Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to work from home, meetings could overwhelm a typical workday and prevent individual time to think and focus. Now, remote work has only exacerbated the problem for employees and led to “Zoom fatigue” and burnout across the country.
To help address this problem, Metromile’s People team instituted a few No Meeting Days (NMDs) during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Metromile employees reacted with overwhelming support of NMDs. Accounting Manager, Romain Bauer, says that the NMDs offered him “a break from Zoom and time to focus on work without too many distractions.”
Positive employee feedback spurred the People team to formally establish NMDs on the first and third Friday of every month. On these Fridays, “employees are given the autonomy and flexibility to choose what they want to do with their time, instead of structuring their days around company or team meetings,” Lindsay Orr, Director of People, explains.
Lindsay outlined how having a company-wide initiative lets employees prioritize what is important to them during their workday. That might be going on a walk in the middle of the day, spending extra time preparing lunch, taking a deep dive into a project without interruption, or having a social catch-up with colleagues.
Having pre-set NMDs allows people to plan ahead and encourages employees to take that day off if they prefer, without feeling like they will miss out on anything – whether key team events or company-wide meetings. These days also give employees time to focus on their mental health and offer a day to reset before the next work week.
Brandon Loyd, Director of Product Management, uses NMDs to catch up on product requirement documents and look ahead at upcoming roadmap items. For Brandon, these days are also a reminder that Zoom meetings are not always the best way to communicate or collaborate with others. “I often find myself resolving open questions and making decisions much faster through internal wiki pages or Slack,” Brandon explains.
While NMDs are designed to encourage more reflection, focus, and reset time, our customer experience and sales teams are still available as usual on these days to support our customers and prospects. As part of our effort to ensure that all employees – including our customer-facing teams – have time to reset, all Metromilers now have two additional floating holidays to use at their discretion.
Shannon Shafer, Director of Customer Experience, said one of the things she loves about Metromile is how much the company supports inclusivity, regardless of role or title.
“As a long-time CX leader, I’m passionate about ensuring the productivity and wellbeing of everyone on my team. My leaders have let me know they love the NMDs, and the floating holidays have really been a boost to our customer-facing team members.”
Metromilers are regularly reminded of NMDs but, of course, can still schedule time that day if they want to catch up with their teams, socialize, or reflect on their week with others. As Lindsay highlights, “the goal is to give employees the freedom and space to choose how they want to spend their workday – whatever that is.”