At Youwe, we are committed to providing a supportive environment and work-life balance for employees with young families. Our flexibility and understanding allow employees to prioritize their personal lives without obstacles. We spoke with three employees: Erfan, Helene, and Miljana. Their positive experiences exemplify our dedication to creating a nurturing workplace culture that supports the needs of its employees and their families. They appreciate that Youwe is flexible, plans well, and fosters a culture where employees are treated as individuals, with family coming first.
Flexibility is key
Erfan, a Developer at Youwe originally from Iran, has a nine-month-old baby. He praises Youwe for being understanding and accommodating when it comes to taking time off. He shares, "Whether I needed a day off, a vacation, or parental leave, I've never faced denials or difficulties. This wasn't the case at my previous company, where requesting time off was challenging. It's easy and normal to prioritize your personal life here. I haven't had a bad experience in Youwe. It's all positive."
Erfan had open discussions with his team about his potential unavailability before his baby was born. His team was understanding and supportive, allowing him to take time off without objections. The same flexibility extends to working from home, as he can simply inform his team and they make space for him. He adds, "Here I have flexibility. If something happens or my wife needs me, then I can just go and do what I need."
Helene, a Digital Marketeer from Luxembourg, has one baby and is pregnant with another. She agrees that Youwe provides the flexibility she relies on as a parent of young children. This flexibility for families is one of the things she appreciates most about working here. She adds, “You just communicate to your team, hey, I need to do this. I'll do this later. And yeah, people are very understanding. I get this vibe from the CEO that the overall consensus is that family really comes first. If you have a situation, like you can't find childcare or you need to work from home then people are really understanding.”
Miljana is our head of Recruitment from Serbia. She has a four-year-old daughter. Miljana says Youwe’s flexibility is really something she values. “This is something parents really need. Imagine your child is sick. When you talk to your boss, you can feel comfortable. You can decide on your own time and nobody will stop you. Here, they choose to trust you. I like that.”
“As a manager, I try to position myself towards my team the same way. They get all the freedom they need. At Youwe, we believe in quality, not quantity. It’s about your deliverables.” She goes on to say that her staff has not taken advantage of these privileges. “My team values and respects the liberty they have been given. I think they deal with it very consciously.”
Planning and flexibility
Good planning is also crucial. Agile and SCRUM methodologies play a significant role in achieving work-life balance. Erfan agrees that these approaches enable teams to be more flexible in planning and prioritizing tasks. Deadlines are rarely stringent, and Youwe has dedicated planning teams and Delivery Managers to handle such matters. Erfan shares, "I haven't felt under pressure working at Youwe over the last two years." He can relax because his tasks are well-planned and defined for him. He rarely feels rushed to meet last-minute deadlines, allowing him to spend more time with his family.
The Marketing team at Youwe has recently transitioned to planning their work in JIRA. While Marketing work is not planned through traffic in the same way as Development work, Helene appreciates the switch. She finds it easier to keep track of her tasks and agrees that her team is flexible about when she works, providing her with the necessary time for her family. Helene emphasizes, "The focus is on deliverables. If you get your work done, that's what counts."
Solid maternity and paternity leave policies are also in place. In the Netherlands, new mothers receive four months of paid maternity leave, followed by an additional nine weeks of paid leave from their employer. New fathers are also allowed to take those nine weeks. Helene was able to utilize her nine weeks by taking one paid day off every week until the time expired while remaining on a 40-hour contract. Erfan, on the other hand, is planning to take his time off soon to travel back to Iran so his baby can meet their grandparents for the first time.
For our UK-based employees, maternity leave was recently increased to 16 weeks full pay and fathers will receive 2 weeks of fully paid paternity leave. "I'm so proud of the collaboration between the global HR team and the local UK operations in both Shrewsbury & Leeds to address this important issue. It's something I personally want to see become the new standard across the UK and is a pivotal first step in the major reforms that are needed here in the UK " comments Operation Manager Damian Doorbar.
Miljana adds, “I think the culture of Youwe is that here we’re family. That’s what I feel I’ve been given.” She goes on to say that when there are work parties, her daughter is always welcome and people at the company care about both of them. Erfan notes that the gifts he got from colleagues for his baby shower were amazing and special. We have a family-friendly and people-first culture that makes us a safe place for people to work as they raise their children.
Youwe's commitment to work-life balance and family support is evident in what these colleagues have to say. With flexibility, good planning, and solid parental leave policies, Youwe fosters a nurturing culture where employees can thrive personally and professionally.