I began my career as a Human Resources advisor in 2003. As the title shows, my role had always been more conventional within the businesses of different sectors where I evolved. Most of them were rather traditional in their management style and culture. This being said, I joined Studio Pyxis in May 2016 and to my great surprise, its culture seemed different from that of the organizations where I had worked in the past.
In fact, I had always known businesses with structures favouring the importance of the hierarchy. This was often manifesting through decision-making authority and the primordial nature of the professional title. Beware of making a mistake on the business card! And what to say of the famous suits or the size of the office…
Depending on the position held, the office was near a window or confined between four walls. This hierarchy was also reflected in the computer hardware. Still depending on the level occupied in the business, some “only” had a desktop computer, while others also had a laptop. The insurance coverage for executives was often better than for other employees. And let’s not forget the many other privileges that can be brought by status and title. I am certain that you recognize this type of work environment!
The Pyxis difference
Studio Pyxis is a horizontal organization. The president and vice-president are my neighbours on the same group of desks that we also share with other colleagues. They join us for drinks, team building activities or volunteering, take part in our Friday breakfasts (as contributors, not only consumers) and any other activity.
We are free to express ourselves and we can be part of different committees as well as the business decisions. For example, during the recent move of the office, a project led by a committee composed of employees and the president, we have all been consulted at some point. It is important to mention that employees have a tribune to express themselves. No matter their level of experience and specialization, they have the ear of the direction.
Employees are responsible for their happiness and career development. They are invited to redefine the business culture and values. In order to do that, they choose activities together that aim at maintaining and increasing their well-being as well as facilitating their professional path.
Developers are generalists and they occupy different roles within a project, from project management to architecture, analysis or testing. Our developers are “all-purpose colleagues.” Work teams have the power to organize their tasks without having a third party intervene. Consequently there is no competition to be team lead, project manager or architect, these do not exist. Colleagues help each other a lot and collaboration is at the heart of the team. They are all equal anyways, so why not help each other to become a better team?
There are not closed offices at Studio Pyxis. Indeed, the open space is for all employees, including the direction, whatever the role within the organization. We choose our work stations and the windows are for everyone. We can even move quickly and easily thanks to the flexibility of our furniture. The desks being on wheels, we can make and break the groupings as we please. To compare, the traditional process in businesses where I have worked before was like :
- Send a request to the IT department;
- Send a request to the Facility Management department;
- Ask for the approval of the immediate supervisor;
- Wait for an indeterminate time;
- Plan the move ;
- Wait for the move to happen (indeterminate time).
Nowadays, many organizations promote work-family balance and boast about their teleworking policy or of offering flexible hours. However, reality is often very different. Indeed, when I was employed elsewhere, I was never working from home since I was always afraid of being judged. At Studio Pyxis, remote work is part of the corporate culture and therefore, I feel comfortable working from home.
If we do our hours over the week and provide the efforts necessary for the success of the projects, Studio Pyxis supports teleworking. Besides, we are well equipped for remote meetings (Zoom, Google Hangouts, phone bridges, etc.). Regarding the flexible hours, Studio really encourages balancing personal and professional life. This flexibility is beneficial to families as much as childless singles.
Talents and Culture
Finally, the term “Human Resources” is banned and replaced by “Talents and Culture”. My role is very different than the one is assumed in more conservative organizations. In fact, I almost had the role of a police woman : I was monitoring vacations and personal or sick days, making sure that the HR policies were actually followed and applied.
At Studio Pyxis, my mission is to take charge of the happiness and satisfaction of my colleagues using, among other things, a “happiness at work” index. It favours engagement, make the corporate culture evolve in their image and allows employees to offer continuous feedback.