Even Staff

2020-09-23

Our New Normal - Even’s Transition to a Distributed Work Environment

An HR Perspective:

 

If you would have told me a year ago, that I would be taking virtual team meetings from my small UWS apartment while scheduling team-wide online Yoga sessions, I would have laughed, said no way, and kept working away at my cozy desk in our open floor plan office. Boy, have the times changed.

 

I had only just started my career with Even in November of 2019. Being hired as their Director of Culture and Engagement was not only exciting personally from my career growth perspective, but because I was thrilled that a Series B start-up was already so focused on company culture that it invested in a resource completely dedicated to it. We were experiencing the typical start-up growth and onboarding large teams of new employees, what felt like weekly. It was exhilarating—I love building teams, programs, processes from the ground up, which is why I’ve always been drawn to start-ups. Here at Even, our constant challenge was always “where are we going to put people?” which is every start-up’s favorite problem to have. We added more desks, took over more space, and started to explore and visit new and larger office spaces to accommodate our booming growth. 

 

I’ve always been in favor of having a WFH policy as long as it was managed properly and that the manager and employee were committed to it succeeding. That being said, I must admit that I was also pretty “HR Old School” in my train of thought and felt that the majority of employees should be in an office. I bought into the data and research out there that showed in person collaboration was the key to a company’s success. I hadn’t seen anything to show me otherwise to be honest.

 

When we first made the decision to shut the office down and work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I 100% thought that we'd be back in the office in a couple of weeks. Computer accessories and personal items were left in the office (I didn’t even take home my dog’s treats and bed from the office). We quickly transitioned from in-person meetings to Google Meets….err...meets, and set up a lot of touchpoints throughout the day and week to give employees the opportunity to stay connected. It was actually fun to see the makeshift set-ups that people had orchestrated, whether in their small Manhattan apartments or homes where they were now sharing space with spouses and children (or vice versa!). I can’t speak for all, but I know I speak for many when I say that the first few weeks were tough—fears of the virus itself and trying to stay safe, compounded with fears of the failing economy and dire 24/7 news being broadcasted from every media outlet out there, as well as the normal work from home challenge of being unable to separate work from home. 

 

Over the next few weeks our team worked quickly to ensure that people had the resources/materials they needed to work from home successfully, as well as made sure that mentally, everyone was taking time for themselves. We also had to make sure employees were physically taking care of themselves as we were in the beginning throes of the pandemic. My old apartment was on West End Ave in the UWS and I can close my eyes and still hear all the ambulances going by during those early months of March/April. It became a familiar sound in my neighborhood and a constant reminder of what was going on outside of my protected walls. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our employees became our number one priority. 

 

As the weeks turned into months it became clear to all, that we weren’t going back to the office any time soon. Our Chief People Officer, Kyle Roberts, had built a “Roadmap to Return” and we started putting plans together, but with no vaccine in sight and a city still shut down, we started pushing timelines out. I attended more webinars on how to “return to the office” than I care to count! During this time though, we did notice something significant— despite being 100% dispersed, our overall productivity was affected very little. In fact, we found that most (not all) employees enjoyed being remote and were more productive as a result. That being said, we needed to ensure that people were being mindful of separating work from home and not burning out at both ends. We implemented a mandatory once-a-month mental health day for our employees to select at their own discretion (in addition to our unlimited PTO), instituted Summer Fridays, and connected to a Yoga Instructor for free once-a-week virtual classes for employees. Our managers were encouraged to make sure employees were taking breaks and utilizing these new perks to ensure they had the tools to keep their physical and mental wellbeing maintained.  

 

With the timing of a vaccine still uncertain and a timeline for the lives of our employees (as was as the world) being opaque at best, we’re just working to ensure our teammates and friends have what they require to be successful during these turbulent times. External stress factors are high, and it’s important to understand that each person is now dealing with their own variation of what a “work day” looks like. The old school HR rulebook has been thrown to the wayside and replaced by agile solutions to a variety of new situations, with it becoming more important than ever to listen to our teammates regarding what they’re feeling and thinking during all of this. That listening is what has kept our teams collaborative despite the distance between us, and has helped our team perpetuate the programs and perks that have made it still feel like we’re only a couple desks away from each other. The puppy playdates still happen, they’ve just been relocated to digital dog parks until further notice.  

Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content

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"... generating some of the highest approval rates and conversion rates among our online acquisition partners. The transparency and focus on data have allowed us to drive consistent growth and success each month. "

"Even enabled MoneyLion to... streamline our user experience, serve a broader set of our customers, and improve key monetization metrics... driving 4x+ growth since launch."

"... a streamlined consumer experience, helping millennials with no collateral, budget, or saved money. Even’s impressive matching algorithms simplify the process of finding the best personal loans to meet your needs."

"... a truly modern and easy to use platform for the financial services marketing world. They make it easy to develop consumer friendly, innovative products in a space dominated by legacy platforms."

"... generating some of the highest approval rates and conversion rates among our online acquisition partners. The transparency and focus on data have allowed us to drive consistent growth and success each month. "

"Even enabled MoneyLion to... streamline our user experience, serve a broader set of our customers, and improve key monetization metrics... driving 4x+ growth since launch."

"... a streamlined consumer experience, helping millennials with no collateral, budget, or saved money. Even’s impressive matching algorithms simplify the process of finding the best personal loans to meet your needs."

"... a truly modern and easy to use platform for the financial services marketing world. They make it easy to develop consumer friendly, innovative products in a space dominated by legacy platforms."

Mike Doniger
Head of Business Development and Partnerships

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Even Financial Partners with Figure to Add Blockchain-Enabled Personal Loan Products to its Financial Services Marketplace
EVEN
Even Financial Partners with Figure to Add Blockchain-Enabled Personal Loan Products to its Financial Services Marketplace
New York, New York – June 2, 2021 – Even Financial (“Even”), the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, has announced a new partnership with Figure to launch the company’s personal loan products on the Even platform. Leveraging machine learning and advanced data science, Even solves a significant pain point in financial services acquisition by seamlessly bridging financial institutions and channel partners via its industry-leading API and embeddable solutions.   Figure is a fintech company that leverages AI, blockchain, and analytics to deliver innovative consumer financial products with speed and ease. Figure has dramatically decreased the time it takes for consumers to secure loans and has significantly reduced the costs associated with loan origination, servicing, financing, and capital markets execution. The company was founded in 2018 to unlock new access points for consumer credit products that can transform the financial lives of its customers. In addition to personal loans, it provides mortgage refinancing and home equity release solutions, including home equity lines of credit, home improvement loans, and home buy-lease back offerings for retirement.   Figure is an exciting, advanced provider that is driving transformational change in consumer credit,” said Phill Rosen, Founder and CEO of Even Financial. “We’re thrilled to welcome them to Even’s unparalleled network of loan products.”   Shwetabh Gautam, Director of Financial Institution Partnerships at Even added: “We continue to see a strong resurgence in the demand for lending products across the millions of consumers Even surfaces offers for each month. The addition of cutting-edge partners like Figure strengthens our ability to connect consumers with the loans best suited for their unique needs.”   Even offers the largest network of premium, API-connected loan providers. Enterprises and established publishers such as MoneyLion and TransUnion partner with Even to power financial product offers for loans and other financial services including insurance, credit cards, and savings. Within loans, Even continues to expand its vast offering, recently launching products for secured lending, line of credit, and auto refinancing.   The launch of Figure on the Even platform enables consumers to get matched with personal loans of up to $50,000. Figure offers a 100% online application that allows applicants to apply and see their rate in minutes and access funding in as few as two days.   “Phill and the team at Even share our vision of leveraging blockchain technology to make financial services simpler, faster, and personalized. Through the Even platform, we will be able to reach a broader and more diverse set of consumers seeking our innovative credit products,” said Brad Simmons, CMO of Figure.   Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2021, facilitating over $3 billion in consumer credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 400 partners. Earlier this year, Even was named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2021 and placed in the Top 50 of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world.    About Even Financial Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. As the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, Even seamlessly bridges financial institutions (including American Express, Goldman Sachs, and SoFi) and channel partners (such as MoneyLion and TransUnion) via its simple yet robust API and embeddable solutions. Even turns any consumer touchpoint into a comprehensive financial services marketplace with full compliance and security at scale. The company is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs, including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital, Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com.  About Figure Figure is transforming the trillion dollar financial services industry using blockchain technology. In three short years, Figure has unveiled a series of fintech firsts using blockchain for loan origination, equity management, private fund services, banking, and payments sectors – bringing speed, efficiency, and savings to both consumers and institutions. The company was founded in 2018 by serial technology entrepreneur Mike Cagney, who also founded SoFi and built the company into a multi-billion dollar business under his leadership as CEO. Learn more at www.figure.com.   Media Contact media@evenfinancial.com
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
PYMNTS
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
Now, financial advisors and other businesses will have a way to leverage Even’s platform for their clients. ‘Financial Products for Salesforce’ - Powered by Even, a plug-and-play app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product offers.   Click below to read more at PYMNTS.com.
Even Named to Forbes’ List of “America’s Best Startup Employers” for 2021
FORBES
Even Named to Forbes’ List of “America’s Best Startup Employers” for 2021
After evaluating 2,500 American startups with at least 50 employees, Even has been named in the Top 500 of Forbes’ second annual list, which recognizes companies that stand out in: employer reputation, employee satisfaction, and growth.   Click below to see full listing.