How Impala Made Working From Anywhere A Reality For Employees

£6500 per annum, super-flexible work hours, supported remote working around Europe… An interview with Impala’s Head Of Talent reveals what an exceptional benefits package looks like in 2021.

Remote Work - The New Norm

In The Conference Board’s Executive Summary in exploration of how HC executives are handling remote work, they found "more than a third of organizations (surveyed) expect remote work to become the new normal for many of their workers.”

PerchPeek has experienced a surge in interest from companies looking to support their employees who are now working remotely. Some companies have created “head of remote” positions to make remote hiring and work run smoothly for the company. According to Darren Murp, GitLab’s “Head Of Remote”, the position isn’t disappearing anytime soon.

But remote is not new news for all companies

Some companies however, like Impala, a travel-tech company, are familiar with supporting their employees working remotely since even before Covid.

PerchPeek took the opportunity to interview Tilly Firth, Impala’s Head of People and Talent. , to learn about their truly novel approach to company benefits, how they support their employees in a remote workspace, and the results that they experience in talent retention and acquisition as a result of this.

The exceptional benefits employees can expect at Impala

Impala is an infrastructure API for travel technology, helping hotels attract more bookings by simplifying the online management processes.

Beyond this, what is extremely striking is Impala's extensive employee benefits and perks package. Their benefits offering equals just over £6,500 pppy (per person per year) and covers four areas of life:

  • The Health & Wellness Pot - can be used on expenses such as medical visits, dental, and exercise.
  • The Workplace Allowances Pot - allows the employees to purchase needed office equipment or pay for learning opportunities
  • The Lifestyle Pot - can be spent on areas outside of work, for having fun and relieving stress.
  • The Social Pot - encourages employees to grab lunch together and forge meaningful connections among their peers, and includes a loved ones budget to share with their family as well.

Why the amazing benefits?

According to Forbes, in the current environment, office perks are needing to change as more and more people are working from home.

Tilly believes that the employee benefits package reflects the importance of community and company culture at Impala. “I think underpinning [the supports package] is really wanting to build an inclusive environment” she shared.

Flexible First – Why and How?

While many companies have only recently started looking at remote-first and Flexitime as operating styles, Impala has had these in place since before the pandemic happened.

Employees can base themselves wherever they want in Europe, and they are only required a 5 hour window per day (10am-3pm GMT). Other than that, employees are free to choose the hours they want to work. This allows them to not only travel and see the world, but work at the time of the day (or night) they are most productive

Tilly pointed out “we’re a travel tech company and genuinely everyone that works here loves travel.” The founders of Impala themselves had a passion for travel, and knew when they founded Impala they wanted it to be a remote-first company.

It also has its benefits. The Conference Board , and Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor at Harvard, both reported that many organizations are seeing a productivity increase with flexible and remote working pactices.

Tilly loves the flexibility. “The concept of being able to get into deep work and not having to be on Slack, and talking to people during the day, which can very much distract you and cause context switches.”

Unlocking great talent through flexibility

Flexibility is not only important to Impala because of their love of travel - it allows them to hire great people regardless of location. “They didn’t want to exclude anyone that couldn’t or didn’t want to move to London” shares Tilly.

Instead of having a small pool of candidates to choose from, Impala can spread their net out to the whole of Europe and find great fits who otherwise might not have been able to move to England to work for them.

Should different locations warrant different salaries?

There is an ongoing debate on whether to continue paying the same salaries to employees in locations with different costs of living.

According to Forbes , this “same pay no matter the location” benefit will become more and more common - “In an effort to obtain the best talent, companies will pay their workers the same salaries - whether they reside within commuting distance of their office or in another state thousands of miles away.”

Working In Different Time Zones

When asked about the challenges of working from different time zones, Tilly, who worked from Australia for six months, loved it. “I just had so much deep work time, and that asynchronous working was really, really beneficial for me and worked really well for the team as well."

Why Impala are bringing relocation-support into the mix

While Impala since its inception has been a remote-first workplace, they are now partnering with PerchPeek to add flexible, low-cost relocation support as part of their benefits policy.

As well as underlining Impala’s culture as a company that lives and breathes travel, this benefit will allow employees to set themselves up in brand new working locations that suit them best. Through Perchpeek, they are able to support any employees who need or want to relocate, and they are able to keep on those amazing individuals in their teams.

Perchpeek recently appeared on Sky News talking about the new opportunities for relocation as a perk.

The reasons for a move can vary; relocating to be closer to family, wanting to experience a different country. Some have already relocated while staying at Impala, to locations such as France and Spain. Tilly, who previously relocated with Impala herself said “no one has to decide between Impala or moving to another location. If we can play a part in that and really help people experience the world, then I think that's pretty cool.”

Is it easy to support relocations?

Historically, relocation was restricted to the highest level executives in major companies, due to the high expense and complexity of managing moves. However, resources available to us in 2021 mean it's now quite easily facilitated. According to Tilly. "It's actually now super easy for people to be employed and move across Europe.”

Impala supports relocation through Europe using Oyster HR for tax and legal planning, while sponsoring Visas themselves as required. “I used to personally have to deal with various contracts and legal issues… but we now work with Oyster… partnering with them allows that flexibility.”

Now with their combination of Oyster and PerchPeek partnerships, employees can find and set themselves up in a perfect place in a new city!

How do they maintain company culture in remote working?

With so many employees spread out working remotely, Tilly states the importance of being loud and explicit on company culture and community. “If anyone was going remote, the first thing I would recommend is asking how are you going to look at your culture and really make that super, super strong and yet tangible.”

They maintain their community by engaging in a heavy focus on social activities. “We have a wonderful remote experience manager McKayla, whose job is literally to create these socials, create that community and real meaningful team bonding.”

They promote this further through their benefits package by encouraging employees to spend time together and develop inter-office friendships, to help promote happiness and productivity. An example is their Pop-Up Parties, where team members spend 30 minutes online together doing whatever they want except work.

How are employees taking advantage of relocation and remote working perks?

When asked where she sees herself next in terms of her work environment, Tilly shared she and her husband are taking advantage of these perks by moving back to Australia for the next year. Other employees of Impala are already taking advantage of the relocation benefits to move themselves around Europe. This is set to increase with Covid measures lifting.

An exciting leader in exciting times for employee welfare.

Impala is truly next level in the benefit packages they offer to their employees, but what they offer is quickly becoming the new normal. As more companies are realizing the benefits in updating their employees’ benefits packages, consider the value updating yours could bring, not only to your company, but also to your employees.

If you're interested in offering a relocation benefit package to your employees, consider using PerchPeek to allow your employees to never have to choose between their career and dream move again.

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