As an experienced HR executive, Rich Jacquet works closely with Coursera to connect the company’s broader strategy to the talent efforts and employee experiences. Rich comes with an impressive background of building people strategy and cultures, both at high-performing startups as well as large, global companies. Most recently, he was the Chief People Officer at Gigamon, a network security company with approximately $350 million in revenues that he helped take public and scale the team to 800+ people. He also held leadership positions at companies like Packeteer, Bay Networks, eBay and Yahoo!
At Coursera, we believe location should not limit access to world-class learning, and we’re bringing this mindset to the way we evolve our workplace.
Today we announced that employees can continue to work remotely until January 1, 2022, when we anticipate bringing our offices back to full service. Giving all Courserians more time to work from home offers the flexibility they need to adjust to new routines brought on by the pandemic — like homeschooling — and plan the next 16 months with a clear timeline. We may reopen some locations at limited capacity before 2022, but only if it is safe.
The truth is, remote work is here to stay. With that in mind, today, we launched a new vision for work-life at Coursera that will enable employees to choose where they do their best work. Even after our offices safely reopen, Courserians will have the flexibility to work remotely for the long term, work from a nearby office, or split their time between the two arrangements.
Given the extended timeline, we are also offering a larger allowance for home office equipment. Every Courserian will receive $1,000 — or the local equivalent in the UK, India, Canada, Bulgaria, and the UAE — to create a productive home environment. Employees will also continue to receive the monthly stipend that began in March to help with home internet expenses.
We are excited about the challenge of bringing our unique and innovative culture out of the typical office mold. Since March, we have already hosted one virtual Make-a-thon event, transitioned our summer picnic online, and celebrated a colleague’s 40th birthday at a virtual town hall. We have seen more casual interactions between employees who work in different countries over the last six months than ever before.
Remote work at this scale is new at Coursera. We have learned a lot since we all transitioned to working from home in March. We’ll continue to listen to and work with employees to solve other challenges that come up, starting with a focus on wellness, promoting the use of our flexible vacation policy, and workshops to help managers lead remote teams effectively.
We are also motivated by the opportunity to access talent pools that we traditionally couldn’t engage with. Supporting off-campus work at this scale will enable us to recruit candidates who live beyond a commuting distance from our offices — this will further contribute to our efforts to build a more inclusive workplace.
Courserians have shown tremendous resilience during a particularly uncertain and challenging time for the world. We are proud of their relentless commitment to supporting learners, partners, and customers at this pivotal moment for online learning. We are excited to transition to a new working model where Courserians have the flexibility to choose what’s best for them — during the pandemic and beyond.