BST & Co. CPAs came to the realization that many companies have come to over the past few months: Remote work isn't going away. Instead, the Albany CPA firm is building remote or hybrid options into its long-term plans.
The company didn't have a defined work-from-home policy before the Covid-19 pandemic. Ron Guzior, managing partner, said it forced the firm to take a new philosophical approach and make a change.
"It's adjusting to the times," Guzior said. "We've tried to make good decisions and good changes that are forward-looking and not be like, 'This is what we were doing before.'"
Over the last few months, Adam Lawrence, chief talent officer, developed a hybrid work policy that covers the vast majority of BST's employees. He said he considered employee comments, discussions and concerns as part of the plan, which has been in place for a few weeks.
The firm has around 113 employees and 40 CPAs.
"A portion of us will never be 100% [remote], we need some of that culture here in the office. That's what our employees say as well," Guzior said. "It's the overarching strategy of, 'Hey, our culture is pretty great,' but we also recognize that people want that flexibility as well. So how do we take the best of both and design the best approach."
BST defined three different types of employee in developing its plans: flex employees, fully remote employees and fully in-office employees.
The vast majority of employees are flex, meaning they will work about three days of the week either in office or with clients and two days at home.
"A lot of our folks are client-facing and are visiting our clients a lot of the times. So we asked them to be in the office or at a client site three days a week. The rest of that time, they can work remotely if they'd like," Lawrence said. "It still provides that flexibility to pick and choose there as well. The time in the office, you want it to be focused for the most part on that collaboration and team meetings and client work."
A much smaller portion will be required to work from the office full time and an even smaller portion will be remote 100% of the time. Guzior estimated that 95% of employees fall into the flex category.
Both Guzior and Lawrence see it as a recruiting tool in a tough job market.
"They want flexibility. They want the ability to do that. And we've seen more and more people that want to work 100% remote," Guzior said. "You've also heard in interviews and speaking with external client candidates that where they work now they don't offer any flexibility."