Alternate Schedules At Ebay.
Kirstin Hoefer, Sr. Director of Product Management at Ebay, Leads the Company’s Strategic Initiative to Improve the Buying Experience on eBay.com on an 80% Schedule
Benefits of this Flexible Arrangement to the Company
The primary benefit to Ebay of offering Kirstin Hoefer a custom schedule was their ability to attract her to the company. Kirstin, who joined Ebay on a 4 day a week schedule, came from Excite @Home where she handled very similar product responsibilities on a 3 day a week schedule. The GM who hired Kirstin at Ebay was notoriously selective in hiring. The Director opening that he originally hired Kirstin into had been open for 8 months before she accepted the job. Since then, Kristin has been promoted and grew her original team to an organization of 19 before being offered her latest role leading a team of 20 overseing the Buying Experience at eBay, all on an 80% schedule.
Hiring Kirstin, and her success at the company have also had the additional benefit of helping to evolve the work culture at Ebay. Though her arrangement was unique at the time, Kirstin feels that management at Ebay supported hiring her on a reduced schedule because they recognized that the arrangement embodied the spirit of what the company is, an organization that values talent, and works creatively to attract and retain the best in the industry.
Motivation for Flex Career
Kirstin’s motivation for a custom schedule was not unique. She and her husband were both working full time in fairly demanding roles when they had their first baby. The couple needed to restructure their work hours to create more time to be involved parents while their children were young. The two evaluated their options, and Kirstin’s management at Excite @Home, which was downsizing and near bankruptcy at the time, was very open to working with her on custom schedule, so Kirstin opted to reduce her schedule to 3 days a week.
How it Works
At Ebay, Kirstin works an 80% schedule in 4 days a week, taking Fridays off to spend with her family. Consequently, she is paid 80% of her full time salary. Per Ebay’s standard policy, because Kirstin is working more than 30 hours a week, she receives full benefits and full vesting of her stock options. Kirstin is fairly disciplined about not working on Fridays, rarely rescheduling her day off to take a meeting. Rather, she and her team consider her Fridays out of the office a growth opportunity for the team, allowing her direct reports opportunities to handle
senior meetings in her absence. Kirstin has reported to 3 different managers in her 4.5 years at Ebay, all of whom have been very supportive of her arrangement, helping her to build a strong team of direct reports that make it easier for her to delegate and keep her schedule in check.