Underknown is excited to announce its new Toronto headquarters which comes on the heels of the company’s hyper growth during years of fully remote work. Human Resources Business Partner, Ashley Patience-Abgao, is excited to continue building collaboration in this new office space and among the many remote employees across the world.
The transition to remote work was easy for Underknown since it already had so many employees around the world. “We weren’t a company that had roots in the office,” Ashley says. Working from home also allowed Underknown to continue hiring global talent without disruption. Although managing so many employees in different time zones comes with challenges, those global perspectives are at the heart of what make Underknown content so unique.
At-home work also proved beneficial in other ways for the company. Not only were employees able to find a better work-life balance, but Underknown leaned into technology to build out its workforce. “We’ve always been a digital-first company, so it was always ingrained in us to do that,” Ashley notes.
Take a look at some of the most creative home office of our team members.
Now, at the new HQ, the hybrid in-office model will allow Toronto-based Underknowners to enjoy the work-life balance they found during fully remote times but also will promote in-person coordination across the company. For example, EVP of the web-series division, Cristina Caballero, has instituted a Monday meeting for web-series showrunners to collaborate before working with their show’s freelancers throughout the week.
The office also offers a safe space and sense of routine for many employees, Ashley says. A lot of workers’ identities were wrapped up in going to an office, which was disrupted at the onset of Covid. Underknown’s new HQ can bring back that routine for so many employees and set the stage for creativity and engagement with their coworkers.
However, Ashley insists that engagement can’t stop with the physical office space. “Every person at the company plays a critical role so it doesn’t matter if you’re virtual or in-person, we all deserve the same amount of respect and access to these engagement activities.” As Underknown transitions to the new HQ, those virtual engagement activities might include talks from CEO Steve Hulford and other department leaders or even fun community-building events like a worldwide step challenge.
This overall emphasis on connectedness company-wide will create the mindset that Ashley knows will be the key to navigating current disruptive times in the industry.