Articles

Top 5 reasons why Wunder is (again) a Future Workplace

By Akira Ahola, Zane Ābelīte-Medne

Since 2016, Wunder has fulfilled the criteria for Future Workplace in the annual, detailed Siqni survey. We believe in openness, constructive feedback, and saying “thank you”. So not only our Talent team but also our CEO Juha read each and every sentence of the feedback given by our employees. And again, the Talent team and management work for multiple initiatives in order to make Wunder an even better employer in the future.

At Wunder, we prefer to call people by their first names, receive birthday and Christmas presents from the employer according to our wishes and tend to hide candies from each other in order to play our own version of “hunt the thimble”. Those are part of our culture, but what are the actual features that our employees value in Wunder – and in a workplace in general?

Since openness is one of our key values, we want to share the findings of our latest Siqni survey also with everyone outside of our organization. If any thoughts on our culture arise during the article, do not hesitate to ask – we love to share our ways of working and how our values are implemented in our everyday work life.

What Wunderers value and how well those factors are accomplished?

In the Signi survey, employees are asked a remarkable number of questions. Wunderers are asked, e.g, what they appreciate in a workplace and how well those factors are accomplished with their current employer. Both, the ranking of the factors and the level of the subjective view of accomplishment are presented below as company average. This way we are able to draw big lines on what matters the most to Wunderers and how well Wunder is doing right now regarding the particular factors.

Pretty simple, right? Let’s then take a glimpse of our status right now. The ranking here is according to the most important factor in a workplace (first being the most important feature our employees seek in a workplace on average), and the scoring after the factor is how well we as a workplace can deliver it (again, the average score of what our employees have given us, 100 being the best possible score).

1st place: Work-life balance, 89/100

Obtaining a healthy work-life balance that leaves enough room for recovering after work may become somewhat of a struggle for a modern knowledge-worker if not enough effort is put into accomplishing it. Especially ensuring that the remote workers’ workload remains manageable requires even greater effort from the employer.

Harvest is our tool for work-time tracking. Yes, we need the system in order to invoice our clients, but so we need it to protect our employees’ private time. We bet that everyone has experienced a situation when dealing with a super-interesting (or a super-urgent) task, the time just melts. That sometimes happens to us too and then Harvest becomes really handy. Wunder doesn’t expect anyone to work more than 37,5 (in Finland and Estonia) to 40 hours (in Latvia) per week. After the situations when an extra effort is needed, it is more than encouraged to take a day off in order to balance out the overworked hours.

We are also very open and flexible to adjust the workload for longer periods of time if that is something that our employee wishes. Let’s say you are returning from parental leave and would like to work 80% workweek. Totally doable. Or you wish to concentrate on finishing a book that you are writing and to work 50% workweek for the upcoming half of a year. Doable as well. We believe in flexibility and when it works both ways, it benefits everyone.

2nd place: Freedom to work regardless of time or place, 95/100

Since we operate in multiple countries, having a solid and well-functioning digital work environment is in our DNA. It’s not an exaggeration to say that when the recommendation for remote work started due to the Covid pandemic we did not need to do any extra adjustments in order to switch to 100% remote work.

Even the recruitment and onboarding processes can be handled remotely and we have colleagues permanently living in countries that we do not have offices at, e.g. our designer, Miikka living in Germany.

Also, our working hours are really flexible. As long as you get your work done and participate in the meetings, the rest of the scheduling is completely one’s to decide. This enables our employees to organize their family life, hobbies and other activities on a very high and personalized level. Do you want to go and do outdoor activities when the sun is up in the wintertime? Or are you a night owl who finds inspiration and workflow after midnight? Great, we are happy that you know what suits you best and we want you to get that!

3rd place: Fair salary and perks, 78/100

We already mentioned that one of our values is openness. And another is that we take care of each other. So to share our salary model and perks openly feels like the right thing to do. Everyone is unique, with a unique skill set, work history and potential. Yet we really want to treat people equally, therefore the components that form our salaries are not a secret.

Even more, on top of the regular pay-check, a nice list of salary bonuses comes into the game. Hug-bonus being just one of them, there are also role-specific recruitment bonuses, work anniversary bonuses and others. And even that is not reaching the limits of our nice perks and bonuses – the fully detailed list of employee benefits (for all our operating countries) is 55 (yes, fifty-five) pages long.

4th place: Meaningful work assignments, 72/100

As our vision is to build a world where digital belongs to everyone, we all are involved in this building process to provide sustainable, ethical and accessible high-quality services for everyone. Every Wunderer has a unique experience and skill set that comes in handy when we build our digital solutions. And we are not talking only about technical knowledge here, sometimes excellent communication skills or knowledge on football or pottery can become even more important in order to understand the needs of a client and the end-user of the product.

And not less important here to mention is the Agile approach when it comes to delivering digital. The Scrum framework, which we often use within our projects, enables a lot of opportunities to impact the project flow and not to get stuck with one task for a week. The dynamics of Agile software development allow the solutions to evolve through collaboration between cross-functional teams. That altogether results in meaningful tasks and even more meaningful end results.

Our clientele as such is also a motivating factor for so many of us. To build the digital healthcare services for Helsinkians or to be innovating a system for the Statistical Bureau of Latvia that enables a completely new way of using the gathered data, really does change the world we live in. And hence open-source Drupal is at the core of our tech stack, these innovations are not only serving our clients but also all the organizations that use Drupal.

5th place: Workplace where you can be yourself, 92/100

What does this actually mean? It means different things for different people. From the psychological safety perspective, acceptance is the very foundation for trust and openness. And these factors have a tremendous effect on how people work in teams. Psychological safety is a solid element in our work culture and we actively work on making it even better.

Diversity and inclusion are beneficial and worthy to be taken into consideration; especially if the “herd” (our company in this case) wishes to grow and has experts from various cultures and backgrounds. It is the way we talk to each other, the way we encourage people to be who they are and all in all aim to work in a way that everyone feels welcome and included. Sometimes those are small things that can really make the difference. For example, having unisex bathrooms: this way we have more flexible capacity in the number of bathrooms and make the life of non-binary employees a bit more convenient.

We are not the perfect employer and there are always places for improvement, therefore we constantly ask our employees for feedback. Not only once a year are we invited to fill in the Siqni survey, but we also measure the company’s internal “temperature” on a monthly basis.

For us, this list of accomplishments is a great reminder of who we are and where we are heading. If you see a match in our values and future directions, drop us a line!

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