How the remote-covid situation made our core values stronger? Part 1
Funny how things work out. One year ago I was telling every candidate that we are office-first company that accepts occasional remote work. In just few months we were forced to switch to remote-first company - probably like most of you. In this article I’d like to share some insights about how this situation influenced our culture, and what is surprising, how it made us realise truly what our culture actually is.
Before I’ll dig into that though I’d like to take a closer look at the evolution of our culture - and this will be the first part of the article. In the second part I’ll dig into the changes that happened but I recommend going through the whole story, to gasp the context better.
Thirteen years ago when we were beginning our journey as a software house, me and my partners asked ourselves a question - why are we doing this. What came out as an answer later became two of our most important values that were followed by other ones. Quality of our work and quality of the working environment. What I always say is that those two things never changed. What has changed was our understanding of this.
Through the years we learned that the quality of our work is made stronger by hiring responsible professionals with good engineering or project management skills. With this goal in mind we have come to the conclusion that a proper recruitment process needs to be established. After hiring people i mentioned above, the next step would be setting up good processes to make sure that the quality will be set and maintained. Once those two things are in motion what needs to follow is feedbacking, brainstorming, allowing ideas to flow and making those ideas a reality. We also need to focus on our personal traits like:
- Responsibility - this one is obvious. We need to take responsibility for our actions. We need to be aware of how our personal actions influence others.
- Ownership - Big word, very important one:) We need to care professionally about what we do. Only then we will be able to make suggestions and deliver what we are expected to.
- Communication - Another “duh, it’s obvious” one. All the knowledge in the world won’t help anyone if there is no proper communication. Not only one that happens everyday, but also the art of feedbacking and talking about difficult situations.
- Impact on others - We do not want anyone to sit in his/her fortress of solitude with the best knowledge there is. We need people to have an impact on their team-mates, clients and the outside world as well.
- Team-oriented attitude - Personal growth is important, but in the end it’s the team that will gain a lot of benefits. And by “team” i mean not only Visuality folks, but also the client. Having this type of attitude makes us mindful about the needs of others, makes us open to mentoring (in both ways) and, what's most important, we feel supported through our journey within the project as well as person-growth path.
As for the quality of the working environment the most obvious (and difficult at the same time) result is creating and sustaining a place that people enjoy coming to work to. But what does this really mean? Through time we realised that those aspects are essential:
- Professional and personal growth (as we are operating in a dynamic environment, if there’s no opportunity to learn and grow, it’s not just sustaining what you have, it’s taking a huge step back)
- Transparency and good communication. What is most important here is quality feedback that is expressed often. This actually fuels the growth, as assuming that you are surrounded by professionals their suggestions can be essential to know what to learn next and what are the ways to do it.
- Visibility. We believe in an open-source approach towards many aspects. Growth is one of them, thus if we or learn something we try to convey this message further, mentor others or simply show our experiences. This influences much more people, making this world a bit of a better place each time. Additionally, it strengthens the core trait of Visuality - quality. Not only for the clients, but also for the people we will be working with in the future.
Whew, that was a bit long, but I just wanted to give you a good overview of what we were (and still are) striving for.
Here is the link second part where you will learn a bit more about the changes that happened to us and how they influenced our core-values.