The debate about in-person vs remote work is never-ending – so I thought I’d share my perspective.

Because while Tred hasn’t been around for long, we’ve tried a wide range of approaches in our history

Stage 1: Remote-only 

In the early days, our team was made up of myself, co-founder Will Smith and our brilliant international interns.

We were a remote team by default (and the pandemic played a part too).

Working across 4+ time zones was certainly a challenge for coordinating calls, but it meant we could access amazing talent to get Tred going.
Plus, as an early-stage startup, not paying office overheads meant we could focus funds on building the business.

Stage 2: Office-first

As we hired full-time staff, we learned the value of having an in-person team who could learn and contribute while sitting side-by-side.

So we found a home in Avenue HQ in Leeds. The whole team has benefitted from sharing a space. Whether it’s CX chatting through issues with tech as they arise, or everybody having their say on the alignment of a new app screen – there’s lots to be gained from in-person work.

The magic ingredient has been making sure that everyone is in the office on the same days so we can get the most out of our time together (and make sure nobody misses out on post-work pub trips).

‘We raised £400k in 90 minutes with our 67th business idea’

We keep Mondays and Fridays as WFH days – the change of pace lets people get stuck into deep work and personal dev.

Stage 3: Finding the middle ground

In Tred’s short history, we’ve made a lot of changes to our working model – some by choice, some by necessity (COVID surges and train strikes etc.)

It’s yet another reason why building an adaptable team and culture is key at a startup.

I’m really proud and grateful for how the team has grown with us through our different working models.

And because we’ve got great team members, we’re happy to adapt our model to make it work for them – whether that’s to suit longer commutes, personal life changes, or anything else. Because of this, I’d say we’re now a 50:50 split between remote and office-based.

What we’ve learned

The world of work is so different now vs five years ago. With more options available, it’s important to acknowledge you might not get it right first time.

Even when you do get it right for a while, the nature of a growing business means that what works now might not work in future.

I was sacked for asking to WFH. Are companies really more flexible today?

I’m always surprised to see people who are furiously committed to one working approach or the other. For me, it’s all about need. What does the business need, and what do our people need? That’s what matters, not our personal opinions and preferences.

If you’ve also opted for the middle ground I’d love to hear from you – I think there are a lot more of us out there than the opinionated posts suggest.

  • Tred is the UK’s first green debit card and was launched to help people understand the real impact their choices have on the planet.