The future of corporate pensions – at Axios and beyond

This week, all 500 Axios employees will gather in person – for our first company-wide retreat since the pandemic.

Why is this important: No less than 75% of our colleagues joined us after March 2020. Most of them will therefore discover Axios in person for the first time. They’ve never set foot on any Axios property, and they’ve never met most of their colleagues in real life.

  • This is the reality of businesses around the world.

Zoom out: In our work-from-anywhere world, company retirement is more essential than ever.

  • Remote work has many advantages – from flexibility for workers to an unlimited talent pool for employers
  • But it removes the unity and serendipity that make companies stronger and bolder.

Enlarge: Very early in the pandemic, the leaders of Axios decided that we would be remote first, forever. This was based on two intuitions, both of which turned out to be correct:

  1. Offering remote work to all hires gives you an edge in the battle for talent – ​​all game for a growing business.
  2. Whatever return-to-work plans an organization has made, they should modify them. So why not just start with an employee-centric approach?

Our thought bubble: Our staff, like most, have proven to be incredibly productive and resilient during the shutdown. But we started warning early on that employers were getting the wrong signal of the success they were having with working from home.

  • Yes, there were benefits, including time saved by not commuting. But there was a real price to culture and creativity — the intangibles that come from time spent together without structure, without the transactional, agenda-driven structure of a Zoom.
  • In a new study, researchers have found that people are less creative in virtual meetings than in live meetings.

And after: Plan innovations. Gather teams at retreats to germinate the next set of great ideas.

  • It doesn’t have to be in person. Bosses won’t get anything by forcing people to show up when they’re concerned about childcare or health. The standard video meeting can stifle brainstorms, but you can retreat to the virtual world.
  • The new world of work has spurred an entire industry around remote creativity, including virtual golf outings via VR headsets.
  • Most will do what we do: a mix of team, regional and all-staff meetings to spark human connections – and new ideas.

The bottom line: Before the pandemic, 8% of US office workers were fully remote. Now, 32% are distant or want to be, according to the Gallup poll. And most others want hybrid work.

  • That’s a third of your workforce who rely on fun, well-organized retreats to immerse themselves in company values ​​and forge friendships.

Barbara M. Stokes