The Green Cities Company is a real estate private equity manager. Headquartered in Portland, Ore., it is a minority and women-owned company.

How has your firm adjusted its workplace environment and policies in a post-pandemic world?

During the pandemic, The Green Cities Company was presented with the unique opportunity to redefine what a high-achieving, productive company culture looks like. The firm has embraced this opportunity and taken a number of steps to refine our definition of productivity, increase equity in our organization, and ensure that individuals have the information, support, recognition and resources to do their best work.

First, The Green Cities Company intentionally defined individual achievement by developing and publishing a set of company behavioral competencies. The behavioral competencies establish expectations for all staff, regardless of individual job roles, and are a key aspect of setting and aligning on our definition of productivity.

Additionally, the firm has incorporated these competencies into our performance review processes, so all can mitigate proximity bias (one of the greatest risks to equity of a hybrid work environment) and bring greater equity into our performance management and compensation programs.

Second, the firm has placed even greater emphasis on work-life balance and health and wellness. For the first time in 2022, we implemented an unlimited and flexible PTO policy, recognizing that individuals need time off for a variety of reasons that may or may not fit within a prescribed policy or set of guidelines. The only requirement of our corporate staff to take this time off is that they work with their manager to determine what is appropriate and communicate their absence to affected teammates.

Third and finally, The Green Cities Company has committed to hybrid work arrangements and flexible schedules for the foreseeable future.

Have you changed any policies toward in-person, virtual and hybrid work arrangements?

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Green Cities Company was primarily an in-person working environment. Today, the firm has a hybrid work arrangement, where employees work in-office at least three days per week.

To create opportunities for collaboration, the firm has designated Monday as our “collaboration day” each week, and all employees work in-office on that day. The other two days of in-office work are determined for each individual based on company, department and individual needs.

Additionally, though the firm has office open and closed hours each day, individuals are encouraged to, in conversation with their manager, set the working hours and schedules that allow them the best productivity and work-life balance.

For the full list of 2022 PE Workplace Pioneers, see here.