It’s been a year of change and resiliency. One that altered our roles as employees, parents, and members of society. We transformed the way we work and moved to virtual, at home spaces. It is a testament to you that even with all the change, Intuit remains a vibrant and thriving company. Employee engagement is at best-in-class levels.
At Intuit, our greatest strength is our people. Employees are listed first among our True North stakeholders by design. When the pandemic hit last year, we acted quickly to support employees as they adjusted to this new normal. Helping employees succeed as they worked from their new makeshift workspaces was important. Beyond providing remote technology, we expanded wellness benefits to better support employees’ needs. We also equipped our leaders to help their teams and evolve how they lead. And, of course, we listened to our employees and adjusted our approach as time went on.
We are committed to bringing this same spirit of support and learning mindset as we chart our safe and productive return to the workplace. Instead of returning to the way things were pre-pandemic, we are determined to embrace this period of change as an opportunity to reimagine our workforce and workplace strategy and to build something better for our 11,000+ employees.
We’ve learned a lot since going fully virtual due to the pandemic. This new way of working was a dramatic shift for most of our workforce; prior to the pandemic, 88% of our employees reported working mostly or full-time from Intuit sites. As part of developing our strategy, we surveyed 9,800 Intuit employees around the world. What we learned was that you experienced many benefits from working remotely, but that there are also some real challenges.
Of the benefits of virtual work, 90% said they appreciate not having to commute and 60% confirm they have more uninterrupted work time. As our workforce became more comfortable working remotely, we learned only a small fraction sought to return to the old way – only 6% expressed a desire to go back to working full-time on site after pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. So clearly, hearts and minds have been changed by what we’ve experienced over the last year.
However, some aspects of the fully virtual model have taken a toll on our employees. A growing share of employees report feeling lonely; they miss real life interaction. 79% of Intuit employees told us that feeling isolated from colleagues and community is the biggest drawback of working from home. Many also felt that completing collaborative work was more difficult. What’s more, 56% of our employees missed the ability to have informal “hallway” conversations and interactions with their colleagues. Some even expressed a fear that Intuit’s prized culture could be at risk of changing by working from home on a long-term basis.
Our strategy work led us to define four durable principles that will shape the future of work at Intuit for years to come. These principles will guide us in the experiments we design and the decisions we make:
- Fostering connectedness and belonging. Amplifying Intuit’s culture through fostering connectedness and belonging is key to who Intuit is and why employees chose to work at Intuit. As a family, Intuit employees stand by each other under a shared set of values and beliefs that make Intuit home.
- Sparking creativity and innovation. Creating an environment that enhances the company’s creativity and innovation, which, when coupled with our value of customer obsession, is foundational to delivering on Intuit’s True North goals for its employees, customers, communities, and shareholders.
- Solving for speed, agility, and productivity. Enabling Intuit employees to move with speed and agility and be the most productive they can be is essential so the company can continue to deliver game-changing and innovative solutions to power the prosperity of the customers it serves.
- Attracting and retaining top, diverse talent. Expanding Intuit’s ability to source, attract, and retain top, diverse talent is critical, including growing its population of underrepresented minorities and creating an environment that allows Intuit employees to do the best work of their lives. This includes expanding recruiting to select talent hotspots where we can recruit in distinct geographical centers with concentrated pools of existing and emerging diverse technical talent, including women and underrepresented minority engineers.
Looking ahead, our survey revealed that 80% of our employees would prefer a hybrid-workplace model that brings together the power of virtual collaboration with the benefit of some on-site interaction. Notably, only 14% of Intuit employees would have preferred a full-time remote work model. Based on the principles we identified and months of study, we defined the broad strokes of Intuit’s future of work strategy, which we recently shared with our employees. The key pillars follow:
- Establishing a hybrid working model that brings together the best of virtual work and in-person connections and collaboration.
- Reimagining our workplaces by evolving our offices to be dynamic spaces for co-creating, making social connections and innovating.
- “Widening our net” to attract talent by expanding our presence in new geographies to access more top talent and build an increasingly diverse workforce. We’re starting in New York City this summer.
Our strategy makes clear that virtual work is important and provides flexibility that our workforce appreciates. It also makes clear that the majority of our employees will meet, collaborate, and work from Intuit sites 2-3 days per week. There is still a degree of uncertainty around exactly how and when this new way of working will take effect. We are paying close attention to the COVID-19 situation as it develops, and as always our employees’ health and well-being remain our top concern.
Given the current trends in decreasing Covid activity around most of our Intuit sites and increasing numbers of people vaccinated, we see a path to ‘Soft Open’ many of our sites on a voluntary opt-in basis as early as May. However, no one will be required to return to the workplace before August.
We will re-open our Intuit sites in stages:
- Soft Open – Restricted capacity (40% or less), voluntary opt-in, hardships prioritized, others encouraged to work from home
- Partially Open – Expanded capacity (greater than 40%), expanded voluntary opt-in, workers who feel comfortable to return are welcome on-site
- Fully Open – Full site capacity, employees expected to come to site on average 2-3 days a week
As we begin to re-open Intuit sites over the coming months, we intend to be deliberate and data-driven in our approach. We don’t know all the answers yet. We will however commit to a transparent and thoughtful approach and to the promise that more detail is coming.
We also know that our evolved approach won’t take effect all at one time – and it will likely evolve. We still have a lot to learn. While some companies have taken a directive approach which may provide more initial clarity, we felt a learning approach was the best path forward for our Intuit culture. That path will support the outcomes we strive to deliver, reinforce our unique culture, and support the well-being of our employees.
We are excited by the possibilities this strategy creates for our employees, our culture, and our ability to continue to deliver for our customers.
Fundamentally, we are doing this in service to our mission – powering prosperity around the world. Our ability to deliver ground-breaking innovation and customer delight depends heavily on the talent and well-being of Intuit’s workforce. We are creating a range of experiments to ensure we learn as we go, so that we effectively adapt both how we work and where we work in service to the enduring principles shared above. As we learn, we’ll be actively sharing back our findings and how we are innovating to create the workplace of the future for our employees. We hope you’ll follow along with us on this exciting journey!