Bunny Studio is spearheading a remote work revolution, and we couldn’t be happier. But working remotely is just the path, not the destination; our goal is to become the best workplace around, to foster an environment where our team can work, thrive, and enjoy themselves every single day. Moreover, we favor a culture of inclusivity, where we embrace diversity and the richness in our differences to become far more than the sum of our parts. That’s why we asked Maika Hoekman, our Head of People Operations, to share her Bunny Studio Behind the scenes insights — our recipe for success.
But, of course, success is not just some intangible, pie-in-the-sky idea. To us, success means having the right core values, the right building blocks, and moving on from there in incremental steps.
By having a culture that values inclusion, constant learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving, we’ve been able to face any challenges head-on, and come out stronger for it. This has allowed us to lead not only in the expansion of remote work but also in the adoption and growth of the gig economy.
Bunny Studio Behind The Scenes: What Makes Us Unique?
This may come as news to you, but we’re a 100%, fully remote company. That’s right, along with tech giants, we believe in the power of a distributed, diverse workforce as an asset in both the productive and human fronts — right now, our close-knit team spans 20 countries and 5 continents. And beyond our work on the platform, our constant championing of individuality, diversity, and inclusion shines through everything we do.
Our recipe for success lies in adopting a communicative digital culture that thrives on transparency, inquisitive learning, and fun. With this in mind, we prioritize open and honest communication and horizontality; all of our information, data, and knowledge are fully democratized; our team has access to the entirety of our company metrics, meeting notes, financials, and salaries. Also, each Thursday we host a Town Hall where anyone can freely ask questions to our CEO, Santiago Jaramillo.
In the following decade, we plan to positively impact over one billion people with our contribution to the gig economy. In addition, we plan to do it with our continued commitment to just social causes and sustainability.
But there’s something else that makes us tick, motivates us, and influences our decision-making process: our values.
A Tour of Our Values
No Bunny Studio behind the scenes, though, would be complete without mentioning our core values. From day one, we’ve known that our values would be our guiding star, and we’ve gone the extra mile to consciously swear by them. In our mind, a company is only as strong as its foundation.
- Critical thinkers. We are customer-centric problem solvers who are always up for a challenge. Anything and everything, we’re game; if the problem calls for a standard solution, good, and if it calls for out-of-the-box thinking, we’ll be ready.
- Continuous learners. We’re crazy about self-development. That means that we learn from everything: success, failure, and client feedback. Nothing slips through the cracks because everything’s an opportunity.
- Creative adaptation. Others see risks; we see opportunities. Our ability to take chances and develop creative ideas is the cornerstone that makes us leaders in the digital marketplace.
- Credibly accountable. We are empowered by the trust and confidence our stakeholders place in us and take responsibility for every outcome. Responsibility is a badge of honor, not something to dodge or gloss over.
- Collaborative assertiveness. We communicate proactively and contribute ideas and opinions towards the success of our stakeholders. Thus, constructive criticism and contribution are always the order of the day.
- Commitment to excellence. We are dedicated to raising the bar in making every user experience exceptionally memorable. Others may say it, but we’re more than happy to back it up daily.
Yet, as you may probably suspect, it hasn’t been easy to maintain such a vibrant, horizontal structure as our company scales up. If you’re asking yourself “how do they manage?” Here are some more Bunny Studio behind-the-scenes tips.
Bunny Studio Behind-the-scenes Tips — Surviving Scalability
Working remotely may seem easy-peasy, but it takes time to build a working structure. Furthermore, it’s not that easy to scale up either! As we’ve moved forward and hired more employees, we’ve also found that adhering to certain guiding principles made things much simpler.
To wit, some of these have been:
Avoiding Communication Breakdown
And we don’t mean the Led Zeppelin song (that should be listened to as much as you can). We always prioritize a structure where knowledge can be passed on to others; team members know and can easily communicate with each other by having channels structured by functional area, teams, purposes, and topics. We also use GIFs to communicate emotion and intent — we don’t want meaning slipping through the cracks, or having people second-guess what was said. When in doubt, we always assume good intent and take efforts to clarify.
Something that also helps is having a high bus factor. Therefore, we ensure that there’s good information management and teams have cycles of documentation. As a result, we have a team that’s more autonomous, with more ownership, and a greater amount of proactivity.
Our Onboarding Process is Strong
We believe that every part of the experience matters. Thus, we provide a strong onboarding process that helps new members familiarize themselves with them. The idea is to help them get their bearings, and not overwhelm them with new information from the get-go.
As a part of this process, we expect new employees to meet everyone in the company within the first two months. We’ve grouped our team members into 16 sessions where we get to know the new team members that have joined the company recently. If there are no new team members to meet, it’s a great opportunity to reconnect and keep things fresh.
Also, we ask new team members to introduce themselves by asking a set of questions. This is great as an ice-breaking strategy and helps humanize everyone on the team. We’re much more than titles and designations, after all.
To help matters further, every new hire gets a Bunny Buddy assigned to them who they meet in their first. These tutors help make their entry into the company more enjoyable and organic.
This process is built with the intention to set the new team member up for success starting from the moment they’ve signed their job offer with us. That is why we also provide them with a laptop, keyboard, mouse, headset with a noise-canceling microphone, and a Kindle loaded with our must-read books.
Rapport and Connection
In a remote work setting, building culture is an effort that is more intentional than if we’d be in an office setting. It requires more planning and allows for less spontaneous lunches, coffee breaks, after-work drinks, and recreation. Hence, the People Operations team — POPS — has bi-weekly team activities planned. In addition, we organize yearly off-site retreats. Due to the global pandemic, we organized our first remote retreat.
Of course, we also provide our team members the freedom to organize their own events. We encourage creativity on all possible fronts!
Interesting Insights About the Way Our Teams Collaborate
Some questions we often get about Bunny Studio behind the scenes is how we organize ourselves. Typically, we work in squads, each with its own relevant roles and positions within a larger framework. Once each team member passes their trial period, we sign a Tour of Duty. This is a symbolic contract where we commit to the growth of the team members and the company.
Furthermore, each team has weekly and daily standups to help prioritization and resolve blockers. The squads work with bi-weekly design sprints. Thus, every two weeks the squad revises roadmaps.
Weekly, we hold Engineering, Product, and Marketing Braintrusts. There, a team member will present a rough draft of what they’re working on and receive the appropriate feedback.
A co-i-dont-know-it-all channel in Slack acknowledges that we don’t know it all, and oftentimes, it’s best to ask for help. Thereby, we encourage a collaborative culture of humility and constant learning for everyone, regardless of their experience or position. We also use other channels where we keep it lighthearted and fun. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy!
Our Comprehensive Benefit Plan
Something we pride ourselves on at Bunny Studio is our sizable benefit plan. Part of this Bunny Studio behind-the-scenes tour is to show how we prioritize our team’s happiness and well-being.
We encourage our team members to expand their skills and create their own career paths by building a professional development plan. Once that plan is built our team members have access to our education budget, which is capped at $870 per request, which can be spent on books, courses, and conferences.
How Being Distributed Leads to Flexibility
Our team is distributed all around the world so we offer flexible work hours so they can perform their tasks and plan their days according to their schedule. This strategy succeeds because we’ve set up strong channels of asynchronous communication — Slack, AirTable, and Zoom are crucial.
Work/Life Balance and Psychological Well-Being
We believe and work towards optimal work-life integration. Thus, instead of focusing on perpetual connectivity, we focus on achievements and meeting goals. If our team member is healthy and happier, they’ll do better in all areas of life, including work.
Currently, we are experimenting with a 4-day workweek to analyze how we can optimize our collective productivity while allowing our team more time to themselves.
Time off and benefits
Besides flexible work schedules, we have flexible paid time off. We encourage our team to take time off during the year and recharge! No set number of days, they can take as much time as they need and come back refreshed and in the right mindset. This includes flexible paid sick leave and the necessary paid mental health days.
In the unfortunate event that a team member is going through a serious health condition, we will pay 70% of their last earned salary for up to 78 weeks for them to recover as best as they can.
We also offer a 4-month gender-neutral parental leave. Being a new parent is something to celebrate, and that takes commitment, effort, and, most of all, time.
The Bunny Studio behind-the-scenes tour doesn’t end here! Some other employee perks that we’re especially proud of are:
- Stock options
- Paid health and life insurance
- An ergonomic home office set-up or a co-working space office.
- Annually, we have in-person company retreats where we fly everyone to the same location to work and have fun together.
We have a big impact on the outside world, that’s for sure. But, would that matter if our employees were unhappy? Not in the slightest, so that’s why we ask for their valuable feedback; it keeps us real, grounded, and with our eye on improving constantly.
Our latest employee satisfaction survey indicated that:
- We received an overall satisfaction score of 4.63 (out of 5, 5 indicating “strongly agree”) on the overall benefits and perks that we offer.
- When asked if the current benefits offered by Bunny Studio meet their needs, team members responded a 4.56 (out of 5, 5 meaning “strongly agree”).
Of course, this is not a license to keep on keepin’ on. Rather, it’s an arrow pointing to a bright future where we will keep doing better and better.
Here are 10 reasons our team has given us feedback on why they love to work with Bunny Studio.
Things are good, but we plan to make them even better. Ready to see what we’ve got in the pipeline?
The first is a more flexible program—a pick-and-choose type of program where members have access to a personalized budget.
But that’s not all; we asked our team members what other benefits they would like to see, and they responded:
- Internet bills being fully paid
- Motorized standing desk
- Gym contribution or sponsoring of physical activity
- Pension contribution
- Access to a financial advisor
- Access to a psychologist
- Contribution to childcare
We hope you’ve enjoyed this Bunny Studio behind-the-scenes tour. We’re always looking to make things bigger and better, and we believe that starts right here, at Bunny HQ. Like they say, as within, so without — we wouldn’t be industry leaders if we didn’t care for our own!