Work Culture

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Apps and technologies our team at Ecartic can’t live without

At Ecartic and in all our ventures we love to be at the forefront of new initiatives and ideas. And we absolutely love new technologies and anything that can make our lives easier, add excitement to our lives or connect us to our community better. That is why this week we will look at our team’s favorite apps and new technologies. 

1. Mischa – Chief Analytics Officer

“I’m not a big fan of grocery shopping. While I like to go to markets and buy fresh products, Bolt Food market delivery has become my favorite way of taking care of most grocery shopping. I love gaming and my PS5 – on mobile Virtual Regatta Offshore is my favorite game. It’s a real-time real weather ocean racing game with a great sailing community worldwide.”  

2. Kimmo – Head of Development 

“I absolutely love taking notes of everything, and currently I’m flooding all of my thoughts, ideas & plans to – Doesn’t matter whether it’s some technical implementation details or just about life in general, I just like to have everything in writing. In my free time, I like playing all sorts of video games on my PC, lately, I’ve spent a good amount of time with Red Dead Redemption 2, a great game with a great storyline!”

3. Miko –  co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

“I’m a big fan of the DuckDuckGo search engine as it lets you take back control of your online footprint and stops you from being profiled by advertisers and other entities. It also provides a more balanced and unfiltered search result, without trying to turn you into the product. I think BlufVPN and DuckDuckGo is a great combo.”

4. Juha – Head of Acquisition

“I use so many different apps and softwares on a daily basis that it’s difficult to “identify” the ones that have the biggest meaning for me. Mostly I’m married to Google, and I like that the documents are accessible on GDrive, also the overall Google SSO ecosystem helps with being able to access any other Apps fast. I also use Bitwarden to manage all my passwords, credit card info, and private notes.”

5. Miikka – Full-Stack Developer

‘‘For me, quite recently emerged AI solutions like DALL·E 2 and Midjourney have been a breath of fresh air! While those applications are exciting to play with, it also makes me think about how similar kinds of applications can (and will) be integrated into our businesses and everyday lives in the future. Getting familiar with said applications has also inspired me to dive deeper into AI development, and start my own AI-based hobby project.’’

6. Eloora – Work Culture Manager 

‘‘There are two things that come to mind, firstly Bolt but more specifically the Bolt Drive function. I don’t own a car and really don’t see the need for one on a permanent basis, but Bolt Drive gives me the opportunity to use a car when needed or when I feel like throwing a sing-a-long concert for one in the car. And on the other side, it’s the Smart-ID app/function, it just makes your life so much easier and more secure!”

7. Miika – Chief Financial Officer 

”The food delivery apps like Wolt and Bolt have been lifesavers at various times. Long days at work, empty fridge when coming home and no energy left. The best feeling is when you can make the order and just sit, relax and get your meal shortly. Otherwise, I use apps quite randomly, maybe I could mention the news apps which are quite handy to stay up-to-date on recent developments.”  

8. Advait – Sr. Digital Media Buyer

LastPass followed by two-factor authentication. I can’t imagine my digital life without it, I always need these handy wherever I go, since I use those auto-generated strong passwords. It’s tough to remember any of it. Lastpass is a life savior. Tech-wise I would always need my gaming console with me, not like I am addicted to gaming but when I feel like playing it has to be, so I carry it around even when I travel somewhere.”

Maybe you discovered something new or maybe you found that you have the same favorites that our team does. Let us know, what are your favorite apps or technologies right now!

Happy Friday from Team Ecartic!

Eloora Rannala
Work Culture Manager

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showing working space with laptops, coffees, mobile phones and people working

Agile workflow process ABC

What is Agile workflow? 

“Agile is a corporate capability to be able to achieve the Agile benefits.” – Arie van Bennekum

Agile is an iterative methodology for delivering a project. It is often perceived as a philosophy and a way of thinking over a framework or process. That is important to remember because oftentimes Agile gets confused with Scrum. While a team can be Agile without practicing Scrum, it cannot practice Scrum and not be Agile.

Let’s look at the Agile manifesto, its values, and its principles to understand more. They were created by a group of programmers, who were looking for an alternative to software being developed. 

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.’’

The 12 principles articulated in the Agile Manifesto are:

  1. Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable work.
  2. Breaking big work down into smaller tasks that can be completed quickly.
  3. Recognizing that the best work emerges from self-organized teams.
  4. Providing motivated individuals with the environment and support they need and trusting them to get the job done.
  5. Creating processes that promote sustainable efforts.
  6. Maintaining a constant pace for completed work.
  7. Welcoming changing requirements, even late in a project.
  8. Assembling the project team and business owners on a daily basis throughout the project.
  9. Having the team reflect at regular intervals on how to become more effective, then tuning and adjusting behavior accordingly.
  10. Measuring progress by the amount of completed work.
  11. Continually seeking excellence.
  12. Harnessing change for a competitive advantage.

Ecartic and workflows

At Ecartic there are a variety of projects going on and we use different workflows for appropriate projects. Our current projects vary from implementing product improvement, as well as building entirely new products from scratch. Some are B2C and some are B2B, some are very backend heavy, whereas some are more focused on the front end and user flows. We are always exploring which workflow fits best for the purpose. 

Also, the development team sizes vary from very small to larger teams, and taking that and the team’s preferences into consideration is probably the key success factor.

Different types of Agile workflows, as brought out by educba:

  1. Feature Driven Development (FDD)

As the name indicates, FDD is an iterative and progressive workflow model for system development, primarily focusing on features. The concept of FDD is to come up with high-end features and scope, so as to develop the entire model and execute the same. The FDD goes through the five stages:

  • Develop the Entire Model: Firstly, a few models are selected specifically for each domain. And these domain models are successively blended into one entire model based on the concept and scope.
  • Develop the Listed features: Features are the list of requirements specific to the customers. These features are to be completed within a timeframe of not more than 2 weeks for release.
  • Feature Planning: The listed features are then assigned to the developers.
  • Feature Designing: The details of every feature are developed, evaluated and then finalized.
  • Feature Building: After the design is inspected and improved, the entire feature is included in the main build to be delivered to the customers.
  1. Crystal

Crystal is not a set of pre-defined tools or patterns but is a set of various software methodologies. The crystal model is human-centric and considers people as the most important asset in system development, followed by the processes to meet the client requirements. The crystal process does not pre-define the tools or methods at the very start of the project but is determined based on the business and technical requisites of a project. Based on the time duration and project conditions, crystal is further subdivided and denoted by various colors.

  1. Agile Unified Process (AUP)

The unified process is an iterative and progressive method consisting of four steps. These are, ‘Inception’, ‘Elaboration’, ‘Construction’, and ‘Transition’.

  1. Extreme Programming (XP)

XP is one of the popular agile workflow models, which is focused on continual improvement through customer feedback. The workflow of XP for system development is comprised of 4 stages. These are, ‘Coding’, ‘Testing’, ‘Listening’, and ‘Designing’.

  1. Scrum

Scrum is an agile workflow process based on a repetitive approach. Scrum emphasizes continual improvement for customer satisfaction. The workflow of Scrum consists of ‘Product Backlog’, ‘Planning Sprint’, ‘Sprint Backlog’, ‘Sprint’, ‘Routine Scrum Meetings’, ‘Sprint Reviewal’, and ‘Internal Scrum Meetings’.

  1. Kanban

Kanban is based on the lean development process, which is a popular methodology introduced by Toyota Motors. It is an agile method that is non-iterative and is less structured. It emphasizes on delivering quality on a continual basis by effective team collaboration. The Kanban workflow comprises of ‘Product Backlog’, ‘Requirements’, ‘Design’, ‘Development’, ‘Testing’, ‘Deployment’, and ‘Done’ stages.

  1. Altern

One of the agile methods which have been prevailing for the longest time is also used in Non-IT sectors. In this method, the project benefits and requirements are pre-defined clearly before the actual execution. This workflow includes stages of, ‘Pre-project’, ‘Feasibility’, ‘Foundations’, ‘Exploration’, ‘Engineering’, ‘Deployment’, and ‘Post Project’.

How to know what workflow is right for you?

There probably is no right answer to that question. It literally depends on your product, customers, team preferences, etc. Some projects require features to be released in batches and will most likely have to be scheduled, supported with release notes, or even require customers to update software whereas incremental improvement on a website’s navigation is more likely to be done per feature and also A/B tested. Winnings organizations are the ones who choose the right workflow for a specific project and also can pivot to another workflow when relevant.

What are the lessons we have learned on the way?

As stated at the beginning, people and teams are the most important factor, and no workflow is a solution that fits all projects. It can even be refreshing to change workflow and try out new things just to break the routine. Happy teams make the best product!!

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Team Ecartic


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Top 5 recruitment tips

Last People and Culture blog post we discussed the tips for finding a job. This week let’s look at the other side, more specifically, what companies should keep in mind when in the hiring process.

The recruitment process is a look into the work culture of the company. From the job post to the first interaction with the candidates to onboarding. The right hire will help you grow your company, but how to find and recognize the right talent?

1. Job post and application process 

A job post is possibly the first interaction the potential employee will have with your company. And as we all know first impressions matter. It’s important to stand out, but make sure the tone of the job post is accurate to your company culture. And to save your and the applicant’s time the job post should be informative. Make sure the duties, educational prerequisites, and abilities needed to succeed in the role are completely and clearly described in your job description. Additionally, the advantages of working for the company, the location of the job (or whether it is remote employment), and the primary prerequisites or qualifications are all listed in job listings.

The application process should be smooth and easy for the applicant and helpful for the recruiter. There are many options on what it can look like, be it a typical CV and Cover Letter, CV and basic questions, or CV and Video introduction. Depending on the company and the role, choose the one that gives you the best information on the applicant. 

As a final note in the process, make sure to outline the application process to the chosen applicants on the first interview. Some companies have 6 stage application processes that can take months and not everyone is willing or has the possibility to go through these. So be clear and honest about what they can expect.

2. Recruitment marketing

Social media and technology have shifted the way employees look for jobs and the companies they want to work in. The information about your company is available to consume before they apply for the job. Do they like your social media presence, does your online presence accurately represent your company values and culture? In many ways, you have to sell your company and your brand to future talent. Especially now, where the possibility of remote work has opened the doors for the talent to work from anywhere in the world. 

That is why it is smart to approach recruitment from a marketing angle. That will give you a better result in attracting applicants through employer branding and reaching the appropriate audience. Collaboration between the HR and marketing teams can bring innovative ideas and higher chances of success.

3. Diversity

A diverse workforce is proven to be more innovative, it increases your workforce’s range of skills, talents, and experiences. A diverse workforce does not only mean race and gender, it includes disability, educational background, religious affiliation, and sexual orientation. 

Many companies state in their job posts that they are an equal opportunity employer and believe in diversity. But it takes more than that to achieve it. What needs to be thought of is hiring bias, making sure the recruiter or the hiring manager doesn’t overlook candidates because of their own bias. Here are just 3 examples of bias:

Similarity Bias 

Candidates and interviewers may talk about shared interests or exhibit comparable tendencies during the interview. Similarity bias may lead to hiring decisions that are focused more on these similarities than a candidate’s qualifications. 

Stereotyping bias

A stereotype is a judgment of a person based on real or imagined group features rather than the person’s attributes. When a candidate’s impression is based on stereotypes, there is stereotyping bias in interviews. 

Cultural noise bias 

Communication in an interview may be impacted by how interviewers and candidates perceive attitudes and ideas that are deemed socially acceptable. This frequently happens when a candidate gives responses that, rather than reflecting their genuine ideas, they feel are more generally acceptable.

To concur against any kind of bias it’s important to train your recruiters and hiring managers. Use multiple interviewers, have a structure in your interview processes and standardize your questions, etc.

4. Relocation 

The recruitment world is a lot more open now, we get job applications from all over the world, with the majority of them interested in relocation. It’s expensive for the new hire to relocate and the company to support the process, therefore it’s even more important to make sure the transition is smooth and supportive. However much hard work and stress relocation seem to you as a company, it’s ten times harder for the person who needs to start their life in a whole new country. Many times not just by themselves but also starting over with their families. This is where you can come in by making the process more fluid and less stressful. Starting from supporting them with finding accommodation, registering to get an ID code, or helping to get a family doctor. Many little things can be done to support, even if your company doesn’t offer a relocation package.

In Estonia, most things can be done online which makes relocation a lot easier. Also, there are many great resources for companies and employees to get help and quick information from. For example Work in Estonia has all the essential information and if you ever have a question you can call or email. Work in Estonia also offers International spouse career counseling, for partners who have moved to Estonia due to relocation. There are also companies that offer support when relocating to Estonia. As do we in Ecartic Agency, we give support with recruitment, onboarding, and essential relocation support. 

Essentially, hiring from a different country broadens your talent pool significantly, but make sure to think through how are you willing to support your new talent within this process.

5. The Importance of onboarding

The onboarding process is the key element of making sure the employees will be successful and happy in their new roles. A structured and thought-through onboarding helps the employee settle into their new role and the company. Many think onboarding starts with the first day, but in reality, it should start from when they accept the offer. Here are things you could do before the first day:

  • See or call your new hire at least once before they start, especially if they are relocating
  • Get all the documentation done before they start
  • Send a ‘Welcome to the team’ email, let them know about the onboarding process structure, what is going to happen and who is their onboarding buddy
  • Set up their email/Slack etc 
  • Announce their arrival to the team 
  • And you could send them company swag unless you want to give it on the first day. 

Companies with great onboarding programs see 2.5% more revenue growth and 1.9% of a profit margin than companies with poor onboarding processes. And yet, 63% of companies don’t extend their onboarding programs beyond the first month. This is a huge mistake, considering new hires take eight months to become fully productive. 

Onboarding can be divided into 4 stages

Use these 4 stages and create a clear timeframe when each stage would kick in. As a bare minimum the onboarding should last at least 3 months, but strongly recommend extending it to 6-months with regular check-in meetings.  

Recruiting and onboarding a new person takes time and money, so make sure to think through your onboarding process to lift employee retention and have a better work environment. End of the day the better the environment the company has the better results the company will see. 

These were my top 5 recruitment tips! If you have any recruitment-related questions or concerns then don’t hesitate to contact us through the Ecartic Agency.

Eloora Rannala
Work Culture Manager

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Top 7 job application tips

I am a Work Culture Manager at Ecartic and do all the in-house recruitment for all our ventures. So I see hundreds of job applications (CVs, LinkedIn profiles, Portfolios, Cover letters), so I definitely have a few recommendations to give. Here are 7 top tips for job applications from me. 

1. Know what you want and what your strengths and values are 

Whether you are thinking about a career change or just looking for new opportunities to grow, really think about what your strengths are, and what have you enjoyed doing in your previous roles? What do you want from your new role? And give yourself time! I truly recommend writing it down and staring at it. We tend to forget what we have done over the years. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, it’s not until we have lost a job or want to start sending out our CVs that we update our CVs. And then it’s not the easiest task to remember all the cool, amazing, influential things that you have done. So an inside tip, when you do get your next role, or if you are already in one, start writing down your successes, small or big, things you have taken on – projects and achievements. Firstly, it’s a great tool to use when you need to apply for a job or prepare for an interview, but it is also something that shows you your growth.  And lastly, what do you want from your new role and company? Now that you have done that, you can make sure that the new role or company is the right fit for you.

2. LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn – it isn’t going anywhere

There are still people who have not jumped on board, but LinkedIn, if anything, is evolving and getting bigger, rather than disappearing. But I still get these quotes like: ‘I just don’t get it, why do I need it?’ ‘It feels fake!’, quite often about LinkedIn. But my answer is simple, you don’t need to be fake. Follow the people, causes, and pages you are interested in, and interact with the content you believe in. LinkedIn can be a very genuine social media platform that connects you with like-minded people. At the end of the day, it is a social media platform and your experience depends on how you use it. It has also turned into one of the main recruitment platforms, either to advertise job applications or to source talent. It’s a great tool for recruiters to match the right company with the right talent. This means it’s important, seeing an amazing CV, and then a not-so-great LinkedIn profile, where the information doesn’t match (especially when applying through LinkedIn) is not a great sight.

Therefore, the top tip: dedicate some time and get your LinkedIn accounts looking sharp. If you need some support, reach out to a friend or colleague whose account looks good and ask for help. No one is going to say no when you start with a compliment to them.

3. Use your resume as a marketing tool

Firstly, sending the same resume to different companies and jobs won’t work. Customize is the keyword here. It might seem like a lot of hard work, but that’s where my first point comes to play. Know what you want from your new job, what are your values, and what you have to offer. Quality over quantity in sending out job applications. Make sure to sell yourself, a lot of CVs are all about listing responsibilities. What about what impact did you have on the role or the company? What have you achieved? 

Depending on the industry you are applying to, have some fun with how your CV looks, a great and easy tool for creating CVs is Canva. And finally, make sure the resume is formatted correctly and the spelling is correct. Get a few different people to review it or use Grammarly

4. Network, use social media to your advantage

Network and make sure you make your social media you, follow what you like and what you want to be surrounded by. Join social media groups, for example, I am a part of 5 HR groups (Estonian and UK) and they are super useful, helpful, and charming. There are so many different social media platforms nowadays, so there’s something for everyone. Just keep active, you never know when an opportunity might come. Interact with companies you like, if it’s a smaller company, then probably your name would be noticed even before applying for a new role. 

 5. Communication!

Good communication is needed in most jobs, it’s a rare occasion when it’s not listed in job requirements. But it’s something that you can showcase in your job application, your first email, and your first interview. Every communication is an opportunity to showcase who you are. This is where LinkedIn can be to your advantage, it can showcase a lot more of who you are than what a CV can. Communicate well and stand out! 

 6. Don’t just have that one question to ask

Gone are the days, when we went to an interview and asked one question in the end cause that shows we are interested. Be present, and have a conversation, it’s a two-way interview. As much as the hiring manager is trying to find out who you are and if you are the right fit. You should be finding out the same things. Do you like their vision for the role and the company? Is this what you want in your new role? 

Not only will you learn a lot more about them, but because you are invested in finding out more about the company and the role, they will learn more about you!

7. Send that follow-up email 

No harm in sending a follow-up email, thanking them for their time, or letting them know you truly like the company and can see yourself working there. You can also use the follow-up email when you haven’t heard back from them. Sometimes things take longer, but that is your opportunity to show your interest in the role or learn more about them.

And there you have it, feel free to reach out with any questions or insights!

Happy Ecartic Thursday and enjoy the sunshine!

Eloora Rannala
Work Culture Manager

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Estonian Summer Beach

Why Estonia?

‘’In here, clean and untouched nature co-exists with the world’s most digitally advanced society.

It is a place for independent minds where bright ideas meet a can-do spirit.’’ – Work In Estonia 


At Ecartic we have 5 different nationalities working in our team, and we are working from 3 different locations at all times (sometimes more, if someone decides to use the perks of hybrid work and the borderless work environment it creates), but the centre of Ecartic is still Tallinn

What do people from our team think? Why Estonia?

Since we are running multiple ventures where each has a different focus but also a lot of overlap in terms of required specialist skills, we’ve also decided to build a great place to work here in Tallinn, Estonia. It’s a fun place to live and has the most Unicorns per capita in the world! Who would have thought? Maybe you’ve heard of companies such as Skype, TransferWise, Bolt, and PipeDrive? Yeah, all founded in Tallinn. This means that there’s a relatively large pool of talent here when it comes to developers, marketing specialists and generally speaking, all things digital. Just don’t expect beach weather in November. But that is okay because the Estonian summer is beautiful!  

Some thoughts from our team:

Eloora - Work Culture Manager

I moved back to Estonia last year, after living in England for 8 years. Almost a year later and I do not regret my decision one bit. Tallinn offers you the opportunities any other big city can and more. Tallinn gives you excitement and opportunities, but it also gives you time, which seems to disappear when you are living and commuting in a bigger city like London. But the biggest perk for me is nature, the sea, lakes, forests, and fields – it’s all so close. So easy to switch off from all the hassle of the big city. And if you want to connect the two, then in Estonia working remotely from a beach or a cafe is totally possible thanks to the fast internet connection. So win-win, whichever way you look at it.

Mischa - CAO

Having relocated to several countries in my life – Estonia was by far the easiest and most efficient. Estonia has a great start-up scene and the high digitalisation makes it an ideal place for entrepreneurs.

Miko - CEO

As a Finn, it’s easy to identify the difference in approach between the two countries; in Estonia, it’s “full steam ahead” and more opportunistic, whereas in Finland we tend to often hesitate and keep the handbrake on a bit. This sort of environment encourages innovation and is probably one of the reasons why there are so many successful startups hailing from Tallinn, relative to population size. It also means that there is a broad talent pool and cosmopolitan vibe, which in turn makes for a very pleasant life.

Startup facts

If you are looking for a new adventure, and want to look into what Estonia has to offer, then check out

If you are thinking about starting a company in Estonia, then have no worries, it is easy. If you are quick and efficient then you can create your startup from scratch within 15 minutes. Like they proved at the London tech week. Estonia is also the first country to offer e-Residency, a government-issued digital identity, and status that provides access to Estonia’s transparent business environment: a new digital nation for the world.  And mostly thanks to the ease of doing business in Estonia, there are 10 unicorns per 1.3m people here, which is beyond impressive. So think about it and come along for the ride, who knows maybe you’ll be the next unicorn?

So all is there to say is why not Estonia? It has everything you need and more!

But we are now off to celebrate Midsummer, also known as Jaanipäev or St. John’s Day, it’s one of the oldest and most important celebrations in Estonia.⁣⁣ Like most people living in Estonia, we will take a chance to head to the countryside, beaches, forests, and Midsummer celebrations. And enjoy the beauty Estonia has to offer.

Happy Victory Day and Midsummer to everyone celebrating and be sure to enjoy the beautiful nature and culture in Estonia during Midsummer!

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Ecartic Team

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Fully remote, office, or hybrid work – what would you choose?

I am currently writing this blog post from my grandma’s kitchen, so you would assume this post will be about the benefits of remote work, but that’s not the case. Maybe the discussion shouldn’t be about office vs remote work or the number of days in the office. Maybe the discussion should be about flexibility, trust, and the possibility to choose? 

Let’s get into the statistics


89% of European companies plan on having a hybrid workforce post-pandemic, with only 11% expecting employees to return to the office full-time. 

The statistics vary from country to country and between industries. But the shift is happening, the pandemic paused everyone’s everyday lives to a certain extent, and made people re-evaluate their choices and their priorities. Having the option not to spend precious time commuting to work, but to spend more time with family. Or even simple everyday tasks, having the option to work from home when waiting for a package or a handyman. It has given people flexibility and an option to plan their life with more ease.  

But there are still companies now that are desperately trying to get their employees back to the office, the tactics are different, some more firm and demanding, some more manipulating and bribing. Neither will give a long-term positive effect. So what will?

We did a quick poll in our company Slack channel

Quick office poll, which one do you like the most (add the emoji):

🏝Remote work/Home office

☀️Office work

🔥Hybrid work 

The winner by far was hybrid work, the more flexible choice. A possibility to work from home, a cafe, office, garden – whichever works for you!

They are not saying no to the office, they are saying yes to flexibility, and the option to choose, because the company trusts them to deliver what is needed and to be part of the company’s success. But there were also people who chose office work or remote work, that is just a reminder again that we are all different. That is why as an employer it’s about adapting to the new ways of working and making sure everyone has what they need to enjoy their work and what they do.

But to answer the question about long-term success in seeing your employees in the office, then my answer is this: 

  • communicate;
  • trust;
  • and create a work culture where they want to see their co-workers;
  • where they want to see their manager face to face and brainstorm;
  • where they are excited about the projects that they are working on.
  • and where they feel that their input matters, so they want to be present. Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of you!


Flexibility is set in the Ecartic DNA 

We support super flexible ways of working – we’ve been set up to be 100% digital from the very start of Ecartic. This is amazing as currently, our employees are working from 4 different countries, not counting anyone who decides to go work remotely from a sunny beach, that is an added bonus to being 100% digital. All the essential meetings are held online and you can take them from your grandma’s apple garden (if she has stable 4G), or in my case grandma’s kitchen. Going 100% digital supports us in many ways, it gives us the freedom to work from anywhere, but it also gives us the opportunity to hire talented people from anywhere. Which is a huge benefit in the start-up world, where the competition for talent is increasing. 


56% of leaders say that access to better talent due to wider talent pools would make them more profitable


Hybrid and flexibility go hand in hand 

My personal take on remote vs office, if I had to put it in percentage, it would be 95% office and 5% remote – so still hybrid, but I lean towards office life, as I enjoy the routine of going to the office. But I would never choose office work alone because hybrid work gives me the opportunity to fly to Saaremaa and spend time with family.

Our office in Tallinn is pet friendly, but when the dog lives in Saaremaa, then hybrid work helps ❤️

– model – Alfie

A similar mindset is throughout the company, for example, our CEO Miko, who has taken advantage of a couple of rare sunny and hot days over the past two covid summers and headed to the resort town of Pärnu for some remote working opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Summer time in Estonia 🇪🇪

Beaches are as good as anywhere and if lucky. temperatures are over 30 degrees. Sometimes a small escape from Tallinn offers surprising remote working conditions.

Or Juha our Head of Acquisition, working from home in Finland - with such a view, who wouldn't?


Hybrid work allows us to plan our life and still be successful and excited about our jobs. Communicate and trust, and you can enjoy a fully flexible work culture.

Eloora Rannala
Work Culture Manager

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1% of Estonians to be mental health first aid trained – a mission that every company should take on?

Mental health topics have taken a big step forward over the last decade, but there is still a lot of work to be done, to have a better understanding of how to support yourself, and when and how to support others, especially in our work cultures, where stress can be an everyday factor. 

The tasks of NGO Peaasjad (eng Head Matters) include the promotion of young people’s mental health, the prevention of problems, early intervention, and the reduction of stigmatisation in our society.

I recently completed the Mental health first aid course organised by NGO Peaasjad which was supported by the Ministry of Social Affairs. NGO Peaasjad has made it their mission to get 1% of Estonians trained on mental health first aid. That would mean that 13,000 people in Estonia would have to pass the course. Currently, the number stands at 4,528, I am now one of them. 

Where should the mental health conversation start? 

As with most things in the company, it should start from the top, not only is it a great influence and creates a better work environment and understanding. But looking at the statistics, that’s where mental health tools might be needed the most. As a founder, you are 50% more susceptible to having a mental health issue and twice as likely to suffer from depression. To those lucky ones who don’t develop major mental health issues, there’s still a chance of high stress and that developing into burnout. The numbers are staggering, but it is all preventable, with everyday actions and choices.

Do you know what are the signs that your mental health balance is not great? Is it bad sleep, being more closed off, and unmotivated, or do your eating habits change? For all of us, the signs can be different, that is why knowing yourself and taking action is so important.

Different sides to stress

All of this is not to say that we should never experience stress and should always be positive and smiling. That is not the case. Stress has gotten a bad name, but actually, as with many things, there are two sides to the coin. Stress helps you meet your daily challenges and motivates you to reach your goals, ultimately making you a smarter, happier, and healthier person. That’s right. Good stress is vital for a healthy life. You may think any type of stress is bad, but that isn’t the case. Good stress is short-term, stress becomes a problem when it’s in our lives for the long term. That’s where it can develop into burnout.

Burnout is an unbiased epidemic, inflicting young and old, experienced and first-timers, rich and poor alike — it doesn’t care about your background, your skillset, or how successful you’ve been. The pressure can get to anyone and those of us who lack the tools to manage it can find ourselves in a dark place quickly. – Joe Procopio CPO @Get Spiffy

Stages of stress and burnout:

  1. Normal stress: you feel pressure on a specific moment/deadline but only for a few minutes and the body recovers 
  2. Hyper stress: you experience very intense periods of stress associated with severe symptoms
  3. Burnout: once you reach this zone, the recovery is a long and hard process

Work culture and mental health 

It is legally necessary for a workplace to have a trained first aider at work, depending on the size of the company. That is to make sure that if someone physically hurts themselves there is immediate help. So why not have a mental health first aider? Someone who can be there for help if anyone needs it and asks for it. But also someone who knows what to notice and knows when to ask and when to have a conversation. End of the day you would want your employees in the best health possible, but that should also include mental health and emotional wellbeing.  

Introducing mental health first aider at work helps raise awareness and create a healthy work environment, where talking about mental health is not stigmatised. And although mental health should not be about business, then a happy, healthy employee or founder is a lot more productive and innovative than an unhealthy one. The statistics from the UK is showing us that the number one cause of sickness absence is mental health. In conclusion, there are plenty of reasons to get on board. 

Mental health first aid course

The course is 3-days either in person or over Zoom, and it involves a lot of great discussions with the other participants. Mental health and emotional well-being is something that is a very important topic for me personally but also as the Mental health ambassador and now the mental health first aider at Ecartic. Going through that course gave me great tools to use in everyday life and at work. I think it is important to be able to have conversations about mental health, especially after the experience of the last couple of years with the pandemic and the state of Europe now. The main takeaway for me was that anyone can make themselves feel better. It is only a matter of finding the right tools for the job!

So are you ready to become part of the 1%? 

The course is available in Estonian, English, and Russian, so if it has sparked your interest, be sure to contact them. There’s also an option to invite them to your office to give a seminar or talk on different mental health topics to your team.

NGO Peaasjad (Head Matters, in English) was established in 2009 by mental health specialists working for the Psychiatry Clinic of North Estonia Medical Centre and the team now consists of qualified mental health specialists, youth workers, ICT specialists, etc.

Eloora Rannala
Work Culture Manager

1000 302 Ecartic

Ecartic the official new member of the Estonian Diversity Charter

This Wednesday, Ecartic along with 23 other companies officially joined the Diversity Charter led by the Estonian Human Rights Organization. Together with the new members, the Estonian Diversity Agreement Network includes 172 employers who are brought together by a common interest in the success achieved through a work culture that respects differences and diverse experiences.

What is the Diversity agreement?

A Diversity agreement is a voluntary agreement by which a company, non-governmental organization, or public sector organization affirms that it respects the diversity of people and values the principle of equal treatment among its employees, customers, and partners. All the organizations in the various fields of activity that have joined the Diversity agreement form a network to share their diversity management experiences and promote equal treatment in society.

The Diversity Agreement was launched in Estonia in 2012, and similar diversity networks operate in 26 European countries. In Estonia, the activities related to the agreement are coordinated by the Estonian Center for Human Rights.

Diversity and Ecartic

Ecartic joining the Diversity Agreement seemed like a natural step. We are an international company, with employees and consultants working from a wide range of countries, thanks to the possibility of remote and hybrid work. Our team consists of 20 amazing humans, representing 6 different nationalities. Diversity also applies to our team’s professional backgrounds, which is necessary if you think about our company’s structure – different ideas and perspectives are essential to make it work.  Also, our ventures represent the curiosity and diversity of Ecartic, it runs in the DNA of our company.

Our values and what brought us to become part of the Diversity Charter

As mentioned, diversity is part of Ecartic, but diversity is also a lot more complex than we sometimes realize, ranging from small to big differences we could make, but all of them matter.

It is important to grow, learn and improve. All these qualities are represented in our values:

We are growing 

It is our core value, and how better to grow than by being surrounded by other like-minded people and companies. 

We are curious 

Always keen on learning new things and looking for ways to put more value in everything we do.

We are responsible 

We are responsible for our actions, but we are also responsible to promote equal treatment in society. 

We believe in great communication

That is only possible if we understand each other and embrace our differences because they will make us stronger. 

The signing of the Diversity Agreement

On Wednesday the Estonian Center for Human Rights organized the official event for welcoming the new members. It was also the record year of new entries, 24 in total. Even the new members were as diverse as they could be, from start-ups to government ministries, to universities, etc. After meeting everyone and hearing their thoughts on why they joined, we are very excited to see what great things we can do together! Our CEO Miko Salo shared some of his thoughts:

 “Being open-minded and curious are guiding principles of our approach at Ecartic. Diversity and inclusion go absolutely hand in hand with this and we are proud champions of these values. We recognise that the Estonian Center for Human Rights is a key driver in facilitating the adoption of this culture in broader society.”

Our CEO Miko Salo singing the Diversity Agreement
Photo: Mari Armei

The timing could not have been better as the European Diversity Month 2022 takes place in May 2022. This year the focus is on ‘Building Bridges’. Excited to celebrate it with our team and to share our experiences and activities with you.

For more information on the Estonian Center for Human Rights and the Diversity Charter click HERE. And a big thank you to all the support from the Estonian Center for Human Rights.

Group photo of the 24 new members of the Diversity Agreement
Photo: Mari Armei

1070 457 Ecartic

Imperial College London students project with blufVPN 🚀

Multiple voices, perspectives, and personalities bouncing off one another can give a lot of out-of-the-box ideas – and that is exactly what happened in eCartic office at the end of February!

60 MSc Students came to Tallinn as a part of the International Consulting project module, 5 of them were mentored by blufVPN team professionals.  

At the beginning of December, we got a pitch to be part of a business consulting project with Imperial College London on their International Consulting Project module. Where the MSc students work with a client to deliver an impactful business consulting project. The idea behind it was to send 60 MSc to Tallinn for a week and work with a local company. How could we say no? Firstly, an opportunity to work with young professionals from international backgrounds – imagine all the learning and innovative ideas! Secondly, an opportunity to support and mentor the students with our diverse knowledge. We, of course, said yes and we got to meet the five brilliant students – Hongyu (Kyle) Chen, Paloma Beer, Apurva Gupta, Emile Junet, and Halvard Ramstad.

The new reality of international projects – a mix of on-site and online teamwork.

With Covid-19 it has been difficult to arrange such projects, but thankfully, with proper preparation from both sides, we made sure the project could go ahead as necessary health and safety measures were taken. As we believe, nothing can compare to the true value of working together in person and bouncing ideas off each other – true brainstorming. But it would not be a 2022 start-up environment without someone joining in through Google Meets or Zoom call. So we made sure the students were well equipped with everything they needed. That included mentorship from our own Chief Analytics Officer, Micha Nyffeler. Mischa’s comments on the week with the students: 

“The week with the students from the Imperial College Business School was very fruitful and mutually beneficial. As a start-up, it gave us a lot of value to 5 students working at the office for 4 days as we created a framework for our Go to Market strategy and crunched tons of data on a large number of markets. 

The students were full of energy and worked very well as a team – there was a clear plan and tasks to divide and conquer and a healthy atmosphere where people could exchange, help, and also challenge each other”.

The result of a week’s work – a framework for an international Go to Market strategy.

Now that we have finished our business consulting journey with Paloma, Halvard, Emile, Apurva, and Kyle, we can honestly say, we can’t wait to do something like this again. Not only was it a pure joy to see the power of brainstorming and how they took on the challenge, but it also brought so much excitement to our team. We have all been at the beginning of our careers and know what it can feel like. Projects like these allow students to network and create valuable connections and gain hands-on experience in the real world. As Mischa mentioned, the amount of knowledge, information, and data they brought to the table is also very valuable to us. We can’t wait to update the students on how their work impacted blufVPN. 

Ecartic promotes diversity and equal opportunities and since 2022 is a part of Estonia’s Diversity Charter.

In 2022, eCartic became part of the Diversity Charter led by the Estonian Human Rights Organization. As part of the charter, we commit to promoting diversity and equal opportunities among our employees, partners, as well as clients. It has always been important to us that everyone feels welcomed at eCartic and we were glad that that is exactly the feedback we got from the students. Feeling welcomed, supported, and included! More to come this year about our work as part of the Diversity Charter.

Let’s work together on exciting projects!

Do you have an exciting project you want to tell us about? Are you a student looking for the perfect place for an internship? Get in contact and let’s see how we could work together! 

2048 1365 Ecartic
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