Flexible vibes and shorter hours - how people work at Nord Security
June 11, 2021
During the last year, people have adjusted to the new reality of remote work, and it slowly became the new normal. However, since vaccines came into the picture, countries started lifting the restrictions one by one, meaning that office life was to make a comeback. The same thing happened for our Nord Security team. In this blog post, we talked with our Head of HR, Karina Dirvonskienė, about the transition period and how our flexible work policy will look like as the pandemic slows down.
Lockdown and changing work patterns
First, could you tell more about how Nord Security worked during the lockdown?
Well, during the lockdown, we worked from home. And at the beginning, we had some initial concerns about whether we'll be able to reach the same results as working from the office. We also were worried about our employees' wellbeing: some of them are parents, who stayed at home with their little ones, others didn't have proper office space or simply were stressed about all the restrictions invading their lives. Even though our business kept growing, and our worries weren't justified, we still understood how much effort it took for our team to go through these challenges, and even though productivity increased, it sometimes led to burnout.
Once the initial shock decreased, we've noticed that some of our people would like to come back to the office, since they simply didn't have sufficient conditions to work from home. We listened and made it possible by putting safety precautions in place to prevent serious outbreaks.
Was there a shift in employees' mood or productivity once you moved to remote work?
Mood-wise, definitely yes. What we noticed was that people reacted very differently to the situation. At first, there was a lot of anxiety dealing with the unfamiliar, but it died down and shifted into reconciliation as time passed. Some people grew tired over time when others found unexpected comfort from spending time at home. Seeing all that unfold, we started working with Mindletic to improve our employee's mental state. And also, the problem was that most of our people were feeling unsafe regarding their health, so we wanted to alleviate this concern somewhat and supplied everyone with additional health insurance.
Despite all that, as I've mentioned before - our results continued to improve and to be honest, that's not surprising knowing all the people working here and their driven nature. But I honestly understand that it cost dearly for everyone, so for that reason, we're now introducing even more flexibility regarding our work model to allow our team to recover from all the stress.
Shifting to more flexibility
What do you mean by "more flexibility"? Could you elaborate more?
Yeah, we will start testing out a hybrid work model as soon as remote work restrictions are lifted by the government. At the moment, we're transitioning gradually to office life, meaning that once our hybrid work model comes into force, part of the week, we'll be working from the office and the other part - from home or some other place. Our teams will decide on their individual WFO/WFH pattern.
Also, we have introduced the Work From Anywhere policy, allowing our people to take a personal workation at any destination of their choosing as long as they agree with their manager. Of course, workation isn't a vacation, but we believe that the change of location would benefit some of our team's mental health. And, to top it all off - during July and August, we will have four and a half workday week, leaving Friday afternoons for personal time and leisure.
How did your employees greet the news of returning to the offices? Any challenges concerning the safe return of your teams?
Most people are excited about it - we truly missed communicating with colleagues and our office traditions. As usual for Nord, the comeback isn't a simple comeback - but a month full of our old traditions and parties brought back for everyone to refresh their memories and celebrate being back together (all done with safety precautions in place). Yet, I've mentioned, part of the team found working from home more comfortable, so that's partly why we decided to test out the hybrid model.
What changes do you seek or expect to see in the workplace after implementing the hybrid work model?
Well, at the moment, I see that we'll have to learn new skills as a team. Team communication is going to be the trickiest part when everyone starts to work from different settings. There'll also be a need to coordinate better - we've grown significantly since the start of the pandemic, and our current office just doesn't have enough room to fit everyone. Of course, the issue will be solved with the finish of Cyber City construction, but we'll have to be more flexible and accommodating than ever until then.
Perks and motivation
Apart from flexibility - are there any other benefits of work-life in Nord Security?
Loads. We truly care about people here, and since work takes such a huge part of our lives, we want everyone to have the best possible experience with us. Since every person has different needs here, we have a long list of perks developed, and it'll probably grow even more.
First of all, one thing that unites our team is drive and motivation - working here, you get to be a part of a global company that makes an impact and solves relevant problems. We have an amazing team of experts who are always ready to share it with others and grow talents around them. That means possibilities to advance and grow as professionals. The vibes here are challenging and fast-paced, but you can be sure that you'll never be bored, and things will stay exciting. If you ask our team members - often that's their main reasoning for being here.
But apart from that, we also have some tangible benefits as well. All our employees get unlimited access to our products. We supply them with all the shiny tools and gadgets they need. Almost no limit on professional growth: global conferences, trainings, courses, an extensive library, anything you need is there. Another part is entertainment - we're big on team spirit, team buildings, team workshops, and, of course, our legendary parties and events. Wellbeing is yet another perk - mental health programs and health insurance are here to stay. We also have physical wellbeing consultants onsite who help with trauma relief, stretching, and host workout sessions for our employees. Other significant perks are flexible work hours and additional vacation days, but as I've said before - the list goes on.
What's your personal take on being a part of this company - what motivated you to join mostly?
Well, a few things, actually. I loved that it's a global company with ambitious goals and eager to improve everything they do. The ability to make quick decisions and create new things was another big hit for me. But what most affected me was the people - this is a group that truly cares about what they do: they're real geeks and pros, always ready to help and support each other.