Since 2020, hybrid working has been the norm at By Miles. Here, we look how this approach is helping our team do amazing things…
As a newer company (we recently turned 5), we’ve never been stuck doing something just because “that’s the way it’s always been done”. Just look at our approach to car insurance. We didn’t think the traditional model was fair for a lot of people – so we came up with something else.
We’re dedicated to pulling the industry in a new direction. So it’s hardly surprising that we’re open to change. When the pandemic hit back in 2020, we didn’t panic about pivoting to remote working. Instead, we saw it as an opportunity to improve things for everyone – and that’s just how it turned out.
Today, we’re proud to be a fully flexible employer. In fact, according to Flexa, we’re one of the most flexible employers in the country. Our people can work from wherever they fancy, so long as they’re comfortable and able to get online. That might be their home, it could be our central London office space, or – as you’ll read further down – it might occasionally be somewhere else altogether.
As Dan, our Talent and Culture Lead, explains below, this remote first approach gives us a real recruitment advantage.
(This snippet comes from the most recent episode of our Podcast, Driving Change. You can find the full thing – and past episodes – here.)
We’re able to offer a more attractive experience of work to a much wider pool of people. So it’s not too surprising that we’ve been able to put together such a fantastic team.
Talking of the team, this seems about the right time to handover to them. Below you’ll hear what hybrid means for a few By Milers across the business.
Our team on hybrid working.
Jay, Graphic Designer.
“My first experience of hybrid working, like many people, started during lockdown. I had my reservations – my working life was spent happily in a studio environment where being together and critiquing work on the walls was key to my day-to-day as a graphic designer. A few years working to a hybrid arrangement later however, I can’t imagine how else I’d work! It’s afforded me the opportunity to work outside of London, spend time with my partner while he was in Newquay, and make appointments without having to forfeit my time commuting.
“I have the choice to go into the office for company or to schedule collaborative sessions with my colleagues. Our time together becomes intentional, focussed and highly productive. I am fortunate to have a creative home office of sorts surrounded by my books and tools, so hybrid working has given me the best of both worlds.”
Cristina, Customer Experience Consultant.
For me hybrid work means having less worries. I like to get out of the house and have that structure in the week in which I got out to go to work. I am someone who has an anxiety disorder and keeping a certain routine helps me keep the symptoms under control. So I enjoy going to the office on a regular basis. But I am grateful for the flexibility of not having fixed office days.
Not having fixed office days let me schedule doctor’s appointments or contractors visiting home easily. Another great aspect of not having a fixed schedule to be in the office is being able to be there for family. My whole family lives abroad and for me just having the option to work from my parent’s house for a while in case I’m needed gives me peace of mind. (This is a combination of our hybrid policy and Ryanair cheap flights too!).
Luckily, all the times I have worked from my parent’s have been due to celebrations, or upcoming family holidays. But, being able to let them know that they can also ask me to come over (with some notice) to help them means a lot to me.
Marie, Head of Risk and Compliance.
My role is all about communication, whether that’s in the form of meetings or interpreting complicated regulatory information. In an open plan office, my inability to concentrate, irritability of being interrupted mid-flow and trait of being ever so easily distracted means that I’d often end up feeling frustrated. It was like I couldn’t be productive until I had a working from home day or could disappear off to a quiet corner.
Working from home means that I can work when I’m most productive (early mornings and afternoons), be supported in managing focus time, go for a walk or whizz round with the hoover, or be persuaded by my cats to go and sit in the garden with them (they come and get me – maybe they recognise when I need a break!).
I feel like I’ve finally found what I didn’t know I needed – the flexibility to work to my own rhythm! I’m lucky because I am very productive when I work from home and as an introvert I find social situations a lot of effort. Nowadays, spending time in the office is enjoyable because I’m usually there for the right reasons and not worrying about not having delivered something. And the bonus is there’s trust; there’s no sense that anyone thinks I’m skiving or questions when I block time out in my calendar!
Jon Linnell, Senior Software Engineer.
I spent most of my working life cycling 15 miles a day through London rush hour traffic, or being crammed into an early morning train groaning with other resentful commuters. Arriving at an office building, I’d be grateful to see my colleagues, but that’s where the positives usually ended for me. I’ve always experienced office environments as unpleasant places to work. For many people, neurodivergent or neurotypical, an office environment can be overwhelming. There’s the noise, the light, the distractions, the people, the social dynamics, and the sensation of constantly being seen.
By Miles’ hybrid working policy has allowed me to swap the nightmare commute for serene morning walks in the Oxfordshire countryside with my partner. The discomfort I’ve always felt in an office has gone, replaced by an environment that is fully mine to control. I now value greatly the occasional days in the office where we can build those relationships and see my colleagues face-to-face, but being able to work from my home office has done wonders for my mental health, work-life balance, and capacity to do my job effectively and sustainably. I’m grateful and fortunate to be working with such a progressive company.
Dom, Senior Product Manager.
I really enjoy working from home. It helps me to support my partner and spend time with my two young children. In a previous role I would spend around two hours in a car each day. That now seems like a waste of time, money, and terrible for the environment.
Below is a picture of my home office. My kids like to decorate it for me! I consider myself very lucky to be able to spend so much time with them through home working. That’s something I like to remind them of every time they run in on me in the middle of a meeting! I can never imagine myself really wanting a 9-5 office job in the future, but I do enjoy hybrid working and meeting up with my fellow parrots* in person.
*What’s Dom talking about? Well it’s kind of an inside joke. If you’re really curious for the backstory, that’s one more reason to consider joining our team.