How to make your company a great place to work

If you think that an ideal work environment doesn’t exist, then you probably don’t know what it’s like to work for Nozbe. The values that we follow in our company’s day-to-day operations also significantly influence the way our apps function. Read on to learn how to develop a great work culture in your company!

Here are six of the most important things that distinguish Nozbe from other companies – not only in Poland but globally.

1. No core working hours – asynchronous work

At Nozbe, we believe that core working hours are not an optimal solution. Working time should in large part be settled based on trust in the employee rather than be a certain number of hours spent in the office. Research shows that a person is able to work efficiently and with full concentration only for 4 to 6 hours a day. The rest should be spent on other duties that require less concentration. We are only human, and we have a lot of things on our plates every day. Each of us is different, so isn’t it better for us to be able to decide for ourselves what time works best for us to get our work done?

At Nozbe, we don’t really have core hours. Each employee determines their working hours themselves, adapting to their household duties, their level of productivity during the day, and other individual aspects. Therefore, our employees' working hours are based on complete trust. We all enjoy our work, we feel good about it, and we take pride in it, so work isn’t a punishment but a pleasure, especially since we have exciting goals to achieve. Each of us is aware that the success of individual employees contributes to the company’s success.

Additionally, our work is based on asynchronous communication. We complete our work and publish its outcomes as comments in the Nozbe app. If we expect feedback, we are aware that we will not get it immediately – we wait patiently for the other person to complete their work without disturbing them. We let our teammates finish the task they are working on – we don’t call, tap on the shoulder, or ping. We are aware that requesting feedback will not cause the other party to interrupt their workflow and answer our questions. We’re taking care of other things while waiting.

2. Fridays – personal development for employees

At Nozbe, we have a four-day workweek. Mighty Fridays are spent on two things that are crucial for both the employee and the employer:

  • Weekly review: As the name suggests, we start Fridays with a review of what we managed to do during the week. We analyze incomplete tasks and plan our work for the next week. All this is done to organize our time more efficiently, to be aware of any errors and where to correct them, and to ensure we are on track to complete our work. Planning tasks for the next week is essential because, when starting work on Monday, we know exactly what our week will look like and what tasks we have decided to tackle. We don’t waste time and energy gathered over the weekend on the planning process, thus we can kick off right away.

  • Personal development of employees: This is probably the most interesting part of Fridays. After the weekly review, we spend the rest of Mighty Fridays on personal development in the broad sense. We complete courses to improve our skills, courses we may never have had time for otherwise. We learn a foreign language, develop other skills, and improve our knowledge that we use at work. Every employer would like their employees to improve their qualifications, but when are they supposed to do it? In their free time? That isn’t possible for everyone. That is why Nozbe meets the expectations of its employees and ensures that Friday is a day for us to review our work and learn new things.

3. Salary formula – clear rules for determining the salary

At Nozbe, there are special, universal rules for remunerating employees, which are written up in one place so that everyone has access and can check out how salaries for a given position are calculated. Such transparency makes employees feel safe knowing what salary they can count on for a specific job. At the same time, it eliminates the possibility of unequal treatment.

Nozbe’s Salary Formula is based on three pillars:

  1. Remuneration should be fair to all team members. This way, we eliminate individual negotiations and large differences in salary between team members, which poses a problem in many companies.
  2. We are sure that the salary will increase. Employees know that their salary will be higher every year and there will never be a situation when they will earn less than before.
  3. The salary is predictable for everyone. Each team member knows exactly how much they will earn based on their work because it is calculable. This gives the company the ability to easily predict the costs associated with hiring new people and a sense of security for employees.

4. Co-financing equipment, health care, sports, etc.

Perks are another interesting thing offered at Nozbe. Let’s start with the fact that each team member is entitled to a 26-day holiday, no matter which type of contract they have. The company encourages employees to take at least one two-week long holiday (10 working days in a row) per year. After all, no one wants their employees to be exhausted!

Each employee, after a three-month trial period, is entitled to various types of funding and benefits in the company.

  • All books and educational materials (digital or paper) are refunded if their price does not exceed $25. If they are more expensive, half of the price is paid by the employee and the other half + VAT is paid by the company.

  • Employees receive $70 per month to improve their English language skills or any other foreign language skills. We promote English in our company and want everyone to speak it fluently.

  • Conferences and training sessions (or workshops) are covered up to $110. We want our team members to take part in conferences, industry events, and meetings where they can improve their skills! If the admission fee is $500, the company covers it in full. If the price of the event is higher, the company covers 75% of the admission fee.

  • Office equipment is covered by Nozbe at 50%, without limit to the amount of equipment. Nozbe doesn’t provide any devices to employees – we believe it is better for team members to buy their own gear and treat it with care. All office equipment and electronics necessary for work are subsidized at 50% by the company. Office equipment includes:

    • computers (PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, etc.);

    • computer peripheral devices (mouse, monitor, software, etc.);

    • desks and chairs;

    • and any other office equipment that helps us carry out daily duties.

      If the equipment is new, the company pays 50% of the net price and pays the entire VAT tax. So a team member only pays 50% of the net price, which is deducted from the salary in the following months in instalments.

  • Co-financing for the gym (covered 50% by Nozbe), with a limit of $25.

  • Co-financing for health care (private visits to the doctor, surgeries, membership in clinics, as well as medical equipment like glasses) is covered 50% without limit. As of 2020, the co-financing also applies to mental health coverage (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, individual psychotherapy.)

5. Nozbe Reunions – the integration of a remote team

Integration team retreats are what employees like the most. The specificity of our work (we don’t have a physical office) makes in-person meetings even more precious and exciting.

As a “no office” company, we don’t see each other face-to-face every day, so the company wants to ensure regular interaction between team members. During the live integration meetings, we get to know each other better and we have the opportunity build and maintain good relations with the entire team. Currently, Nozbe organizes two meetings a year – one in spring and one in fall.

Meetings are a must for every Nozbe team member and are 100% funded by the company.

See how we organize our team meetings.

6. Nozbe values – trust in the employee

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to immediately learn how to work remotely. Fortunately, we did not have to learn anything because we have been a successfully dispersed team since 2007, which in no way affects the development pace of the company and its products.

Trust is a very important aspect of remote work. As we say at Nozbe: “Control is good, but trust is better." We trust each other and expect everyone to be 100% committed to their work. Nobody has time for constant control – it’s better to spend it on efficient work. Either way, we don’t want to control each other at all. Trust is more important to us. This is our conscious decision. Instead of putting effort into controlling our employees, we prefer to devote it to the development of our project management and collaboration app. We want to provide our users with the best product possible.

We are a small team, so everyone’s input counts. Each team member’s success contributes to the success of the whole company, so we must remember how important our individual job is. That is why we like our work so much, and most of the employees have worked for the company for many years already.

Social Media i PR Manager at Nozbe. Co-host of the Nie Ma Biura podcast. Passionate about psychology, she restlessly searches for new ways to reach the work-life balance, to improve team communication and optimize collaboration processes. Multi-talented cat- and computer games lover.