The Toggl Firm’s Fully Remote Operating Model

Topic: HR Management
Words: 1934 Pages: 7


In 2014 Toggl, a company was known for its time tracking tools decided to go remote fully. To ensure that this transition from conventional brick and motor operations would be successful, the company’s administration implemented the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) method. Upon transition, Toggl witnessed an increase in employees from foreign countries. It also witnessed improved well-being and productivity of the employees. The success in this transition was influenced partially by the organization’s philosophy and partially by the good response by Toggl’s management to the changes in the workplace. This development makes it essential to study and analyze how the cloud-based time tracking provider handles its operations and possibly derive useful insight from its case study. After the analysis, recommendations on the possible actions Toggl could take to improve its employee’s satisfaction will be provided.

Analysis of Toggle Philosophy on Employee’s Behavior, Culture and Companies Values

Every company or organization has a philosophy and a general way of doing things. Successful business usually adopts favourable philosophies that help them to be different from their competitors. These philosophies shape the organizational behavior, employee behavior, culture and values of a company. Organizational behavior is defined as the study of people’s conduct in an organizational setting (Robbins & Judge, 2022). Organizational behavior is closely related to employee habits, which is how they react to different situations and challenges in the workplace. Workers should have a certain set of conduct in order to operate and maintain a healthy work culture. An organization’s culture is the tone of how it operates and can have different dimensions, including stability, attention to detail, and outcome orientation. For a person to understand these abstract concepts, it would be nice to use a case study of an organization with great organizational and employee behavior, culture and values.

After reading the article titled “Toggl’s full remote operating model” by Jitesh Nair and Bita Vasudev, one cannot help but notice the clear company’s philosophy. First is the philosophy of good communication in the organization. Before Toggl transitioned to remote work in 2014, the company held with all its employees. Unlike other organizations where decision-making is left in the hands of top management, Toggl consulted everybody, and the decision to transition was no surprise to anyone. This philosophy of involving all parties in decision-making positively impacts employee behaviors since they feel like they are an important component of the organization. When Toggl decided to transition, it used ROWE, a proven method where the employee’s success is measured using productivity and not hours spent in the workplace. Adapting this transition model, Toggl demonstrated that it has a philosophy of using methods that have been tried and tested in the workplace. Using tested methods is part of ROWE’s philosophy and guarantees more success than untied methods.

However, ROWE was not adopted due to its prior success with other businesses. As seen in the article, the managers had preceding studies, including CultureRx, that found that employees who had the autonomy of their time were more likely to spend it better than those under close unproductive supervision. After adopting ROWE, the company decided to adopt a philosophy where they did not put strict measures on time adherence for their workers. The only restriction given was that employees would adhere to the set deadlines. This philosophy positively impacted the employee’s behavior, culture and values. Employees’ autonomy to choose when they work improves their health and work-life balance (Oludayo et al., 2018). An example given in the article on this is that employees with children were able to go and pick them up from school.

Evaluation of the Philosophy

Toggl’s philosophy that employees should telecommute also revealed improved productivity. Alari Aho, the chairman of Toggl in 2019, stated that the philosophy of the management not micromanaging the employee’s behavior gave the workers a sense of responsibility. It also eliminated the “kindergarten syndrome”, as Alari calls it, which is associated with employee dissatisfaction. This philosophy of teleworking also helped prevent some negative behaviors in the workplace, such as gossiping, which is known to waste much time. Moreover, working from home saved time and eliminated the culture of travelling every day, which in the long run may fatigue workers. In other organizations, remote work makes employees lose the culture of communication which causes misunderstanding and a lack of common purpose. Toggl adopted a philosophy of organizing weekly team meetings, informal gatherings and annual events, solving this issue. Furthermore, the management embedded the culture of individual accountability, which prevented a lot of conflicts in the workplace. Trust and hard work, which are negatively correlated to misunderstandings in the workplace, were also encouraged, resulting in better cooperation among employees.

Implementing the philosophy adapted by Toggl is key to enhancing organizational success. This is so because employees will be motivated and inspired to meet their objectives when they have autonomy and work-life balance. First, the organization hires only people with prior experience in working remotely. Thus, in implementing this strategy, the organization avoids frictions likely brought by workers with remote work discipline. In getting the right people, the company fulfils the first who them what cliché which employers use to ensure success. The company under analysis also ensures that it facilitates a good work culture characterized by effective communication, trust, responsibility, team spirit, result-oriented mindset, work-life balance and decentralized decision making.

Evaluation of Toggl’s Responses to the Changes in Workplace Location

Toggle approached the changes in workplace location with diligence and due care with the aid of prior research. Before commencing the changes, the technology company ensured there was effective communication with all those who would be affected. After consultation, the company chose to use a tried model rather than being a guinea pig for untried procedures. The model adopted by ROWE focused on the results delivered by the workers rather than the hours logged in. This decision to use a production-based model is good as employees prefer to do things their way. Adopting remote work is also useful because unless the roles performed need a person to be physically there, then the brick-and-mortar offices are more of a disadvantage. Hiring people experienced in remote work is beneficial because no extra training will be needed before commencement. This decision to filter workers is sensible since some workers thrive in an office setting while others do good in a remote environment. Likewise, consulting all employees before changing was a good response by the management because it ensured that frictions were minimized.

Many employees are negatively affected by losing the routine experience shared at the workplace. Toggl knew this and took appropriate steps to minimize this loss of pride and accomplishment enjoyed by people who work in the traditional office setting. First, it prioritized interactions where team meetings and casual meetings were held on a weekly basis in addition to annual summer retreats. Secondly, the company set perfect employee support where team leaders were given the role of helping their employees whenever the need arose. Since there was a change in the way employee performance was measured, employees who did not reach their targets risked losing their jobs in the same way that employees who do not report for work do in office work.

How a Leader can Align their Organization and Employees to Adapt to the New Changes

There are a few ways how a leader can align their organization and employees with adapting to the new changes. First, they should acknowledge the old way of doing business and incorporate those employees in the change. They should then categorize the people into three groups; resistant, non-resistant and neutral. The resistant people they should let go of, the neutral they should try to convince into being non-resistant, and the non-resistant they should keep. They should then set a method in which to train the workers and make them understand the new way of doing things. Once the change is adopted, the employees should always be engaged, and their adaptation monitored and supervised by team leaders. Then constant monitoring should be done to see the organization’s and employees’ response to the change.

Recommendations to Enhance Toggl’s Employee Satisfaction

Toggl can improve employee satisfaction by offering a competitive salary in comparison to related remote work companies. The employer can offer commissions for any goals achieved on time and should reward any extra work. In doing so, Toggl should be careful that the workers do not go above the maximum set by relevant legal bodies. Apart from offering competitive salaries, the motivation of employees, especially during COVID-19 times, can be achieved by offering creative benefits. For instance, the employer can offer to improve the place where a remote worker operates if certain targets are achieved. Creative compensation may be the difference between a motivated workforce and an average one.

The enhancement of employee satisfaction may be achieved through asking employees for suggestions. If the suggestions are feasible, the organization should question the other workers as to whether they too want it and, if yes, act on it. However, if the suggestions cannot be implemented, the employer should communicate to the employee because. The organization can also enhance satisfaction by being transparent to their employees, especially during these tough covid 19 times. Whenever the company decides to make changes, it should always ensure that the employees are informed and involved in the change process. Being transparent is important as it brings a culture of trust and honesty to the workplace and, therefore, a strong work culture.

Many employers neglect the health and physical well-being of their workers. They prioritize work holism over well-being, and this leads to a reduction in motivation. Indeed, studies have found that there is a direct link between life balance, work satisfaction and health (Jaharuddin & Zainol, 2019). By focusing on the well-being of their workers while at the same time ensuring the workers reach their goals, Toggl would have a more motivated and effective workforce. Employees also need to be sure that the employer is investing in their future. Failure to have a reputation of an organization that is known to hire internal staff for managerial positions may demotivate the employees and have them looking for employment elsewhere.

Employees who receive constant rewards are more motivated than those who receive one big reward. Therefore, the employer should find ways to celebrate small achievements for their workers constantly. This culture of rewarding wins should also be transferred to teams, departments and the organization as a whole. Toggle should conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threat (SWOT) analysis and identify areas where their employees may be less motivated. It should also evaluate its employees’ case-by-case base since different employees differ in what motivates them. Some workers may be inspired by flexible hours, while others may enjoy celebrating more. That notwithstanding, some benefits are enjoyed by all, and Toggle should be careful not to discriminate against employees on this account.


Studying the case analysis of how Toggl handled its transition reveals several insights on how organizations should approach change. The company’s philosophy merges the culture, employee behavior and organizational values in a way that is likely to succeed in the three components. Its response and approach to the changes in workplace location are ideal and recommendable. The response also provides an insight on how a leader can approach the changes to workplace organization. Toggl can enhance the satisfaction of its workers by conducting a SWOT analysis and identifying areas where the employees are not properly motivated. Going forward the company should ask employees to offer suggestions on the things they wish the organization to do for them concerning remote work.


Jaharuddin, N. S., & Zainol, L. N. (2019). The impact of work-life balance on job engagement and turnover intention. The South East Asian Journal of Management, 13(1), 7. Web.

Nair, J. and Vasudev, B. (2020). Toggl’s Fully Remote Operational Model. IBS Centre For Management Research.

Oludayo, O. A., Falola, H. O., Obianuju, A., & Demilade, F. (2018). Work-life balance initiative as a predictor of employees behavioral outcomes. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 17(1), 1-17.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2022). Organizational behavior. Pearson Higher Ed.

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