Chasing the Modern Lifestyle

Chasing the Modern Lifestyle

To close the books last year, our CEO & Co-founder Igor wrote us a note. He talked about coming up with alternatives to our usual ways of doing business and reflecting on whether or not we’re doing our part in ensuring that the modern lifestyle we create for and talk about can truly come to life – for us here at Native Union, but also for the audiences we create for.

Our vision has always been to create quality products that empower the modern lifestyle, crafting solutions to adapt to our changing needs and relationship with tech. Especially throughout 2020, we’ve all been witnesses to the power of tech in every aspect of our individual and collective lives. From making new ways of working as rewarding and productive as possible, maintaining a valuable sense of community even amidst a pandemic, all the way to revolutionizing businesses and consumer habits to search for a sustainable way to keep thriving.

The more time we spent thinking about the future of Native Union and where we’d want to be a decade more down the line, the more convinced we were that the time has come to start challenging ourselves to walk the talk.

Pioneering Flexible Working

With updates from industry giants like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and others, we’re seeing a true revolution in how we work in the modern lifestyle. Permanent remote working isn’t coming to life the way we thought it might back in March 2020, but flexible – or “hybrid” – working is here to stay.

We were lucky in a way because remote working is something we were walking towards even before the world turned upside down. The pandemic just happened to spur those plans.

It’s been more than a year since we first introduced our ‘Flex’ initiatives, and like at every company, there’ve been some adjustments throughout. What’s only gotten stronger is our original conviction – the way we see it, the future of work lies in more freedom, flexibility, and creativity for everyone involved.

That doesn’t mean we’re not still working through some of the challenges that come with a shift this big: from maintaining a sense of community, empowering remote productivity, finding creative ways to solve problems together but apart, owning your own work / life balance, to embracing an output-driven management style.

As believers in and creators for a future-looking lifestyle of flexibility and more control over how we live our lives, we’re taking it on ourselves to really make this work revolution live up to its potential. With FLYDESK, we’re tackling this flex working experiment head-on.

We’ve been collaborating with the flexible working platform for more than a year now, thinking of features and tools that could improve some of the problems we were facing. A couple of weeks ago, we made the exciting move to a brand new office in our Hong Kong HQ and it was the perfect time to start the next phase of our partnership with FLYDESK.

We’re still learning and getting used to this new way of working ourselves, but the increased level of freedom over working environments and schedules is already proving itself. We’re excited to see where this takes our teams and look forward to sharing more about our experience soon.

Becoming Planet Positive

Though we tout the modern lifestyle and are embracing this new way of life in our everyday and products, we in large have failed to acknowledge and face the negative impacts we have on making this way of life feasible for generations to come.

When it comes down to it, there is no ‘modern’ without consideration for the environment. The modern lifestyle can’t thrive if the planet doesn’t.

The core of our design philosophy has always been quality first. A mindset of buying less, but better. And within an industry that can tend to revolve around seasonality and cheap materials, we believe that this commitment isn’t a bad place to start.

But we know that to call ourselves a future-looking brand, we must commit to growing responsibly and transitioning to better ways of doing things in more of our processes and product lifecycles.

We’re starting with low-hanging fruits like improving our packaging and exploring more sustainable materials wherever we can, while figuring out where we could affect the most impact within the big picture overall.

Designing for circularity, doing what we can to both minimize and upcycle product returns, demanding more from our wide network of suppliers, takeback programs…the list goes on. It’s proving to be a real challenge not just to navigate and execute, but even to prioritize what we should tackle when.

As a team of people who prefer waiting for the perfect moment when things are accomplished and set in stone, it’s uncomfortable speaking about such a defining topic when we’re so early in our progress. However as daunting and murky as it is, we know we’re certainly not alone in this journey.

This year, we’re challenging ourselves to aim higher, do better, and be more transparent about sharing our progress and setbacks. Interested in our journey? Help hold us accountable! But also, celebrate the small wins with us – we’ll report back soon.

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Learn more about the future of work according to FlyDesk's JB Pimenta de Miranda on our Journal