Introducing the future of work at Charles Aris
For 50 years, Charles Aris operated almost entirely from its headquarters in downtown Greensboro, N.C. But in 2022, the firm announced its employees can indefinitely choose whether they want to work in the office, remotely or utilize a combination of both.
A major progression in both Charles Aris and professional culture nationwide, the decision came after two years of remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic. What began as a necessary response to the global health crisis turned into an opportunity to improve work-life balance and grow the company.
“We did it because it’s the right thing to do for our people,” said Danielle Bowman, Chief People Officer at Charles Aris. “It’s important to us to support our team in the best possible ways: Emotionally, in their jobs and in their personal lives – and this is the right way to do this.”
“We also think this is how we can grow our business for the future as we continue to hire team members across the United States,” she added.
Between 2020 and 2022, Charles Aris added a second office in Washington D.C. and expanded the team, with employees now working across ten different states. The technical aspect of hiring, training and having people work from home was manageable because of the firm’s long-standing reliance on well-established core processes and tools like video conferencing, but Bowman says the new challenge is staying connected socially.
Allen Oakley, Charles Aris president and COO, noted that “culture wins the battle across all boards,” and that to successfully implement this work model the firm must bolster personalized accommodation with frequent virtual and in-person events.
To promote inclusivity, new hires are now asked to travel to the Greensboro headquarters as they complete their initial onboarding tasks and get to know the team. This year, Charles Aris also hosted its first three-day workshop in Greensboro where every team member had the option to fly in and complete a robust docket of activities centered around team building.
For remote employees who had never interacted with their teammates in person, the event was packed with opportunities for face-to-face bonding and presentations from the firm’s senior leadership team.
“Being able to meet with other team members reiterated that our firm is invested in its employees’ personal and professional development,” said Danielle Infantino, a fully remote marketing associate working from her home in Long Island. “Establishing these connections made me feel more comfortable and valued at Charles Aris.”
Another first for Charles Aris, those attending the workshop completed training from employee engagement company Emergenetics International, which leverages its own “thinking styles” tool to help people learn more about themselves and their teammates in a professional atmosphere.
Oakley says tools and training like Emergenetics will continue playing a role in the firm’s future of work, but leadership will rely on individual team members and company-wide touchpoints to gather feedback and advice for the future.
This sentiment is echoed by Bowman, who said “we’ll try this for a while, get feedback on what’s working and what’s not, and then shift and adjust as needed to ensure we’re meeting each team member where they are.” But, she added, the new work model is here to stay:
“We’ve decided to do this; it’s not temporary. This is our future, and we’ll continuously improve it.”
For more information on working at Charles Aris, call or email Danielle Bowman at (336) 217-9169 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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