Opening Customer Doors with a “Work from Home” Mind-Set | Steven Springsteel, CFO, Betterworks

As more businesses become accustomed to having their employees work at home, software developers specializing in applications designed to help companies better manage their workforces that include far-flung employees are finding talent management a growing concern for their customers.

Or so Steven Springsteel, CFO of Betterworks in Redwood City, Calif., tells us in an upcoming episode of CFO Thought Leader. We asked Springsteel about how Betterworks is responding to the current business environment and how the company is better managing its spending.

Springsteel: The migration to “work from home” was easy for us. One of the differences from a product and a go-to-market perspective was that our “work from home” use case became more dominant in the selling process.

Steven Springsteel, CFO, Betterworks

It resonated very well with our customers. They’d said, “Oh, yeah, I see how this ties everybody together. Yes, this makes sense.” Then, from a financial perspective, we did a couple of things. Because the “work from home” experiment was working, we asked the question, “Do we need all of these offices?” The conclusion that we came to was that we didn’t, so we’ve been able to close down some offices, close down some design centers, and work from home 100% in those particular areas, and the experiment’s working. Now, working from home, it’s hard for people who have kids. It’s really hard, so we’re addressing that.

But we’ve done a number of things on the “work from home” perspective, such as having virtual lunches where everybody gets together. We have virtual happy hours. We’ll have a virtual company check-in where everybody participates. We’ll have like a quick “all hands,” but then we break and go into little breakout rooms within Zoom where I’m there with six other people with whom maybe I have never even talked before—but now I get to know these people. So, the “work from home” thing has been working. On the financial side, what we did aside from shuttering some offices and saving a lot of money on office space and so forth was that we took advantage of the environment. We looked at where we were spending our money, and then we went back and renegotiated more than 90% of all of the existing agreements that we had out there.

What was surprising to me was that most of the vendors were okay with it. They’d say, “Yeah, it’s tough times out there. Yes, we can give you a price break. We can give you better payment terms.” Plus, internally we have this program that we have on Slack called “Save a Million Bucks.” As our people save money through one way or another, they post it on Slack and everybody cheers and so forth. But we were able to go back to a large portion of our vendor base and renegotiate our existing agreements, and this has saved us a lot of money as well. jb

Activating its workforce to weed out costs.