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Remote-First Workplace Policy (Public)

TL;DR: You can work remotely, and use the Toronto Office as much or as little as you wish. Once a quarter, the entire company will come together for 2-3 days to connect.


Goal

Exponentially improve life-saving R&D while creating a work environment that enables our team members to reach the highest level of productivity, fulfillment, engagement, and happiness.

The freedom to work from anywhere*

Moving forward, BenchSci is a remote-first workplace. While physical office space is available, all team members have the flexibility to work from any location* and to use the office as much or as little as they like. It also means that we will strive to ensure that the BenchSci experience is equitable to all.

*At BenchSci, this means working at BenchSci Commons, your home office, a co-working space, or even a coffee shop. Countries where BenchSci is currently incorporated to work include Canada, the United States, and the UK.

Context for remote-first work

BenchSci is committed to reinforcing a culture of trust and transparency, and to providing our team members with the resources and flexibility they need to continue doing their best work, regardless of where they live (within the countries in which we are currently incorporated - Canada, the United States and the UK).

  • We consider ourselves to be a remote-first company, and we will design for a remote-first employee experience.

  • As a Canadian company, founded in Toronto, our headquarters is located in Toronto for practical and historical reasons.

  • Our office, located at 25 York Street in Toronto, is known as BenchSci Commons. BenchSci Commons is a physical space and shared resource for team members to use in support of collaboration, connection and productivity.

  • We view the physical office as a tool to support collaboration, connection, and productivity. No one is obligated to use the office on a regular basis with very limited exceptions for employees whose specific job duties require on-site attendance. However, the office is available to all team members to use as many days per week as they choose.

  • Connection between team members and with BenchSci as an organization is important, and we want to enable BenchSciers to connect with one another wherever they are. We will begin to identify a physical location or hub in every city in which we have at least 100 employees, or where there is sufficient demand to warrant it.

Expectations for remote-first work

You may choose where you work and wherever that is, you are responsible for having a suitable working environment, which includes or enables:

  • A reliable internet connection with enough speed, stability and low latency to support a video call.

  • Additional monitor(s) and peripherals as required for your work (e.g. keyboard, mouse, etc.).

  • A quiet, private, distraction-free space to be able to participate fully in video calls, including discussions of confidential topics, and enabling you to represent BenchSci in a way that is professional, respectful and purposeful in line with Client-facing Etiquette.

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2022, all team members will be provided with a one-time home office allowance of up to $1,000 CAD (or equivalent) to set up your working environment. You are responsible for the ergonomic safety of your workspace.

  • As a company, we default to cameras-on for all virtual meetings. This supports communication by enabling us to pick up on each others’ verbal and non-verbal cues, encourages engagement and allows you to show the presenter that you are listening.

Expectations for how we come together

While not the default, we do believe that connecting in-person from time-to-time as people and team-mates is the basis for strong working relationships and effective collaboration.

  • The entire company will be expected to be in-person at our Toronto office for two to three full workdays once per quarter for our quarterly BenchSci Homecoming. BenchSci Homecoming will include activities such as:

    • Quarterly retro and kick-off

    • FASTT Talks

    • Team dinners

    • Organized, team-based activities

  • Homecoming will take place on or around the second week of the quarter. Exact dates will be set each year, and team members will be notified at least three months in advance.

  • For BenchSci employees whose primary residence is located outside of the GTA, BenchSci will reimburse 100% of costs to travel to the Toronto office once per quarter for the BenchSci Homecoming. This includes travel expenses, up to two nights accommodation, and $80 CAD per diem. For all travel, team members should use their judgement and act in the best interest of the company when choosing mode of transportation, and book in advance wherever possible.

  • Your manager may request additional in-person meetings throughout the quarter (e.g. for project kick-offs, team planning, etc.) in addition to the quarterly Homecoming; a budget for costs associated with travel outside of Homecoming should be approved by Finance in advance.

  • For meetings outside of our Quarterly Homecoming, meeting facilitators must provide the option, wherever possible, for virtual participation by colleagues working remotely if they are unable to attend in-person.

At present, access to the office is limited to those team members who have received a full series of a Health-Canada-approved vaccine for COVID-19, as outlined in our Phase 1 Workplace Use Policy. The health and safety of our team is our top priority and we will not host an in-person Homecoming, or required in-person meetings until we are confident that we can do so safely, and in compliance with public health guidance and international travel rules. We will assess what measures are required to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission at that time.