Hulu: Interview with Susie Youd, Regional Manager of Workplace Experience.
With offices worldwide, Hulu has propelled its way to the top of the streaming industry, and as a result, it’s become a staple of the at-home TV experience. With Hulu Originals and box office hits, Hulu offers a bit of everything!
So, what can we learn from this industry leader? Below, we share 5 take-aways from our conversation with Susie Youd, Hulu’s Regional Manager of Workplace Experience for the Western US.
1. Workplace should report to HR, not finance.
Traditionally, workplace teams have reported to finance. While this works, Hulu believes that reporting to HR makes more sense.
“I am seeing a newer trend where Workplace rolls up into HR as opposed to finance, and this is the case with Hulu. In my personal experience, I’ve found that at companies where workplace does roll up into finance, there’s more of a focus on the asset - the actual physical workspace. Whereas, when workplace teams report to HR, there’s a focus on the people. So instead of having workplace teams support the facility, you have them creating an office or workspace centered on the needs of the people.” – Susie Youd
2. Employee culture should influence workplace design, and workplace design should influence employee culture.
Too often, companies focus on building their culture around their physical workplace or vice-versa. What companies need to recognize, however, is that company culture and the physical workplace can and should influence each other simultaneously.
“The workplace is a physical manifestation of a company's culture. However, when you think about workplace design, not only should you think about embodying a company’s culture, but also how workplace design provides an opportunity to influence the culture.” – Susie Youd
3. A workplace should support all types of people and their many ways of working.
In the past year, workplace conversation has centered around the topics of diversity and inclusion – and rightfully so! Workplace teams have been working to design environments that are equitable, support diversity, and make all people feel a strong sense of belonging.
“When we think about workplace, we have to start thinking about choices. People work in different ways, think in different ways, operate in different ways. So, if we are really here to support the people, then we have to provide a diverse set of ways that people can work, whether that's in an office, at a coffee shop, in a conference room, or in a lounge space.” – Susie Youd
4. Workplace teams should consider local company culture when designing, as company culture will vary from location to location.
Workplace culture is different everywhere you go. Hulu understands this, and it’s why the company designs its workplaces to support local work culture.
“At Hulu, we’re very much about speaking to the local culture and really digging into programming with the local team prior to the design phase, because how we operate in New York is totally different than how we operate in Seattle.” – Susie Youd
5. There are many things that workplace teams can do (outside of workplace design) to strengthen company culture.
Of special importance this past year, has been a company’s ability to foster company culture outside of the physical workplace. “Company culture goes beyond the physical workspace. There’s a culture that you can build outside of brick and mortar offices - that’s what we’ve had to focus on this past year, because we haven’t had the physical office.” – Susie Youd
Hulu’s Workplace Team has promoted company culture and engaged employees in a myriad of creative ways. In San Antonio, it has encouraged artistic employees to paint and draw, and is currently exploring ways to virtually showcase employee art. The team has also held raffles, hosted trivia nights, engaged employees in weekly company intranet posts, and more.
To learn more about how companies are navigating COVID, check out our previous conversations with: