Cornerstones for today’s global workplace: How UpTeam® works and why you should work with us
When you join UpTeam, you’re joining an organization that knows teamwork, collaboration, and personal agency are key components for a company and its employees to thrive. We know that wherever they live and work, people flourish in environments where expectations are clear and support systems are in place to help them live their best lives, no matter if they’re on or off the clock.
In fact, we’re confident that our collective success is directly connected to a set of common standards that we’ve identified as cornerstones. These revolve around: location (where you work), schedule (when you work), and interaction (how you work). Consistency and reliability with these cornerstones are key to the long and happy relationship we look forward to in our work together. They are the solid foundation that allows us to implement successful agile software development practices across different time zones while making sure everyone is kept in the loop.
It also means that all our employees are provided with equal career opportunities and can equally exercise influence on company-wide processes, decisions, culture, and the ways we promote a balanced work-life.
Together, we rely on the following three cornerstones when building a work experience you can be proud of:
- Location Consistency: dreaming up and creating your best physical work environment.
- Schedule Consistency: a regular schedule to protect your off-hours.
- Interaction Consistency: making sure everyone knows how to collaborate and participate with you during the work day.
These cornerstones are there to help you have the best possible experience at UpTeam and bring clarity as to what relationship we’re looking to build with you.
Location Consistency: for security and productivity
At UpTeam, we recognize the importance of one’s environment to a productive workday, not to mention to their general well-being. That’s why we protect your need for an office-like environment. You can choose to work from the UpTeam office or one of our certified UpTeam coworking centers. Alternatively, you can also apply for your home office to be certified as your work location, following our Home Office Standards. For security reasons and to help you maintain the division between your work and private life, talk to your manager and HR if at some point you’re looking to change your location.
Working from home can be an empowering experience. That’s why we want to make sure you have everything you need, close at hand – this includes:
- A dedicated room that allows you to close the door and work without interruptions.
- The room can be your bedroom, as long as it can accommodate an office table and a suitable office chair.
- Your own laptop (or company-provided laptop offered through the UpTeam Equipment Rental Program) configured in compliance with the UpTeam security policy.
- A high-speed Internet connection with an approved router model.
- A default network connection via VPN, using UpTeam’s VPN Servers as required, with a network bandwidth sufficient for full, interactive audio and video participation.
- High-quality audio/video peripheral equipment allowing for participation in team video calls.
In short: we’re here to help you create a perfect office space at home or find a comfortable coworking center near where you live. If you plan to spend months at a time in another location (for example, during the summer), let your manager know ahead of time so we can plan for it together.
Schedule Consistency: for stability and teamwork
At UpTeam, we know that collaboration and participation are key ingredients of agile procedures and teamwork – they also help everyone who works with us feel supported and empowered in their daily tasks. We purposefully build teams within adjacent time zones to allow for quick decision-making and clear communication. That’s the reason we help you and your team stick to a consistent schedule. We rely on your active participation in scheduled daily team meetings to sync you up with the clients and tasks you’re working on.
Whether you work from your home office or from a coworking space, we want to make sure you’re included in a dynamic team that takes agile software development practices seriously. This includes empowering you with the processes, tools and rituals involved. In practice, that means 2-3 daily scheduled meetings and ad-hoc calls when needed. This is the day-in-day-out framework you can count on when working at UpTeam::
- A predictable schedule tailored to your and to your team’s needs, coordinated with your manager. Since we’re committed to giving you experience with American as well as European projects, regular hours for European-based employees may sometimes be shifted towards the evening.
- Active participation in all scheduled meetings and ad-hoc calls that take place within your work hours. Senior positions and managers may have to make time for calls later in the day.
- Confidence and connection with your team. Switch on your camera (and look the part) on video calls. You can use a virtual background to mask your room if that’s your preference.
- The tools you need to take life as it comes. Let your team and manager know when you need to duck out (health issues, home installations, picking up a delivery). Setting yourself as “busy” on our tools can help us adapt on the go and empower you to make win-win decisions for following through on deliverables and commitments.
- The opportunity to adapt your schedule long-term – make sure to check with your manager to make tweaks and get what you need to stay connected with your projects and team.
- Easy-to-use internal processes for taking vacation time and full-day absences.
In short: you may want to work from 9am to 6pm or create a personal split-day working from 7am to 11am and from 3pm to 7pm. As long as you’re available for the scheduled calls in your chosen work location, and so long as your schedule is consistent enough for you to thrive in your work, we’re happy.
Interaction Consistency: for reliability and collaboration
At UpTeam, we want you to be able to switch off when you’re not on the clock, and so we’re prepared to help keep you connected and available for your teammates during work hours. We know you expect availability and responsiveness from your team members during the day, and we know they’re looking for the same from you. We set principles and guidelines for interaction so that you know what to expect of each other, and to make sure no one interferes with your life outside work.
We want you to be a proactive part in building our processes and practices, and as such you will have access to our internal portal from the very beginning. We want you to explore, contribute, participate and do all of this visibly, during your chosen schedule.
All this means that nothing is written in stone. We are engineers, meaning that we strive to automate, optimize and make life better for everyone. If you see something that holds you or the project back, make a comment and propose changes. That’s why we’ve created the following principles for enabling communication practices within the company:
- Company-wide documents are available and commentable. If something can be improved, share your ideas so that document owners can review suggestions and changes.
- Day to day conversations on ongoing issues and tasks happen in Slack. To avoid being stuck in chat-hell, we encourage you to focus for longer periods without constantly looking at every threat update – so long as you respond within 2 hours (inside your schedule).
- We use JIRA (or a similar system if required from the client) to report key milestones and track our tasks.
- The UpTeam Employee App is the gateway to all the company policies, handbooks, requests and benefits. Using it, you can request a new laptop, a day off or new tools you need to do your job more effectively.
Never be afraid to make yourself visible. Participate. Interact. Share what you are doing. Writing things down, especially by commenting and documenting tasks, serves as written evidence for your progress and helps others to pick up where you left off when you finish the day.
How We Work and How You Work
Everything we’ve described above are time-tested guidelines for shaping a fulfilling and rewarding experience here at UpTeam.Within these expectations, there’s a lot of flexibility you can draw upon when shaping the practices that work best for you. No matter the schedule you’ve chosen for yourself, we encourage you to create your habits around it. You can switch things up if you want to try something new because we want you to find a perfect balance that helps others know when they can count on you.
Here at UpTeam, we’re on your side. Welcome aboard!