As the world navigates the complexities of the post-pandemic work environment, some startups in Barcelona, including Glovo, are embracing the “return to the office” approach. In a recent Itnig podcast, Óscar Pierre, the CEO, and co-founder of the popular home delivery company Glovo, along with Jordi Romero, CEO of Factorial, shared their insights on this topic.
Pierre shed light on Glovo’s new office setup, which aimed to strike a balance between remote and in-person work. He revealed that starting from September, each work team is required to be in the office two days a week. However, this hybrid model has faced challenges, with teams finding it difficult to build a sense of ownership over their workspace when sharing desks and chairs.
To address this, Glovo has decided to bring all teams together on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, fostering a stronger sense of camaraderie and collaboration. As a growing company, Pierre believes that having employees working side by side in an office environment contributes to creating a positive work culture and energy, which he views as critical for success.
While acknowledging the benefits of remote work for certain tasks, Pierre firmly believes that being physically present in an office setting enhances the synergies between teams. He recounted an anecdote of a manager who joined Glovo early on and was drawn to the positive energy in the small office, emphasizing the power of shared physical spaces.
In an effort to better understand employee preferences, Glovo experimented with different office layouts, discovering that certain spaces, such as quiet rooms, didn’t appeal to employees as expected. As a result, the company plans to convert such spaces into regular offices to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and collaborative office experience.
Addressing concerns about losing talent due to the office policy, Pierre acknowledged that about 5 to 10% of employees were not entirely satisfied with the decision to spend a few days a week in the office. However, he remains confident that being located in Barcelona, a vibrant city, will continue to attract top talent.
In contrast, Jordi Romero from Ignit, another startup ecosystem, pointed out that their company prioritizes talent retention and attraction, without being tied to a specific office or remote work. They have seen similar levels of productivity and teamwork regardless of where tasks are carried out.
As companies navigate the “return to the office” debate, finding the right balance to maximize productivity, employee satisfaction, and work culture remains a top priority for startups like Glovo.