The importance of offices in the hybrid work model

Remote work has become predominant post-pandemic, and companies are facing new challenges, such as communication, creativity and mental health — find out what the role of offices is

In the first week of May, iFood participated in the 18th InfraFM Latin America Congress, the largest meeting of professionals working in Facility, Property & Workplace Management in Latin America. 

In one of the technical visits promoted by the event, professionals from several companies visited iFood's headquarters in Osasco to learn about the initiatives that the Facilities team (responsible for all office management and solutions in the work environment) has been applying to promote an experience amazing for the FoodLovers (as we call our iFood employees) in our office. 

Furthermore, Marcos Morgado, head of People Ops at iFood, spoke on the second day of the event about “Management Models in Facility Management”. Another major topic discussed throughout the congress was the challenge of engaging employees to visit company offices where face-to-face access is not mandatory. 

iFood team gathers for a photo during the visit to the Osasco headquarters

What is hybrid work like at iFood?

At the beginning of the pandemic, we started “iFOS Beta” – the “iFood Working Operating System”. Through it, we adapt to the remote work model, paying attention to communication and meeting tools, remote support and service for FoodLovers, the supply of furniture and equipment to set up their home offices, among others. 

After the pandemic, we made the format official Remote First, in which we started to prioritize the work experience of people who prefer to work from home, without creating an obligation to go to the office.

In recent times, however, different practices have emerged on the market, but without conclusive data on what the work model would be in companies — 100% in person, 100% remote or hybrid.

Analyzing the different practices, we understand that there may not be a single model to be followed, but rather a model that best represents the culture and current scenario of each company. 

Therefore, at iFood we continue with RemoteFirst, also giving FoodLovers who value in-person moments the freedom to visit our six offices in Brazil and the two hubs in Europe, in addition to the coworking spaces that we offer free of charge in other regions of the country.

Remote or in-person work?

Neither remote 100% nor in-person 100%. To reach an ideal balance, we give each leader autonomy to understand what is best for their team. 

We also always seek to innovate in the face-to-face experience, valuing connections and moments that people only experience in the office. 

In a hybrid model, it is very important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each modality and maximize the benefits of both.

Advantages of remote work:

  • Productivity 
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Economy

Advantages of in-person work:

  • Collaboration and communication
  • Improving creativity and innovation
  • Better mental health support

Culture materialized in the office experience

At iFood, we seek to enhance each of the advantages of in-person work, in addition to fostering the constant strengthening of our culture in each experience of the FoodLovers journey. 

One of the biggest challenges of hybrid work combined with a culture of flexibility is attracting people to promote an environment with more connection, collaboration, creativity, social health and cultural experience. 

At the Osasco headquarters, we carried out a retrofit, which was able to transform a building built in the 1950s into a space that reflects our young and innovative spirit

We have many open and collaborative spaces for FoodLovers to interact. For more agile and collaborative work methodologies, we have bleachers, glass whiteboards in every corner and workstations open space

Some examples of what we offer in Osasco are:

  • Food and Drinks – Breakfast with cold cuts, natural juice, fruits, cereal bars, cakes. Cafeteria with a menu of different hot drinks. Organic salad straight from our terrace garden, plus card iFood Benefits which allows FoodLovers to have lunch wherever and whatever they prefer. Refrigerator with full juice, soft drinks, iced tea and unlimited beers. 
  • Wellbeing and Leisure – iFood Baby Room, where mothers can breastfeed and care for their babies, an outpatient clinic with medical and nursing services (in addition to free online support from a complete healthcare team) and a court with physical education professionals teaching futsal and volleyball classes. Space with video games, pool table, table tennis and foosball. In addition, we allow family and pets to enter weekly. 
Visitors get to know the iFood Baby room
  • Events and meetings – Different rooms with hybrid meeting resources customized for each purpose (group work, workshops, training, large presentations, etc.), studio with capacity for 260 people for large events and broadcast with dedicated audiovisual team. Happy Hour spaces with on-demand karaoke, live music, bar and food options.
  • Innovation and Sustainability – Organic vegetable garden on the building's terrace with a monthly capacity to produce 1.7 tons of food, a robot we call Ada to take coffee to different locations in the office. Parking spaces for free charging of electric cars.
Detail of the organic vegetable garden installed on the terrace of the iFood building

Our entire structure and resources offered speak closely to our values of Entrepreneurship, Results, Innovation and All together (in Portuguese, all together). 

We believe that the design of environments is capable of generating connection and creativity — for example, the rooms named after food, the presence of motorbikes and electric bikes distributed across the floors, the books available to motivate people's development and opportunities for exchanges. 

All of this is designed for FoodLovers to experience our identity with each visit, also generating closer ties with our purpose of Feeding the Future of the World.

Efficiency combined with experience

We highly value every detail to promote an incredible experience during each visit to the offices, but efficiency is also part of our entrepreneurial spirit. 

Although we believe that the engagement of Foodlovers in the offices is very important to achieve our big dream, we invested in all of this very consciously, reviewing contracts, negotiating with suppliers, adopting practices that generate savings, but without impacting satisfaction.

Our offices and the promotion of experience for those who are far away (by sending onboarding kits, home office furniture, trips and coworking) play a fundamental role in strengthening the culture and #alltogether connection of teams. 

That's why it's very valuable to invest in resources that enhance face-to-face time and that value moments together with people who are so important in our daily work lives. Take advantage of what your company offers and enhance your in-person meetings. 

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