Sensat is a remote-first organisation. Working remotely increases our need for purposeful and robust communication and collaboration as we are not always together in person. Sensateer’s collaborate through:
Slack: Teams have numerous slack channels on which they communicate on to have everyday back and forth conversations. We also keep our ‘water cooler’ conversations alive with lots of personal slack channels such as gardening, sports, and arts and crafts.
Google hangouts: We rely on google hangouts for our virtual meetings. Here we make sure that in order to make collaboration purposeful, we set agendas so that we can use our time efficiently.
Monthly onsites: Every month our teams come together as a collective for updates, coffees and team socials to ensure that in-person conversations are had regularly. To keep the tight-knit and aligned we also meet at least quarterly for socials as a whole company such as SenFest (our annual company festival), where we can get together informally and spend time together.
Random coffee buddies: Once a week the team is paired randomly to have a coffee with someone else in the business, this can be a great time for the team share ideas and collaborate with others on what they are working on in different functions of the organisation.
In-person brainstorming: Although we are a remote-first company we acknowledge that some things are just better done in person! Teams have the opportunity to come into the office whenever they like to whiteboard and brainstorm ideas.
A reinvented office space: We have moved office and are reinventing how we use our office space. We have designed our new office space as a collaborative environment—not just somewhere people come to sit behind a desk all day. We have more sofas, coffee bars, breakout spaces where teams can use to collaborate together.
At Sensat our driving mission is to Sensat’s mission is to automate the way civil infrastructure is planned, built and managed with the aim of reducing costs by 5x, opening access to fundamental infrastructure to billions more people and ending devastating environmental practices. We are passionate about sustainability and how we can do our part by helping to make our industry more sustainable.
We look beyond ourselves, the positive impact we can have on the environment by enabling our customers to be more sustainable is far greater than we could have as a company. Our team wants more than “just a job”. We care deeply about what we do and who we do it with.
At Sensat we have maintained extremely open communication throughout all of the hierarchical levels within the team. In order to make sure all voices are heard we:
– Have an anonymous question form which Sensateers can use to submit questions which are answered on our bi-weekly ‘PMQs’ (Prime Minister’s Questions).
– We have meeting guidelines which help teams to conduct meetings in a way that all participants are heard and respected.
– We use Lattice (an HR platform) where everyone submits their weekly updates, concerts, questions which their line manager is able to discuss with them/raise to the leadership team if necessary.
– Everyone at Sensat has regular 1-2-1’s with their line managers where they get time to share ideas, discuss any concerns and clear their mind. At Sensat this is a really important time so that everyone is heard.
– Sensat gives an annual learning budget to every Sensateer which can be used for professional learning. We have seen our teams use this on courses, books, mentorship programmes and more.
– Sensat’s 4-day week means that individuals have an extra day which Sensateers to use to work towards their personal goals—be it rock climbing, paragliding or spending more time with family. Individuals have a better work-life balance with time to focus on what they want to do.
– Sensat works off flexible working hours with our ‘core hours’ of 10 am – 4 pm. This means that if you want to fit in a gym session after collecting the kids from school or do a pottery session in the afternoon you are free to do so! We trust our team to get the work they need to do done.
– For our day-to-day professional development we use Lattice (an HR feedback system) to give our peers both positive and constructive feedback so that we can learn and better ourselves.
“Win together” and “Mission, Team, Self” — are the bedrock of Sensat’s values and we know that every Sensateer has a part to play in fostering our values to create an environment we want to be a part of.
For our people, purpose and meaning matter, so we redesigned how we operate Sensat to best support them. Fostering a hybrid working environment has proven an essential condition for our team to thrive. Through hybrid working, working a 4-day week, and having flexible hours, amongst other initiatives, every day, we see our people naturally adapting the way they work to suit how they can best create value.
We trust our people to determine how they work best and how they can deliver work they are proud of. This also means that when we come together as a team, we cherish the time we have. We believe that creating the right conditions for people’s success leads to our ability to outcompete, which equals outsized value created.
Sensat has multiple programmes to create a thriving environment for our people, including:
– Our remote-first mentality: Sensat will always retain a physical HQ. However, using a remote first stance, we ensure a level playing field (i.e. everyone dials into meetings, even if they are in the office so that no one feels left out).
– 90-days-work-from-anywhere: our team have been dialling in from all over the world, fueling a sense of adventure or just being where they need to be.
– Team-building budget: encouraging teams to get together regularly, and teams are free to choose how to spend it.
– 4-day work week: over the past three months we have been trialling a 4-day work week where every Friday teams have off to do whatever they like.
– A small team culture mentality: Despite our rapid growth over the past 2 years Sensat has maintained its tight knit company culture by nurturing the importance of social as well as professional bonds. We ensure to put on monthly social events which are more than just a trip to the pub. Recently we have been go-karting, to the cricket, to listen to an orchestra and even held a family sports day.
– A people first culture: our people are the heart of Sensat, without a happy team we would not be able to fulfil our mission. That is why we put
We think this says it all…
“I decided Sensat would be different, I wanted to build a business that solved a problem that mattered, surrounded by people that care, and fostered meaningful relationships. I wanted to find a group of people who were aligned with purpose, worked with autonomy and were propelled by mastery. For this group, what we did with our days wasn’t work as defined by most people, it was work as defined by us; an intrinsically important part of our lives for reasons bigger than simply ourselves.
If this is true then my role became clear – to create the conditions for the people of Sensat to do their best work, to outcompete our vulnerabilities in order to create the best possible chance of succeeding against our mission (a mission that we all feel is too important to fail).” — Sensat CEO, James Dean
4-day week: We are trialling a 4-day week so that everyone has the day off every Friday.
Work from anywhere for 90 days a year: If the team want to travel they can work and travel.
Flexible working hours: We trust our team to get the work done that they need to do this means that we give them the autonomy to do their work their way
Work from home budget: Teams are given a generous budget to kit out their home working environment so that they are comfortable working in their space.
Mental health support systems through Spill (online councilling): We know that life has ups and downs, we give the team access to confidential counselling where they can speak to someone if they need to.
Generous learning budget: Every Sensateer has a annual budget to spend on their own personal development.
Shares scheme: So people are invested in Sensats future
We maintain an office presence: we are in the midst of moving office and have decided to reimage how an ‘office’ should function. We believe it is for collaboration, socialising and not just a place to be sat behind a desk. Our new space will have a coffee bar, more sofas and whiteboard areas to fit our us.
-Remote Prime Minister’s Questions, where the executive team gives weekly company updates.
-Remote Happy hour and a quiz game every Thursday after work.
-Weekly coffee buddy pairings where the team is paired randomly for half an hour to chat with someone they might not always work as closely with.
-Maintaining a busy events calendar for the team so that everyone is encouraged to come in and see their colleagues in person.
These initiatives have allowed us to scale successfully as a tight-knit group of people through the pandemic and our 200% growth in the past two years.
We have rethought our new office to ensure the hybrid work approach is front of mind. This space will be more collaborative with coffee bars, sofa areas, thinking spaces, more meeting rooms and fewer desks which we have found people are using less when coming into the office.
We also ensure that our team has everything they need for their office space. We give a generous work-from-home budget that the team can use as they please.
Sensat’s mission is to build technology for a more sustainable world. Today construction is one of the oldest and least technologically advanced industries in the world. We believe in helping these organisations to automate the way civil infrastructure is planned, built and managed. We can help to reduce the impact on the environment and broaden access to critical infrastructure for billions of people. We are people that want to solve problems that matter with people that care.
15 Ironmonger Row, London
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