Senseye Hack Life Days: providing time for our employees to grow
“As a company, Senseye believes it is vital to be continually improving and supporting its employees to grow and develop themselves.” Simon Kampa, Senseye CEO.
Traditionally, supporting employees to grow included activities such as offering conference passes or training courses, but Senseye is unique in its approach and perception on how to best support its employees. Access to information is no longer an issue and what employees really need to keep growing is time. Senseye has therefore launched a corporate program called “Hack Life Days” which was initiated by one of Senseye’s co-founders Chief Software Architect Daniel Reid in 2016 and supported by Senseye CEO and co-founder Simon Kampa.
Senseye Hack Life Days are days off from regular work for our employees to pursue things such as brushing up on new skills, trialling new technology or giving back to the community by supporting a specific charity. Historically this corporate program was released as Senseye Hack Days and was only available to software product engineering and data science teams, but Senseye has extended this program to become Senseye Hack Life Days to make it available to all Senseye employees offering all the same chance to grow and contribute to our communities.
They happen on a regular basis and are linked to our product life cycle development driven by our engineering team (front end and back end developers) supported by our R&D. Each person now has a regular free Friday every six weeks to use as they wish. It’s good for the company, good for employees and good for the community too.
Australian born London-based Senseye digital marketing manager Matthew Hanna decided that getting some extra training in computer coding was the best use of his Hack Life Days. It gives him the added skills to sort out many more of the minor issues that crop up with the digital media he handles every day, rather than having to rely on outside agencies to solve every problem.
“I work in digital media and decided to get back to basics with an online coding course from Codecademy. I’ve done one day so far and it already means that I don’t have to harass our design agency if something on the website doesn’t function correctly when triggered or something isn’t sitting quite as it should. I can change it myself instead,” he says. “My background is in advertising, so I’ve learnt the elements of coding on the job, but I didn’t know how to go beyond that. Now I’ve seen how useful it can be I’m planning to use more of my Hack Life Days to go deeper and deeper into coding.”
“Hack Life Days are good because you can never have that time in your normal working life to do things like that and they allow you to do it without cramming it into your own time at the end of the day. So it’s good for me and it’s good for Senseye too, because they have an employee who has the skills in-house to do things that they would otherwise be getting charged for by the hour by an external agency.”
Meanwhile, Senseye’s Munich-based regional sales director Steffen Eisele says that Senseye Hack Life Days have successfully turned his desire to help in the community into a long-term commitment to support vulnerable elderly people. “I’ve worked [professionally] for a lot of years and already had a lot of training, so I decided I really wanted to use the time to do some voluntary work. I went along to a social centre for seniors here in Munich and that has acted as the ignition to get me started helping in my own time too,” he explains.
In addition to helping during social events at the centre, he has now volunteered to work with one person in particular, taking him out several times a week and supporting him with everyday jobs such as shopping: “The person I work with is 78 and confined to a wheelchair. Like many people in the city, he has no family locally and some days will see no one apart from medical staff. I take him out for fresh air and company.”
“Many of us are blessed in life, with good health and a good job. We should think more about other people, and it’s important that Senseye is encouraging employees to do more than their daily work. I’m very lucky that my job with Senseye is flexible and enables me to do this.”
“For a company that relies so heavily on a highly skilled and motivated workforce, Hack Life Days are a rewarding experience all round, enabling continuing professional development, as well as building a happier team. This is a key part of our values and part of a wider corporate initiative to make Senseye a great place to work.” Simon Kampa, CEO of Senseye.