The success of Stanford’s pilot worksite in San Jose has influenced the launch of an alternative worksite in the East Bay and exploration of an additional site later this fall.
The implementation of alternative work locations is one near-term initiative Stanford leadership has taken to mitigate critical workforce issues such as affordable housing near campus and increased Bay Area commute times.
In October 2017, Stanford started a 13-month pilot worksite in downtown San Jose, leasing space with WeWork. After three rotations, pilot survey results indicated numerous benefits to employees working at the alternative work location during part of their work week.
Based on those results, starting in July, Stanford will pilot a co-working office space in Newark. The Newark site located at the Regus Balentine Center (39899 Balentine Drive), will have 15 workstations and can accommodate up to 75 total employees, based on the selected staff working there one day a week.
Stanford will also continue its lease with WeWork San Jose for the foreseeable future, and is exploring the possibility of expanding the pilot to one more location by the fall. More information about the ongoing San Jose site and additional location will be shared as details become available.
“Workplace flexibility is one recruitment and retention strategy with many benefits,” says Elizabeth Zacharias, vice president for University Human Resources. “In addition to easing affordability and commute issues, workplace flexibility increases productivity and employee engagement, reduces turnover and fosters sustainability. Support for workplace flexibility needs to be embedded in our culture and our leadership has demonstrated its support through recent policy updates, investments in technology and the expansion of alternative worksites.”
Located off I-880, the Regus Balentine Center Office Park is in close proximity to the Dumbarton and San Mateo Bridges. The Newark site includes modern, ergonomic office furniture, an on-site gym, limited meeting rooms, communal kitchen with tea/coffee, manicured grounds and a variety of restaurants within walking distance.
Employees who reside in the East Bay received an email on June 29 from University Human Resources with information about the Newark work location and instructions on how to request space.
In order to participate, interested employees must seek manager approval.
Editorial correction as of 7/17/18: Telecommute Agreements are not necessary when working at a Stanford Alternative Work Location, but some schools and units may require additional documentation on file.
Employees will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to space limitations, up to 75 selected employees will have an opportunity to work at the Newark location one day per week. For questions, please send an email to the Newark Alternative Worksite listserv.
Feedback from managers during the San Jose pilot found that 99% supported the expansion of alternative work locations. A majority of managers believed there was no downside to having their employee work at the alternative worksite and found their interactions increased. In addition, managers were pleased by the added benefits employees received by working at the alternative worksite.
“In preparation for our move to Stanford Redwood City, our team implemented flexible hours, increased work-from-home days and experimented with WeWork,” says Melissa McVicker, associate vice president of communications for University Human Resources. “We established new processes and work norms, and integrated tools such as Zoom, Slack and Google Drive to ensure we remained productive and accessible to each other and our business partners. Overall, our employee work-life is more balanced, and our team connection and accountability has increased.”