Spotify will also reassess its office space as it introduces permanent flexible-working options for employees.


Image: Spotify

Spotify has become the latest major tech company to make the transition to remote-first working, announcing that employees will be free to “work from anywhere” starting this summer – even if that means working from another country.

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The streaming service is introducing a flexible-working scheme called “My Work Mode” that will give Spotify staff choice over whether they work full-time at home, from the office, or a hybrid combination of the two.

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Staff will also have more flexibility over the cities and countries they choose to work from, with Spotify offering to support staff with co-working space membership if they wish to work from a location that isn’t close to a Spotify office. The company did note that this would involve “some limitations to address time zone difficulties, and regional entity laws in the initial rollout”.

The streaming service is the latest in a line of major tech companies to make the move to a work-from-anywhere model. Salesforce – of which Spotify is a customer – announced last week that it was implementing a permanent flexible-working policy, with Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook having announced similar moves in previous months.

Spotify said the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the company’s plans to become a “distributed-first” company that offered more flexibility and better work-life balance, while allowing it to tap into an expanded and more diverse talent pool.

“Work isn’t something you come to the office for, it’s something you do,” the company said.

“Effectiveness can’t 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.

“Operating as a distributed organization will produce better and more efficient ways of working through more intentional use of communication and collaboration practices, processes and tools.”

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Much like other companies that have had to reassess their real estate investments in recent months, Spotify said it would revaluate its office spaces to understand how it can better equip them for more hybrid working styles.

“The ultimate goal of our new design approach is to ensure that employees have a place where they can focus, collaborate, and create – whether that’s at a desk, in a conference room, or in cafe space,” it said.

The streaming service also acknowledged the myriad technical, cultural and behavioral challenges that come with a permanent shift to remote working, noting “there are likely to be some adjustments to make along the way.”

The company said: “By experimenting and unlocking all talent we also enable diversity and inclusion, and making new jobs and markets available.”

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