It is no secret that a company’s success relies on its team more than anything else. But the quality of a team is not only measured by individual capacities. A healthy, sustainable company culture is the foundation in which organizational and technological innovations are grounded.
There are more than a few actions that a company can undertake to create this type of culture. In this article, we will use our experience at eagerworks as an example of the kind of decisions and company policies that can contribute to creating a culture that fosters employee engagement, builds strong bonds based on trust and mutual confidence, and enhances productivity and innovation.
To develop the kind of deep human connection required for a team to become great, employees must conceive workspace as much more than merely a location where they spend part of the day and do the work expected from them, and then leave. They need to be satisfied with their surroundings and with the equipment they use to work. And they must feel comfortable enough to interact with their teammates on a human, meaningful level.
All the equipment at our offices consists of state-of-the-art electronic devices, including a 3D printer and other accessories that make everyday tasks easier for our team. But an essential part of the team-building strategy depends on our employees being able to occasionally experience the workspace as a place where they can play games together, share a relaxed moment, or even study when they need to. To this end, we have at the office a ping-pong table an Oculus Quest headsets, and a Nintendo Switch. With the aim of making the office a space where everyone can feel at home, we display fruits, coffee, tea, bread, cereals, food dressings, and, of course, the crucial element of Uruguayan social life: yerba mate. With all of these, the team can enjoy having breakfast or a quick snack during their working day.
Creating a healthy and sustainable company culture goes beyond conditions at the workspace. We believe that our team members should not be considered merely as workers but rather as human beings as a whole. This is why we think it is important to contribute to their quality of life inside and outside the workspace and the working time.
These are some of the actions that we have undertaken to make sure this goal is accomplished:
Flexible hours: we established an overlap of four hours, from 11 AM to 3 PM, in which we agree to be all in the office or connected. Beyond that, we trust our employees’ judgment to decide when they work, depending on their tasks and their meetings and interactions with other team members or with our partners.
Remote work: during this last year, the pandemic has forced us to implement strategies to protect our team from the spread of the virus, and this, of course, involves more of our employees working remotely. But even before the pandemic, we already considered remote work beneficial both for our employees and the company. We implemented a hybrid working model in which everyone can decide whether to go to the office or work from home. This enables the team to work from wherever they want and feel free to travel more often. Some of our team members are located in Argentina, Spain, and the UK, and we manage to keep all the team together despite the distance through team building activities and efficient communication. Furthermore, we have a few days a week when the whole team meets in the office (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to promote face-to-face interaction, but our doors are open whenever the team wishes.
Birthdays: our employees enjoy half a day off on the day or the week of their birthday. Besides, we share monthly birthday celebrations that are an excellent occasion for our team to meet in a relaxed and cheerful environment.
Study days: excelling in the tech industry requires constant updating. Learning new tools and processes and regularly improving your abilities make a difference in IT workers. Education is something we regard as highly important, and that is why all our employees have available study days from the very first day they join the team.
Sports: as most South Americans, Uruguayans are passionate about soccer. We realized that we could use this passion to help our employees get to know each other better and create deeper connections. Members of our team enjoy soccer games regularly, and we have encouraged this by creating a channel on Slack to coordinate the games and soccer courts, which are always payed by the company.
Fun activities: every last Thursday of the month, we gather together for Pizza Day. During these events, we held our month-end closing meeting, where our CEO, CTO, CCO, Technical Leader, and Lead Developers share information and ideas with the rest of the team, such as updates on upcoming projects, status of current projects, new clients or prospective clients, new challenges, etc. Also, every month, we enjoy an after-office evening with all the team. We also organize events where the team can share some quality time and get to know each other more deeply while having fun: bowling, paintball, escape room, trampoline parks, among other activities. Besides, we celebrate our annual Eagercamp, and our end of the year summer party.
The importance of continuous learning, especially in the IT industry, cannot be stressed enough. At Eagerworks, we make it a point to offer our employees all the tools available to be constantly assimilating new knowledge and new ideas. To this end, we share technical talks every month to ensure every team member is up to date with all the resources and information that can help them perform better at their work. We also encourage continuous training through different courses and workshops offered by the company. We have recently established an agreement with ANIMA, an innovative educational proposal that offers young people an opportunity to develop high-level technological skills, both by studying and by acquiring experience at work. Eagerworks is one of the companies that contributes to the training of ANIMA students. Currently, one of our team members is doing his second year of formative practices with us.
At Eagerworks, we are proud of having developed the kind of culture that favors team motivation, commitment, and productivity. This allows us to trust our employees to work side-to-side with partners from the USA and worldwide and continue delivering top-quality IT products and services. Although our core business is software development, don’t hesitate to contact us at eagerworks if you wish to discuss with us how you could implement these practices on your company.