Workplace Flexibility: A Key to Bentley’s Success

Bentley’s Infrastructure Empowered Workforce Plan

December 14, 2023

By Suzanne Little, Chief Colleague Success Officer

two people behind laptop

At Bentley, we have always valued the diversity, creativity, and innovation that come from collaborating across global teams, geographies, and backgrounds. We recognize that over the past three and a half years, the world of work has rapidly changed, and colleagues have different needs, preferences, and expectations when it comes to how and where they work.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, Bentley had dedicated a lot of effort to improving how we get work done and building opportunities for colleague connection and engagement in a geographically dispersed, virtual setting as over 15% of our population was fully remote, and 34% reported to a manager based in another country. This positioned us to continue operations seamlessly when the world went virtual and provided us an opportunity to further hone our skills in remote work.

The multiple benefits of in-person collaboration could not be denied though, so while we provided our colleagues flexibility to ensure their and their families’ wellbeing, we continued to offer safe and meaningful opportunities to collaborate face-to-face throughout the pandemic and beyond. In-person collaboration remains a vital part of our business and is essential to building relationships and trust, creating feelings of belonging, facilitating spontaneous learning and development, and ultimately preserving high engagement and retention.

In developing our future work plans, we listened to our colleagues’ needs and preferences to understand how we could best balance the flexibility of remote work with the benefits of in-person collaboration. After gathering feedback from our colleagues and engaging with Bentley’s leadership team we reconfirmed the way we work and re-introduced our Infrastructure Empowered Workforce Plan, or IEWP in 2023, our intentional path forward.

IEWP is a global strategy that empowers colleagues to work together, leveraging infrastructure to collectively achieve success. It empowers managers to identify meaningful in-person interactions and set expectations within their teams for virtual and in-person collaboration, so we can have the best of both worlds. Flexibility remains key, as we know that when our colleagues are poised for success, Bentley and our users in turn succeed.

The Evolution of IEWP at Bentley

IEWP was initially introduced at Bentley in July 2021. Why infrastructure empowered? From roadways, bridges, and rail that facilitated deliveries, to the energy and telecommunications infrastructure that kept colleagues connected, the very same infrastructure that our software is used to help design, build, and operate played a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of our colleagues and company as whole.

As our CEO Greg Bentley stated, “IEWP ensures that, as the infrastructure software company, we take full advantage of the world’s infrastructure through mobility and productive and enjoyable facilities, as well as having the flexibility to work remotely, leveraging the power of technology.”

Since then, IEWP has evolved into much more than just a flexible work plan. It is a strategy built on key principles inherent in our culture, including:

  • A solid foundation of trust and accountability;
  • A focus on support and flexibility; and
  • The belief that meaningful collaboration creates success for all of us.

These principles reflect our belief that flexibility and meaningful collaboration are the catalyst for collective success and a great colleague experience. Through IEWP, colleagues are empowered to perform the best work of their careers.

We believe our IEWP strategy is part of what makes Bentley an employer of choice, enhancing colleague experience, accelerating team performance, allowing us to have more diversity on our teams, reinforcing our commitment to sustainability, providing meaningful connection to enhance inclusion and belonging, and enabling a high quality of work-life balance.

Image of Greg Bentley with quote.

Workplace Flexibility: A Key to Bentley’s Success

While some companies have mandated a return to the office for all employees, we believe workplace flexibility is an essential component of our success. We intentionally did not take this blanket approach, and instead created the IEWP framework, intentionally flexible and adaptable for various individualized situations. We allowed business unit leaders to set a strategy for their organizations within this framework and position expectations with colleagues for meaningful in-person collaboration and remote work to ensure we are set up for success long-term in each of our unique roles and organizations.

The three Work Modes offered under IEWP – Office-based, Hybrid, and Home-based – provide a nuanced, inclusive approach, opening doors for attracting talent. Bentley has crafted our own unique definition of these categories to reflect what works best for our colleagues and company. Each Work Mode provides opportunities for both remote and in-person collaboration at various cadences, and each Work Mode provides flexibility to customize for the organization’s strategy, the requirements of the position, and the unique needs of the colleague. With three Work Modes, Bentley has built on our successful history of virtually connected and globally dispersed work, with now over 30% of colleagues classified as Home-based or fully remote, and 38% reporting to a manager based in a different country than them.

How IEWP Benefits Colleagues

Colleagues benefit under IEWP from continued flexibility, wider career growth opportunities, and an increased focus and investment in ensuring our colleagues have an excellent experience working at Bentley. Colleagues have opportunities to advance their careers within Bentley that may not have been possible in the past, as many roles pre-pandemic were linked to specific offices or locations. With an enhanced capacity to collaborate virtually, colleagues can grow their careers, network, and engage in mentorship opportunities regardless of where they are based. With state-of-the-art technology, there are also fewer barriers to connection, improving feelings of inclusion and belonging whether colleagues are sitting in an office or are on a video call.

Because IEWP embraces continued flexibility, colleagues benefit from the flexibility of being able to both work remotely from home and in state-of-the-art facilities. IEWP allows many colleagues to save time in the day previously spent commuting to and from the office, which can now instead be spent focusing on self-care and family, ultimately enhancing work-life balance and the ability for our colleagues to do the things outside of work that they love. Other colleagues prefer going to the office to not only interact with others but as an escape from a bustling home or a change of scenery. Whether colleagues are Home-based and connecting with others via our many connection tools or intentional travel, Hybrid and enjoying a custom combination of working from home on focus days and in the office for days of in-person collaboration, or Office-based and regularly commuting to an office, but still enjoying occasional remote work as needed, the flexibility offered through IEWP provides something for everyone to be successful. Our IEWP strategy isn’t just a flexible workplace model; it’s a cornerstone that solidifies our standing as an employer of choice and enables our collective success.

Looking ahead, we are committed to refining and expanding our IEWP to meet the evolving needs of our colleagues and business, understanding the many benefits that continued flexibility provides. We continuously explore innovative ways to enhance virtual collaboration, foster mentorship opportunities and meaningful connections, and integrate cutting-edge technology. IEWP is not a one-time initiative but an ongoing investment that will continue to enhance the overall experience of our Bentley colleagues.

 

At Bentley Systems, we believe in the value of every individual and recognize the important role that each person plays in our collective achievements. Learn more about career opportunities at Bentley