ArticleAugust 24, 2023 · 4 min read time
At Nitor, the concept of a sustainable pace is a fundamental aspect of our philosophy of working life. This guiding principle shapes our work environment, placing emphasis on work-life balance, professional growth, and collegial support. In a world that seems to move faster each day, why do we prioritise endurance and balance in our pace? This article will explore what sustainable pace truly means at Nitor and its critical importance.
The foundation of the sustainable pace principle can be traced back to the Agile Manifesto, which advocates for a work-life balance and a work pace designed for the long term. For Nitor, the 'long term' perspective extends all the way to retirement – a perspective echoed in one of the company’s founding theses.
“Sustainable Pace goes beyond just preventing burnout; it is about cultivating an environment where work becomes both fulfilling and manageable”, explains Nitor’s People Partner Janne Järvinen.
“We view sustainable work pace as the foundation of our company culture. It's about valuing our employees' well-being beyond immediate results and ensuring they can enjoy a fulfilling career throughout their time with us.”
A Joint Venture of Organisation and Individual
Sustainable Pace is not just an organisational directive; it is a partnership between the organisation and the individuals. While companies must set the stage with supportive structures, processes, and resources, employees play an equally vital role in mastering their own rhythm.
The company's responsibilities include:
Implementing processes that inherently promote sustainable pacing. Think of, for example, realistic deadlines and encouraging vacation time.
Offering tools and resources for employee well-being, from training sessions to mental health support, to name a few examples.
Cultivating a culture of empathy where everyone feels both heard and understood.
On the flip side, the individual's journey involves:
Building self-awareness about one's capacities and boundaries.
Honing time management skills and establishing productive routines.
Recognising when to step up the pace and when to dial it down, and striking the right balance between work and personal time.
“Picture it like a dance. The organisation sets the stage, choosing the music and the lighting. Meanwhile, the individual dancer chooses the steps, deciding when to twirl energetically or when to pause for a breath. When both partners are in sync, the result is a beautifully harmonious performance,” Janne portrays.
Advantages of Sustainable Pace
Employee Well-Being: A sustainable pace prioritises employees' physical, mental, and emotional health. This can reduce stress and boost overall job satisfaction by encouraging a healthy work-life balance.
Positive Company Culture: When employees experience work-life balance and support, it also creates a sense of community and unity within the organisation.
Professional and Personal Growth: A sustainable pace encourages continuous learning and development, both professionally and personally. Employees have the space and time to nurture their skills, paving the way for more fulfilling work experiences and opening doors to new roles and responsibilities from an individual perspective.
Long-Term Productivity: A work environment that promotes a sustainable pace leads to improved productivity in the long run. Employees who feel supported and balanced are more likely to stay motivated, engaged, and focused on getting things done.
The Sustainable Pace in Action
Nitor actively promotes a sustainable pace through various initiatives and policies. For example, new employees are welcomed with fully paid holiday benefits from the moment they join, with no need for negotiations or waiting periods.
“We believe that every employee deserves time to rejuvenate regardless of tenure,” Janne points out.
Peer-to-peer support and learning are also widely supported at Nitor. The innovative Kamu Mindplatter tool aids in evaluating holistic well-being, while a mentoring program and casual peer-to-peer learning provide opportunities for continuous skill growth.
“Volunteer employees are trained to act as coaches, facilitators, or mentors, enhancing a culture of mutual support within the company,” Janne adds.
Continuous skill growth is further supported by Nitor Core initiative, where employees have the freedom to dedicate 10% of their working hours to experiential competence development as they see fit. The insights and knowledge gained from this Core work are shared across the company, benefiting not just the individual but the collective expertise of Nitor and its stakeholders as a whole.
Nitor, like most employers, is keen to stay on top of the well-being of their employees. But in addition to regular employee satisfaction surveys, we want to look a bit further. With the Homefront questionnaire, a survey directed at the close ones of Nitoreans, we gather valuable and often actionable insight into the well-being of the employees.
Janne gives an example of action inspired by the questionnaire:
“In the most recent one, some respondents expressed worry over the long working days of some of their loved ones. We decided to strengthen our communication around our commitment to Sustainable Pace. This includes discussing what an 8-hour working day truly means for our employees and providing examples of workdays to illustrate how others manage their time.“
Investing in Depth and Quality of Work
Opting for a sustainable pace might seem unconventional and counterintuitive in today's fast-paced business environment. The prevailing sentiment suggests that moving faster equates to achieving more. Yet, there's a profound strength in choosing a sustainable pace. It allows us to understand the details and nuances and be more mindful. Sustainable pace is not merely about slowing down but deepening our engagement, fostering genuine connections, and, as we believe, paving the way for more enduring success.
Are you interested in working at a sustainable pace? Read more about our working culture and see our open positions.
Background photo of the illustration: by Ryoji Iwata/Unsplash