Jeremy King | Senior Vice President, Engineering
Two years ago, as I was closing in on my first annual “Pinniversary” as the Chief of Engineering at Pinterest, our offices closed, and work (read: life) as we knew it changed abruptly. As we all adapted to the drastic changes around us, we learned a lot about what was working and what wasn’t in the workplace. The benefits of working flexibly and our ability to be productive from anywhere empowered us to do our jobs well while eliminating long commutes and allowing us to be more present than ever before for important moments with family. We also realized the value of intentional in-person touchpoints with colleagues to build culture and drive collaboration. Two years later, and three years since I joined Pinterest, I’m excited to share that we’ve announced PinFlex, a uniquely Pinterest work model that provides employees the autonomy to live and work with flexibility, while prioritizing in-person collaboration to work together as one team.
Flexibility and globalization
Pinterest has expanded globally throughout the pandemic, building engineering hubs in Toronto, Mexico City (CDMX), and Dublin, on top of our Seattle, San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. All of these regions have been able to successfully collaborate across borders and serve Pinners around the world, proving the value and effectiveness of a distributed workforce. We also recognize the value in being able to hire from anywhere to build a diverse workforce. With PinFlex, we are able to hire from all 50 states in the US. We’re continuing to hire globally, and non-US employees may live anywhere within the country or region of their employment. Pinterest will cover the cost of travel for the intentional in-person collaboration moments that we’ve missed over the last two years.
In-Person connection to drive innovation
While there are clear benefits to working remotely, the pandemic taught us the value and importance of bringing our teams together at intentional moments to drive innovation and continue building a strong culture. PinFlex allows the work to guide the collaboration style, ensuring we’re being thoughtful about our real life touchpoints, and maximizing our time both inside and outside of the office.
For the last two years for example, I’ve sorely missed “5-minute meetings” — the somewhat important topic that is amazingly easy to cover face-to-face, but not critical enough to schedule a 15 or 30 minute meeting for. I was in our San Francisco office recently, and caught our Head of Infrastructure Finance in the hallway. For a moment, we discussed the complexity of a forecasting report that had been bugging me for weeks. It took us five minutes in the hallway to get to the problem and a complex solution, and we had it fixed the following week. Though there are many virtual alternatives to the 5-minute meeting (Slack, text, doc comments, git, etc.), the productivity that occasional in-person connection affords is so valuable. With PinFlex, in-person time will be intentional, all-in service of driving collaboration, connection and productivity.
PinFlex for Engineering, Product, and Design Teams
As we planned for PinFlex, we thought it was really important that we aligned on one approach across all of our engineering, product, and design teams. We are going to ask our employees to be in the office a maximum of 25% of their time. For the balance of that time, employees can be wherever they want, either in or out of the office. With PinFlex, we really want to earn employee’s in-office time and be incredibly intentional about when we ask folks to travel. We’re going to be deliberate and planful about this in-person time so that employees truly feel it was time well spent. For example, in-person time will focus on:
- Deep collaboration
- Strategic planning
- Team building
- Learning and development
Teams are going to come together and talk about how this looks in practice. We’ve set broad guidelines, but we’ll work together to bring it to life. And, we’ll take the feedback and learnings from our teams and make adjustments to PinFlex accordingly. It’s important that everyone feels empowered to shape our future of work, together.
We’re hiring Engineers around the world
Pinterest has hundreds of engineering, product, and design roles open around the world and we’re looking for great talent to take on inspiring challenges that will drive Pinterest forward. You can learn more and apply to our open opportunities here.
We’re excited about the opportunities PinFlex will create for our employees around the world. At Pinterest, our mission is to give people the inspiration they need to create a life they love, and that starts with our employees who fulfill that mission and inspire us every day.