Future of work in an international tech company
From our blog / Article
Internationalization during the global pandemic and an ongoing shift in the expert work market have given Wunderdog both the challenge and the opportunity to think about our ways of working: how to build a working model that also fills the expectations of tomorrow’s modern work-life?
From a wild Finnish dream to an international technology company
Wunderdog’s journey started in 2014 when our five founders saw that there was a clear demand for skilled, agile teams focusing on customer experience in small and medium-sized projects. Today Wunderdog has grown to an international software development company serving businesses from small startups to large enterprises in Helsinki, Berlin, and Málaga.
Our office in Germany has traditionally been operating with a more decentralized working model than the Helsinki office. The team in charge of backlog and roadmap planning has been leading the work locally, on the client’s premises. Other work has been done remotely from different locations in Europe. Currently, also our people from Finland are doing projects together with the Berlin branch.
We now live in a world of growing remote work. To support and extend the more decentralized Berlin way of working, and especially to answer to the growing talent demand, we are opening a new office in Málaga in 2022.
Why do we believe in hybrid work?
Building and nurturing customer relationships while working in a 100% remote model has been laborious.
“Although the amount of remote work is growing, I still believe in local presence in the markets where you operate in”, says Mika Viskari, our Ecosystem Lead and one of the original five founders of Wunderdog.
“Although we have been learning remote communication during the pandemic, I don’t see it ever completely replacing being genuinely present at the customer’s premises”, Mika says. Working on the spot with the customer enables direct communication and allows getting close to their business. A strong local presence increases trust and enables things to move smoothly.
Wunderdog’s hybrid working model also enables us to use global talent in the best possible way. In the ongoing disruption of expert work, freedom is what motivates future employees. People appreciate the ability to choose where they work from and what they work on. Our network of offices and hybrid ways of working give our people more mobility and the chance to work from different locations. Meanwhile, our culture allows our people to choose the teams and projects they work with.
During the pandemic, Mika has also seen how people miss spending time together and being physically present: “Even though I don’t see us ever going back to the traditional office work model, we still want to maintain joint touchpoints through our office network. This is important to cultivate our company culture as well.”
Working in a hybrid environment emphasizes the meaning of support networks
The Wunderdog idea is to develop quality software by doing the right things. This is achieved when people get heard and have the chance to influence decision-making.
Our teams and people are self-organized. People are trusted to find the ways that best help them to work efficiently and create value.
“While we trust our people to find the best solutions for their own work, we also want to create a good supportive network for them to find guidance and help when facing challenges”, Mika says, “at Wunderdog, we believe in succeeding together.”
Naturally, working in a hybrid environment emphasizes the meaning of these support networks. Maintaining certain routines and visibility is another crucial part of a hybrid work model. We also want to ensure that there are certain processes and checkpoints in place to support geographically distributed development work.
However, most of Wunderdog’s challenges during the pandemic have not been related to maintaining processes, but to maintaining a sense of community. When working remotely, integrating new hires as part of the community and culture becomes its own priority as well. This is what we have focused on the past few years -making sure that this sense of community isn’t lost in the remote, and now in the hybrid work environment.
Mika stretches the importance of companies arranging the time for their employees to talk about non-business-related matters. Some examples of maintaining our company culture and the sense of belonging include for example
- Doggolunches, a company-paid lunch to meet a new employee either online or face-to-face
- Spare time activities from painting to skiing
- An active Slack community with topics varying from business to sharing cute pictures of pets to brighten up the day
- Office Fridays with breakfasts or joint cooking classes, bringing our people together at our offices
So, what’s next for Wunderdog, Mika Viskari?
“We take one step at a time. Currently, we are focusing on setting up our new office in Málaga. There is still a lot to achieve in the Nordic countries and Central Europe for us as well. Another focus in our growth plan is talent acquisition.”
Wunderdog would also like to bring the ecosystem more strongly into our business thinking and serve our integrated micro-ecosystem from different locations. Together, we form a network of 200+ digital experts covering also DevOps, Maintenance, Test Automation, Quality Assurance and Venture Building. Polar Squad, a company from the Wunderdog family, is already sharing an office with us in Berlin.
“I believe in the hybrid work model as the ‘new normal’, but of course, the next few years will tell”, Mika smiles.
About the Authors
Mika is one of the founding members of Wunderdog. Recently Mika has been focusing on Business Development and building our company ecosystem. His passion is to build new ventures and help people grow. In his free time, Mika’s adventurous spirit takes him out into nature, from the Finnish archipelago to the sandy beaches of Spain.
Emmi Korhonen is Wunderdog’s Marketing Lead. She has more than 10 years of marketing experience on her shoulders, from B2C in retail to B2B in IT. In her free time, you can find Emmi dwelling in behavioral sciences, listening to live music, going to art museums, or enjoying a fine glass of wine.
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