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Allison Bauman, Chief People Officer at ByteChek

Compliance management is one of those things everyone knows has to be done, but no one wants to deal with. When Allison Bauman stepped into her role as Chief People Officer at ByteChek, she became part of a startup hybrid team focused on making compliance suck less for their customers 😎.

As a small agile team, everyone at ByteChek tends to wear multiple hats. Allison's primary focus within her role is to oversee general operations with a particular focus on their people and team culture. In her role, she spearheads a variety of activities, from hiring to administration and operations to team culture initiatives.

"I’m honored to be in a role that allows me to have a hand in so many aspects of the company while working closely with individuals across the organization."

Allison's Approach to Hybrid

The best approach to hybrid is one that allows employees flexibility and autonomy to decide where they work from and when. Allison and her team set a wonderful example of what it means to embrace hybrid.

"We don’t mind where people work. Our team is distributed across the US, and we value people being able to decide when, where, and how they work best. Our headquarters are in Miami, FL and people who live nearby have the option, but not obligation, to work from the office."

The team at ByteChek values freedom and flexibility while at the same time providing opportunities for the team to come together in person, if, and when they want. For Allison, the worst part about coming into the office is the commute which Allison he shared brings out the impatience in her.

"It feels like wasted time that I am neither working nor spending time with my family. I really enjoy the efficiency of not having to commute while working remotely."

While some of her team enjoys their days in the office, Allison is loving the option of working from home and wouldn't go back permanently for anything.

Which values associated with a hybrid environment do you identify most with?

Authenticity. Working flexibly - in our own spaces, time, and methods - encourages our lives to become less compartmentalized.  I see a huge opportunity within remote and hybrid work for us to express ourselves more wholly. We no longer have a physical separation between work and home, and our days often flow seamlessly in and out of “personal” and “professional” activities.

I think that when structured well, flexible work can allow people to express their individuality in ways that a rigid in-office 9-5 cannot.  Personally, I feel like I can be more myself when I have control over how I integrate work into my life (not the other way around!).

And of course, I love the little candid moments that make work feel like the human operation that it is. A child or pet cameo during a call always makes me smile!

As a hybrid team, how do you reinforce company values across the organization?

We are always talking about our core values!  During our weekly all-team call, we recognize individuals that have positively displayed our values that week. We examine options through the lens of our values when we make decisions. Our core values are posted in multiple places across our tools so that they are always top of mind.

Our values are a part of our day-to-day, and are an integral part of the team and how we work.

What are 2 of your best practices you use to foster engagement and employee development in the hybrid working environment?

Employee engagement and development does not have to be flashy or expensive.  Here are a couple of simple things that I do with my team that promote engagement and development.

  1. Promote fun. While the work teams do is important, it’s also important to take a break and connect with one another. I try to inject fun in small and consistent ways, through just-for-fun conversations on Slack and CrowdParty games as a part of our weekly team call. Just leaving a bit of intentional space for fun can make a big difference when it comes to connectedness and engagement amongst teams.
  2. Flexible development hours. Part of the benefit of flexible work is that there is opportunity for individualized development within traditional work hours. At ByteChek, we have established a 10% rule, which encourages everyone on the team to spend 10% of their “work time” on personal development. This is totally personalized time, to be used on anything from studying for a certification to practicing yoga to taking a nap. I believe it’s important to allow flexibility and support around when and how people choose to develop.

How do you schedule who is in the office, making sure that the right people are in together?

In a flexible environment, communication is key!  Most of our team is totally remote, so we use simple status updates to make sure our team is on the same page.  Slack functions as our remote “office”, and we keep our statuses up to date to reflect availability.