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Our First Week Back to an In-Office Culture, and How We Got Here

Qualtrics has a long history of winning and delivering superior innovation, growth and customer success. Our success going forward depends on our ability to collectively act with focus, speed, and excellent execution.

That’s why, in December, we announced that Qualtrics is transitioning back to an in-office culture in 2023. Starting yesterday, February 6, most of our team members will work from one of our 28 offices, four days a week, setting aside one day per week for deep focus to work at home or at the office.

It’s true – the past three years have brought about a fundamental change in the way we all think about life and work. We changed how we worked. Where we worked from. What we worked on. We grew comfortable with this new way.

Here at Qualtrics, through all of this change and adjustment, we continued to be customer-obsessed. We were resilient. We were agile. Most importantly, we continued to deliver innovations that improved people’s experiences across every industry. In 2020, we worked from home, and over the past year, we started working in a hybrid environment.

Now, as we, along with every other company, face a challenging macroeconomic environment in 2023, we are shifting the way we work to further position ourselves for success. We know from our own research that there is no one-size-fits-all model for how employees work. This is a decision we made—and every company must make— based on both operational and experiential data and the way we believe we will best be able to build our culture. 

For many of our employees, this is a lifestyle shift that changes daily routines – from childcare and commutes to workouts and walking the dog. We understand the personal difficulty that may be involved in making a change like this, and we’re committed to getting the experience right.

Why is in-office culture so important to us?

The bottom line is: we’ve realized, over time, that working together in the offices strengthens cross-functional collaboration amongst team members. Our most recent employee experience data showed that while Qualtrics team members by-and-large feel close to our teams and managers, they feel increasingly less connected to company leaders and colleagues on other teams. We believe an in-office culture is the most efficient way to break down those walls and collectively live our core value of being One Team. When we’re together, we communicate and learn more easily, we solve problems faster, and ultimately our results are better. 

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been getting our offices ready for teams to return, and listening to what they need to be productive and happy in the office. That includes giving everyone an assigned desk, providing healthy lunches and snacks, and designating quiet spaces for focused work. Now, as we implement our new policy, we are using our own software solution, EmployeeXM, to listen to employees so we can support them through this transition and adjust the way we work accordingly.

Secondly, we are prioritizing the flexibility that our team members value. In a study last year, employees said they value flexibility regarding when they work even more than they would value a shorter workweek. That means that while our employees will work in the office most of the time, they also have the ability to take time for personal, health and family moments in the workweek. 

One of the things that makes Qualtrics so special is our culture, and we have shown again and again throughout our history that we can beat expectations against the odds when we come together as one team. I fully expect that together, we will be able to do it again. 

Zig Serafin // CEO

Zig Serafin is the Chief Executive Officer of Qualtrics. Zig joined Qualtrics as Chief Operating Officer in 2016 and was instrumental in the development and launch of the Qualtrics Experience Management Platform. Zig has led the rapid growth of Qualtrics to over 13,000 customers and was a leader in SAP’s 2019 acquisition of Qualtrics for $8B, the largest private enterprise software acquisition ever at the time.

Zig was previously Corporate Vice President at Microsoft and led its multi-billion dollar enterprise collaboration services business that became Microsoft Teams.

In his 17-year career at Microsoft, Zig served as Corporate Vice President of program management and design for Microsoft’s services in anticipatory computing, speech/audio/vision processing, location/language understanding, and geospatial data, leading the teams that developed Microsoft’s artificial intelligence platform, Cortana. Prior to that, Zig was President and General Manager of Microsoft’s Tellme Networks.

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