Rebecca R. Hastings, ICE-CCP, Certification Exam Development, Senior Program Manager In January 2022, after I took advantage of the Palo Alto Networks FLEXWORK program to relocate from Virginia to North Carolina, I joined a couple of Facebook groups…
FLEXWORK Evolved—Same Flexibility, Trust, and Choice.
Being one of the first to send our employees home in March 2020, the team at Palo Alto Networks braced for what the following few weeks had in store. Like many others, this was a new moment for us. While we expected to be back in the office shortly after, we quickly learned this was not going to happen.
What could we do?
There was really only one option: We seized the moment as an opportunity to revolutionize how work is done. I am not exaggerating!
We formed our philosophy, together, with our employees and developed FLEXWORK. This approach allowed our employees to choose where they worked, the tools they needed to be productive, the benefits that best suited their lifestyle and needs, as well as educational programs that interested them.
We activated our global teams, delivering security solutions to help our customers remain protected as they, too, quickly pivoted to a fully remote workforce. Digital transformation and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions were instrumental in enabling this swift transition, empowering organizations to confidently, and most importantly, securely work from anywhere.
To be honest, we were amazed – but not surprised – to see our employees exceed our expectations through this highly tumultuous time. It didn’t take long for us to realize this was not just the way to work during the pandemic. But rather, this was how Palo Alto Networks should approach work for the long term.
Today, as many organizations begin returning to the office, we remain committed to FLEXWORK and will continue to shape and adapt as we go. If nothing else, we’ve learned a fundamental lesson throughout the pandemic – as long as there is alignment on expectations, goals and milestones, we do not need all of our people doing the same thing. They don’t need to be sitting by our side.
- “The Next Phase” of FLEXWORK
- FLEXWORK is here to stay! We’re committed to empowering our employees to decide however we can – home or the office, benefits, new trainings – whatever works best for them, their teams and families.
- We want to further connect to our employees as individuals, give more choices, and show that two-way trust goes a long way.
- Employees manage their individual work schedule built on agreements, trust and respect.
- Based on cultural norms and local infrastructure, each team will have flexibility to make this work, putting employee choice and personalization coupled with mutual trust at the forefront.
- Employee Recognition, Goals and Milestones
- We manage outcomes, not inputs. Clear goals and milestones are critical to our success and remain a cornerstone of how we work together as a team.
- We continue to support employees as they grow their career with us. Internal mobility is at an all-time high. We offer the opportunity for employees to set their next career path, and we support their choice as much as possible.
- Redesigning Our Offices for Greater Collaboration
- Employees are welcome to use any Palo Alto Networks workspace or office as they choose. Whether for collaboration, a social place or a quiet spot to escape.
- We are reimagining our places to help facilitate hybrid teams and dynamic work.
- As we can, we’re reopening our services and planning fun events to welcome our team back as they choose.
- Values and Culture at the Foundation
- FLEXWORK is underpinned by our values. We aim to truly personalize each employees’ experience and embrace the diverse needs of every person.
- From learning, to benefits, to leading, we will continue to evolve together, based on employee feedback and whatever comes next. We have learned to be a little more comfortable with ambiguity – we believe this should be continued.
- We trust our employees to do what’s right. Our top priority is showing up for our customers, clients and each other.
With the influence of our employees' truly rich conversations, we realized that FLEXWORK could be so much more. What started with a focus on work location expanded to personalized benefits, well-being benefits and education, as well as a global benefits program for employees to spend $1,000 on items that are meaningful to them. We have programs that help our employees connect with each other based on interest and even personalized public holidays, so our employees can choose the days they want to observe.
As I said earlier, we’re on a journey and I anticipate we’ll be able to do even more to disrupt how we work. When you lead with employee choice and trust, the sky really is the limit. Throughout the pandemic, we have wholeheartedly trusted our employees to choose what they need and our teams have not missed a beat. Just like the needs of our employees around the world, we will continue to evolve FLEXWORK together.
While Senior Principal Software Engineer Matt Leinhos enjoys the flexibility of remote work empowered under our unique FLEXWORK initiative, he did find himself getting lonely working from home day after day, but wasn’t sure whom to speak to about…
Avis Lewis, Professional Services Program Manager I’ve been very lucky in that FLEXWORK is playing a big role in both my personal and career development.