There are people who, in anger, close a vacancy at the sight of the phrase “we have cookies”. There are people who refuse new wildly interesting work with high salaries, because there will not be free lunches in the office. There are people who quit because they are tired of sitting in an open space.
It becomes commonplace when IT companies invest millions and millions to create comfortable working conditions. Comfort becomes a habit when the employees' working day consists of a kicker championship in the morning, lunch in the office canteen, reading a book in the relaxation room and evening tables with colleagues.
We discussed these issues with employees of Sidenis, Alternativa Games and FunBox, who received the highest rating by the criterion of “comfortable conditions” in our ranking of the
best employers in IT. They described their offices, compared them to the most terrible memories, and reasoned about the role of comfort in workdays.
Sidenis is an international group of companies with many years of experience developing and implementing software for the insurance and reinsurance industry.
Assessment of the company on My Circle.
What is a comfortable environment?Nikita Ovechkin (Frontend Developer):
Previously, I had to work not in the most comfortable conditions - there was either an ordinary office from which I wanted to escape and not return, or a one-room apartment. Here the situation has changed for the better.St. Petersburg office SidenisInna Baykova (Frontend Developer)
: Large open space with high ceilings that absorb noise. There are large windows around the perimeter, from which a good view of the city opens. Access to rooftop terrace with artificial turf / deckchairs. Tea, coffee, cookies, milk, fruits in the kitchen. VHI, which is insanely convenient. Paid up to 100% salary sick leave up to 10 days, regardless of length of service. A bonus account of 35,000 per year to pay for conferences / books / sports / VHI for a relative / upgrade of the workplace. Microsoft Certification Refund. An annual travel policy suitable for any visa. Well-defined Scrum / SAFe / CI / CD processes. 160 hours per year of paid working hours for self-development. Business trips to Peter and Zurich. The possibility of a floating start and end of the working day, take a day off at the expense of processing. Teaching English and German within the company. White s / n, licensed software.Nikita Ovechkin:
A lot of my work attracts my friends. Since most of them are not programmers, many things are not clear to them. For example, how is it not necessary to work by 8 in the morning? How did this company pay you a fitness subscription? Sick leave without sick leave. What is it like?Kicker in the St. Petersburg office of the companyAnton Zaitsev (Business Analyst):
There is one thing that I have never used, and my friends often wonder at this. This is a kicker. Unfortunately, I do not play it. And therefore they often ask me: “How is it ?! There is a kicker, and you don’t take a break for at least one game? ”
The most uncomfortable conditions in lifeTatyana Semenova (Scrum Master / QA Engineer)
: The most uncomfortable conditions in which I worked: an office without air conditioning and flowers in an old research institute. With minimally convenient transport accessibility: the most cramped space in the city, small parking.
Even if the salary were increased and interesting tasks were given, I would not have returned there, because comfortable office conditions and infrastructure are important for productive work. Otherwise, a lot of energy goes before you start work and there will be little inspiration for interesting tasks.Nikita Ovechkin:
In my student days, when I was just starting to work, we had an office - an office right inside the university. We called it a laboratory. Every few minutes, a student burst into this office and asked one of the teachers who worked with us. The concentration was at a minimum, plus everything had to work on not the most interesting projects.Kitchen in the office in TomskInna Baykova
: I had an office with a view of the prison. Gray piece s / n, so that in January and May there is not enough money. Analyst, designer, front-end, tester and technical support operator himself, because they do not hire individual specialists for this. The code is not covered by tests, everything is rolled out by hand, because there is always no time to fix it. From "scrum" one name, but pieces of paper with tasks. The company’s kitchen has only napkins, if a table with a cooler and a refrigerator can be called a kitchen. All developers are sitting in the same office, they also conduct interviews in it. No one takes the hospital, because in this case they are left without money, therefore, "dying", sneezes into the monitor and at the same time colleagues. Holidays are paid only 2 weeks, the rest is at their own expense. No bonuses.Mikhail Mordvintsev (Team Lead / Business Analyst)
: Before Sydenis, I always worked in manufacturing companies - and this, of course, is a big difference compared to the IT world. For example, there is a tight schedule everywhere. I had experience in shift work, a shift of 28 days from 7:00 to 19:00 with one weekend per week.
Life in a closed camp in the middle of the steppe, near the construction of an oil and gas plant, working wells, sometimes an evacuation signal - hazardous substance emission sensors work. You can’t find this in IT.
Does comfort not interfere with work?Inna Baykova
: Sidenis is my sixth job and the longest. I know places where I will get paid more, but I will choose a job where it is pleasant and convenient to work. You spend most of your life at work; money can rarely compensate for really comfortable working conditions.
Programmers are people who are passionate about their profession, the more worries a company takes from you, the more you can devote to work. When you see that you are valued, you start to value the company, you don’t want to let you down. And the most productive employee is a rested employee.Mikhail Mordvintsev
: I am sure that comfortable conditions are necessary in the same way as a convenient tool. The absence of some simple things can just quietly annoy, and then this annoyance spills over into a variety of things.
For me, of all the amenities now, the most important thing is the feeling of freedom, which gives a flexible schedule and a friendly, trusting and respectful atmosphere. It would be hard without itNikita Ovechkin:
Yes, comfort is relaxing, but it has a positive effect on work. When I have not been able to solve a problem for a long time, I leave my computer and just walk around the office or lie on a banquet and think about something else. These few minutes spent outside the computer often help to find an elegant solution to the problem.
What will be the most ideal conditionsTatyana Semenova
: The maximum possible conditions for employees: I would put tables with height adjustment, a stand or a hammock for the legs, an ergonomic chair, noise-canceling headphones. In the office, I installed more humidifiers and would increase the air flow. Added more daylight. I would arrange the partitions in such a way that they would not go behind (there was no passage), because this distracts from work. Also would make a dedicated parking only for employees.Nikita Ovechkin
: First of all, it is a spacious and bright office, always with working air conditioning and panoramic windows or a terrace. There should be a good interior inside, so that each employee would be as comfortable as possible indoors and would like to return here again. Of course, there should be a comfortable kitchen, a meeting room and a small reading corner with flowers, where you can sit, relax, read a book.
Alternativa Games - Develops multiplayer online games.
Assessment of the company on My Circle.
What is a comfortable environment?Alexey Kiselev (Project Manager)
: Comfortable conditions are a very relative point and for each it is very personal. I know people who quit only because they had to work in an open space, but they could not voice this problem to the head, so they came up with other reasons. It’s more important for me to work in a cool team on a cool project than to have comfort in the workplace. For me, comfort lies in a good relationship within the team and superiors to me personally. Furniture, food or space are much less important items.Julia Kostyleva (ASO Specialist)
: I work in fairly comfortable conditions, I like the schedule, the relationship with managers, with colleagues. There are certainly problematic issues, but I like that work is being done on them, and not everything is taken for granted.
We have a fairly flexible work schedule, well, at least I have never seen anyone scolded for being late. The main thing is the result and the tasks performed. But I usually arrive earlier than the working day - because it is so convenient for me, but not all companies have it.Daria Tseneva (Office Manager):
Now I work in very good conditions - clean, comfortable, safe: a comfortable chair, there are windows and air conditioning, tea / fruit, a nice design, designed in the same style.
The most uncomfortable conditions in lifeAlexei Kiselev
: Sheer horror was happening in a Moscow studio. Somehow, our air conditioning broke down, and the office was located on the attic floor. The roof was heated to fifty degrees, after lunch it was impossible to work, and this lasted for about a couple of weeks.
In general, it is uncomfortable to work when the team is not interested in what it is doing. Where people are closed and uncommunicative, and the level of communication is reduced to the exchange of tasks in the task tracker. At the same time, the authorities are constantly oppressing, not being able to praise for the important stages in the life of the project or the professional achievements of employees. Very often, the founders forget that the project’s profit is not the main goal of the salary team. And if for managers it is only important to increase sales, then for the employee it is important to do their job well. If it is not encouraged, then burnout will sooner or later burn to the ground.Yulia Kostyleva
: There were conditions with a very difficult moral and working environment - from a misunderstanding with a manager to an uncomfortable place of work. It was not equipped, I had to wait for a separate workplace when the company found where to buy a cheaper table. They demanded to be in touch 24/7 when, in fact, this was not particularly necessary.
How comfort affects workAlexey Kiselev
: I think comfort helps to adapt more easily to the social environment of the company and be more effective. But again, it depends more on the work itself. If staff chairs were installed at McDonald's, I think it would have affected performance, but in IT, everything is different.
I would never return to poor conditions, even if they offered a big salary. Work is a big part of my life, if I don’t feel happy, I’ll work worse, and I don’t feel like exchanging money for an unhappy life.
Previously, I had a very good VHI package, which included a whole bunch of procedures from the dentist to various SPA and massages, but I never used them that way. I was young and did not understand all the benefits, now I am more loyal and would go for a smaller salary but with a VHI package.Julia Kostyleva
: Lack of comfort slows down the work. When everything is okay, you are more productive, you are less nervous and spend energy on work, and not on the thought of “how to escape somewhere to take a break”. This also applies to a comfortable chair and good relations within the team.Daria Tseneva
: No salary and interesting tasks compensate for comfort in the room in which a person is most of his life. Comfort in no way slows down the process, but on the contrary gives you the opportunity and strength to think not about it, but about the work itself, increase productivity and productivity.
What will be the most ideal conditionsAlexey Kiselev:
I would sort the list of comfort by the degree of influence on the work:
- Powerful iron on a working machine would be the first item.
- A flexible schedule and an office that works 24 hours. In my work it is difficult to catch inspiration, and while you are in a state, I want to finish more tasks that are often associated with creativity.
- Eating at the office - it is always interesting to meet people in the dining room, with whom you usually have little interaction at work and would hardly ever speak in a different situation. And so it allows you to learn more about the affairs of the company and allows you not to load your head with unnecessary problems with providing yourself with food.
- Periodic events for internal teams, fruitfully affect the overall work and communication. It is very important that this is not always forced, and people from other teams within the company could come to such events. The exchange of experience and ideas in an informal setting allows you to see the project and the team from the side, provide the basis for reflection.
FunBox is developing various server solutions for mobile operators in Russia and the CIS.Sergey Averyanov (Technical Director)
Assessment of the company on My Circle.
: Comfort levels in the office can be put together in a conditional pyramid. The basic level is:
- heat: comfortable temperature and climate control;
- light: normal level of illumination, high-quality light sources, timely replacement of lamps;
- air: level control C02, air inlet, breathers, ventilation;
- water: perfectly clean bathrooms and kitchens with all consumables 24/7;
- food: a list of drinks / snacks / sweets that are always and regardless of anything.
At the second level - the comfort of the workplace: convenient seating, not too large rooms, private space, the absence of noise and external stimuli, meeting rooms for discussions and phoning.
And only at the very top - entertainment (such as games rooms, lounges, consoles), designer design and custom buns.
It makes sense to talk about entertainment only when everything else is done, debugged and working. However, some seemingly "entertainment" work in the red. Table hockey or an exercise bike bought at the office will be popular by force for a week, and then become a stand for tea and a hanger, and games in table hockey will only annoy those who do not play it.
People should see that the office is taken care of, that their comfort is important, that someone is constantly engaged in it. At the same time, there is no direct and quick connection between the level of comfort in the office and, for example, the speed of finding a candidate for a vacancy. But on a long interval there is an effect, and notable. If it is pleasant for an employee to be in the office, then he usually cooperates with the company for a long time and from the heart.