How Our Team Achieves and Maintains a Healthy Work/Life Balance
From the beginning, when Seeq was first formed in 2013, we have been organized as a remote-first company so that we could attract, retain, and nurture awesome teammates. We put remote work at the center of our culture because we recognized that people are so much more than their work lives, and that the ability to work from home with flexible schedules would enable people to achieve more of that work/life balance we are all striving to achieve.
Our focus on building a great workplace culture via a remote workforce has helped us so much during the last year of, dare we say it, Unprecedented Times. 2020 presented many opportunities for us to lean even more into finding ways to ensure that our team feels valued, safe, and supported.
At the beginning of 2020 we had a full schedule of in-person events and meetings. Even before COVID-19 began to take root in the U.S., we formed a task force dedicated to monitoring the situation and setting travel & safety policy so that no one would need to travel unnecessarily, thereby placing themselves, their families, and their communities at risk.
Because of our remote work culture, it was easy for us to evaluate our customer and team event lineup and find ways to adapt these events to an online format that would work. We leveraged our in-house virtual workplace software, Qube, to enable this transition. Now we are able to host all of our customer meetings and trainings online.
Adjusting to a Different Life at Home
Also in light of COVID-19, we swiftly made the decision to transition our annual all-company meetup to online. We reduced the number of hours we typically would have spent in meetings to enable employees to continue to make flexible choices about their schedules, understanding that many have increased caregiver and family duties at home. We also gave everyone a mental health day off during this time.
Because so many Seeq employees are parents, we know that there is added burden for those whose children are unable to attend school or day care right now. We are accustomed to the interruptions and schedule changes that are necessitated by this change, and it’s quite common to see a child or baby hanging out with parents during meetings.
Seeq has an unlimited PTO policy, and we allow our team to design their schedules in a way that enables them the flexibility to accommodate other important aspects of their lives. Whether it’s family and parenting duties, achieving personal goals, or recognizing that their most productive work time may lie outside of traditional 9-5 hours, we encourage employees to leverage our remote-first structure to customize their schedules in a way that best aligns their work/life balance.
We also recognize that one of the potential pitfalls of working from home is that there can be a temptation to work more than is healthy. To that end, we offer a $500 bonus for those employees who take 5 consecutive days off in a given year.
Community Wellness Initiatives
Two of our 7 core values are Valuing Every Team Member and Support Our Community. Seeq enjoys finding ways to combine these values into employee and community wellness initiatives. Last year we hosted a speaker from the Blue Zones project, and we followed that up with the Blue Zones Life 4-week challenge. The top 3 winners of the challenge designated charitable donations to the organizations of their choice. In years past we have used our annual all-company meetups as opportunities to volunteer for local food banks and build bikes for charity.
This past summer, we held two virtual walk-a-thons: one was a 5k/10k and the other was a half marathon distance. Employees could design their own routes and go at their own pace and Seeq donated a dollar amount per mile walked.
Seeq takes culture very seriously. We have a Director of Culture & Engagement who leads many of the structured culture efforts in the company. There are dedicated committees (we call them Guilds) who meet regularly to discuss issues around Culture as well Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We have a monthly Lunch & Learn program where different Subject Matter Experts from both inside and outside the organization are invited to speak about topics of interest to the entire team. We have quarterly GLEE (Great Life Excellence Events) parties where we celebrate one another’s’ joyful life events. We have a Slack channel to give kudos to our colleagues, daily Show & Tell, an annual Halloween Murder Mystery party, and a non-denominational Seeq-ret Santa Holiday Gift Exchange. This year we added a new tradition: DIY holiday cookie kits. We are constantly looking for ways to infuse more fun, connection, and communication into our remote work environment.
Total Rewards Benefit Package
And as for benefits, each year, as part of the plan to scale for growth, Seeq's strategy is to enhance an already amazing Total Rewards Benefit Package. This package includes competitive salary plus equity incentives (stock options), unlimited PTO, flexible schedule options, health insurance (of course), Internet and mobile phone stipend (essentials for our communication and collaboration), and a home office setup allowance plus an annual allowance for home office enhancements. Seeq’s benefits expansion strategy includes the announcement of two or three new benefits each year. 2021 brings even greater offerings including a 401K matching program and scores of perks through Fringe.
Seeq's Positive Impact on the Environment
Our 100% remote workforce is also having a positive environmental impact. We know that working remotely reduces greenhouse emissions and fuel usage by eliminating the daily commute. We also produce less plastic and paper office waste, and we consume less energy. Studies show that even just a day or two of working from home vs. commuting has a positive net effect on the environment. Plus, without the time we would have lost to commuting, we have more time to engage in activities that have a positive impact like volunteering, spending time in nature, and otherwise engaging with our communities.
To sum it up, we are so proud and excited about the culture we’ve built at Seeq. We tell each other all the time how fortunate we feel to be working for a company that is supportive of employees and cares about creating and preserving a great culture. When the mandates and changes of COVID-19 hit the rest of the world hard, we were already prepared to meet the challenges of staying productive and connected while working from home. We believe we’ve got a great place to work, maybe even the absolute best!