Work Culture

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 https://www.workinestonia.com/

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!

Ecartic wordmark logo

Ecartic Team
✉️contact@ecartic.com

2560 2487 Ecartic

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?

#jealous

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
✉️ eloora@ecartic.com

2560 1707 Ecartic

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%?   

https://peaasi.ee/en/ 
E-mail: peaasi@peaasi.ee

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
✉️ eloora@ecartic.com

1000 302 Ecartic
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