Remote work

HubSpot says remote employees are more engaged, just as productive

After HubSpot allowed for flexible hybrid work, employee engagement (and the share of remote employees) increased.
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· 4 min read

Revolutionary war hero Patrick Henry is famously quoted as saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” It may be a bit dramatic to compare this to our current battle of RTO, but I think we can agree that we all like our freedom.

The marketing software company HubSpot says it has solved the fight over where workers work by giving them the freedom to choose. Employees can opt to work fully at home, hybrid (they call it “flex”), or full-time in the office, but they have to choose one and stick with it.

How it’s going. Company leadership tells HR Brew that in the last year, productivity has stayed the same, while the share of employees working from home has increased. Even better, the score on its annual question about how likely employees are to recommend HubSpot as a great place to work is 14% higher for employees working fully at home compared to the rest, it reported.

“We don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all strategy for building a great culture, and our data shows that employees can be productive and engaged regardless of work preference,” HubSpot VP of Culture and ESG Eimear Marrinan told HR Brew via email. “We still have plenty of work to do to continue building hybrid equity, but…our long-term bet on hybrid is paying off,” she wrote.

Hierarchy of (workplace) needs. When Covid-19 shut down the US in March of 2020, Meaghan Williams was working as the remote work and inclusion program manager at HubSpot. At the time, HubSpot had approximately 150 remote employees, Williams recalled. The role was created in 2019 to ensure that remote workers had an equitable workplace experience.

One year later, that remote worker population became the entire 5,000-person company. Today, over 60% of the workforce is still remote. Williams’ title is now manager of hybrid enablement and operations, and she’s been working on prioritizing productivity and inclusion across the organization as they employ the three different working models.

“I was very busy [in 2020]. But I was very thankful that I had a year of experience and a ton of content to lean on,” Williams said. “We still had a ton to learn but at least we had something.”


“We previously hadn’t had entry-level sales or product working remotely,” she said. “We think about learning by immersion via technology, but it’s very unique to certain roles. And so that was a huge learning for me of how we adapt these best practices to meet the needs of specific roles and levels.”

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Williams explained that the hybrid model was influenced by HubSpot’s remote-friendly company as of 2019. More than half of US-based employees lived over 100 miles from a company office, while 44% of those director level or higher lived in the same radius.

Williams and the culture team concluded that productivity had not declined in the new working model by looking at the performance of HubSpot’s sales teams and the average number of days with GitHub commits by engineering teams.


Connecting. Williams said she and the culture team were also closely monitoring the results of their quarterly engagement surveys. Their latest push based on those results is to build better connections across the workforce. The plan is to host “connection days” at the office, like bringing family to work or a virtual event, and ways for people who work remotely in the same area to connect in person.

This initiative, Williams and Marrinan said, is in part a response to 35% of HubSpot employees saying they did not have the opportunity to connect with colleagues on other teams.

“It makes sense, right? I’m in all my team Slack rooms, my team meetings…unless they have stakeholders I’m collaborating with, you don’t run into people in the hallways,” Williams said. “So, finding ways to just take that initial introduction and awkwardness out of it and bring people together for a common purpose is really what our goal is there.”

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