Embracing the Future of Work at NextRoll


The future of work is now, and NextRoll is ready – thanks to our Return to Workplace Taskforce.

From the beginning of the Pandemic and the quick shift to full-time remote work to the ever-evolving health guidelines since then, and the cultural embrace of hybrid work, the Return to Workplace Taskforce has been working away for the past two years to ensure Rollers feel connected and prepared to do their best work. 

“There is so much thought and planning behind the scenes,” said Nicole Song, Sr. Total Rewards Analyst. “Of course there were challenges – we've never been in a situation like this, so being agile in an ever-changing time was important to achieve our goals.”

The Taskforce, which includes Rollers from the People, Workplace, Legal, Finance, and Security teams, supported our company on the ever-evolving journey over the past two years. 

And for their efforts, this team recently won an AFT All-Star award – an internal NextRoll program that awards individuals who or teams that have made significant contributions towards NextRoll's goals – in the Agility category! Here’s where the team’s agility helped.

COVID-19 Shut Down

As the news of COVID-19 spread, along with the virus, globally, NextRoll leaders proactively tested remote work out before the first mandatory lockdowns. This test thankfully prepared us when our headquarters in San Francisco, the first city to mandate any closures, shut down in mid-March 2020. 

As we all know the initial two-week closure extended out for close to two years, and our Return to Workplace Taskforce kept an eye and an ear out for any/all changes during that time, while also ensuring our now fully-remote team had the supplies, support, and information needed to work from home. 

“The biggest challenge for this team is keeping up with the constant changes with COVID requirements on the CDC, state, and local levels,” said Evamor Palacio, Sr. People Operations Manager. "I’m proud we connected and aligned with one another on various policy updates that needed to be made and collaborated on internal communications as needed.”

After managing to migrate hundreds of Rollers to remote work in 2020, the Return to Workplace Taskforce ensured Rollers were heard and seen through the waves of transition during the Pandemic. 

“We’re looking out for what is best for our Rollers during an uncertain time,” said Jody Atkins, VP of Talent Acquisition. “We wanted to make sure that Rollers felt supported and taken care of while there was so much unknown in the world. They knew they could come to work as their authentic selves and have the resources they needed for work, their workspace, and mental needs.”

Reopening Offices and Omnicron

When health officials gave companies the green light to reopen their doors, it took more than turning a key to do so. 

Before we reopened NextRoll’s offices in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, New York City, Dublin, and Sydney, the Return to Workplace Task Force consistently took signals and monitored guidelines in those cities. Our teams utilized a Think Globally, Act Locally mindset to update internal processes and guidelines as one company while also taking into consideration Roller sentiment/feedback and legal requirements in distinct environments. 

“From an international perspective, Thinking Globally and Acting Locally was always top of mind for me, particularly as it pertained to reopening our offices in Sydney and Dublin and navigating the local vaccination policies,” said Eileen Gregory, VP of People focused on the AdRoll Business Unit. 

In addition to considering proof of vaccinations and boosters, the team also introduced health forms to check into desks, and policies around work travel, employee gatherings, customer meetings, and events, among other things. It also onboarded new tools to improve the employee experience in the office, like desk check-in software. 

“​​Agility means the ability to comprehend difficult and evolving situations,” said Marissa Cardon, VP, People Programs and Operations. “Then through analysis of the information, data, employee sentiment, and business practices take action and follow through on communication and change management plans.”

Thanks to the Task Force’s efforts, we successfully reopened offices by the end of 2021. But the team’s work was far from over. Just as our global offices reopened, the Omnicron variant spread around the world – throwing another curve ball at the team.

Nonetheless, the Return to Workplace Task Force evolved and remained agile to communicate necessary policies and changes to Rollers visiting offices during the Omnicron surge. 

“The team has been phenomenal at navigating the ever-changing guidance on COVID protocols and Return to Workplace,” said Travis Sumter, Senior Counsel, Head of Global Employment Law. “The legal landscape changed weekly, and the team moved quickly to understand the new guidance and its potential impact on NextRoll.”

Embracing Hybrid Work

Even as NextRoll’s five offices reopened, many current and prospective Rollers expressed interest in working from home at least part-time. In response, the Return to Workplace Task Force created hybrid work policies, incorporated more virtual collaboration tools, and launched virtual culture-building events for Rollers everywhere to connect and have fun. 

“I am most proud of the collective work to support Rollers in a Hybrid environment, and meet people where they are at in regards to the flexibility they need and/or their comfort level with being in the office,” said Beth Douillard, Principal People Business Partner & Talent Management Programs. “While it is an ever-evolving situation, we have consistently aimed to create equitable experiences for Rollers in a hybrid model, and with each new phase we enter that Roller experience and support continue to be a priority.”

Based on this feedback and the sentiment shared across the business community, hybrid work and flexibility at work is the new norm. It’s no longer the Future of Work, but the work of today. Thanks to the Return to Workplace Taskforce, we’ve got years of experience in this arena and we’re ready to keep embracing what’s working and proactively preparing to pivot if and when the sentiment shifts again. We know our Rollers work their best, and our customers receive the best service possible when Rollers work when and where they’re comfortable. 

“We're certainly not out of the woods as far as COVID goes, but I think we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Nicholas Zehner, Security Program Manager. “The challenges that have brought us here and the solutions we've come up with have also now proven to be great assets for attracting talent all over the country. I'm excited to see how we continue to engage Rollers regardless of their location and for the ways that we can continue to improve that engagement even in a post-COVID world.”

If you’re looking for a company that embraces flexibility and a hybrid work model, check out our Roll Where You Thrive site.