The last years has shown that there are benefits of remote work and that the hassles are fewer than anticipated. Nevertheless, there are benefits of physical meetings. We want to get the benefits of working together physically while being a flexible workplace.
The Studio is the base
Employment and work schedules are based in the office. Remote work will be possible in many situations but is defined in contrast to studio-placed work. This means we don’t have any full-time remote employees.
- Face-to-face contact between colleagues provides more than just talking, and there are nuances that are important.
- It is easier to build trust and team feeling by meeting physically.
- Being in the same physical location favors short questions, feedback, and interactions.
- Junior employees especially are helped by a low threshold to ask questions
- We have local customers whom we will meet on-site, and at times we even work from their offices
- The local professional network in Malmö is of value, and we encourage networking.
- The company takes care of one really good work environment and setup with all kinds of tools, and that is in the studio
- There are tax and legal considerations that is more straightforward if the studio is the base.
So what are the rules?
We do not set a specific ratio on the number of hours/days anyone should be in the office. Nor specific days that anyone needs to be here (or work from somewhere else). But in average we all should work at least 50% of the time from the studio (a threshold that also has some legal and tax implications).
But being remote has to work well with each person’s tasks and what others need input on. In general individual days, up to a week, are no problem to work from somewhere else (still dependent on the projects). If anyone needs (or wants) to work remotely for longer periods, it has to be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Both to suit the team, projects, and customers.
There are several factors determining what will work and what won’t. Long periods of remote work (like two months or more) are less likely to be a good idea. For semi-long times of remote work, things that could influence whether it can be arranged are: accessibility when away, what projects you were planning to work on, how far in advance the decision has to be made, etc. And of course, when working from a different location for a longer period, a secure, stable internet and the possibility to work during the same hours as the rest of us is usually required. We also have the same requirements for your work environment as we do for your home office. In some cases, you might have to be flexible with returning to Malmö if the projects/team needs you.
It’s not a ‘right’ to work elsewhere at particular times, if a workshop requires attendance or particular projects makes you involved in physical prototyping there could be weeks where you have to work full time from the office. This is very rare but in general one can not claim that one doesn’t work in the office certain days. At the same time this is not for any corporate reason, it’s for the team and we want to be as accommodating as we can to each in most aspects.
The reason you want/need to work from somewhere else could also influence you. We will try to figure out as we go what works and what doesn’t, and all in all, there is no guarantee that because something was granted before, it will get a thumbs up next time.
The process here is as follows:
- If you know what you are assigned to for that period, talk to the team to see if it works for everybody.
- Bring it up with your closest manager.
- If the remote work is planned for a period longer than a week, bring it up with Jonas for a decision and an explicit agreement on how everything will work.
Extended period away
At special times it’s possible to work for an extended period in a different location, also abroad, not to be confused with vacation. When you are on vacation we don’t expect you to work at all!
Remote office requirements
We provide a good working environment and tools at the office. If you want to be able to work from home (or elsewhere), it is your responsibility to make that work with ergonomics, an internet connection, and the tools you need. You also need to make sure you have a webcam, a good microphone, and speakers/headphones that work for online meetings, as well as an environment around you that is not noisy.
For example, it’s not fine to work from home but then not be able to participate in meetings because of other factors such as noises or unstable internet. We also don’t want you to call into a meeting on the run, except for informal meetings like the morning meeting or rare occasions.
Working outside of the office places a big responsibility on you to have a setup that is not cognitively or physiologically taxing.
Mobile Internet and Data
Everyone involved in projects (including subcontractors and interns) should have the possibility to work on the go. Both as a backup for cable internet and when at a customer site or on the move. Everyone is expected to have a working setup for mobile internet. If their phone doesn’t support it we can buy hotspot modems. If extra data is needed, that can be expensed. If you need help with internet tethering, ask.
We have morning meetings every morning and the default expectation is to participate in all of them regardless of whether you join in the studio, from home, or on the go. But while the default should be to participate, it’s always ok to miss because of customer meetings, required focus time or other extraordinary circumstances.
Symptoms, Illness, and Remote
If you are ill, you should report sick and get better. If you are well enough to work, but might be contagious and make others sick, it’s a good idea to work from home as long as you fulfill the home office requirements. If you need advice or recommendations, contact 1177 or Länsförsäkringar where we have health insurance, including a support line.
What we do in the office to support
The office should be enjoyable to work in
We don’t want anyone to feel like they are forced to be in the office. If the office is not good enough and we feel like there is a demand rather than a choice to work there we should improve it, rather than minimize the time.
Meetings are remote first
All meetings should be planned in a way that remote participants feel like first-class attendees. Sounds, tools, and preparation should enable calling in, and participating in brainstorms, votes, notes, etc.
In rare cases, creativity demands on-site participation. For these cases, it needs to be very clear that physical presence is expected.