Inside Jooble’s new €1 million office
The editorial staff of AIN.UA visited the new office of a Ukrainian product company Jooble and prepared a traditional photo tour for our readers.
A Ukrainian company with an office in Ukraine
Jooble was founded by Roman Prokofyev and Evgeniy Sobakarev in 2006 (company’s story is available here). As opposed to many IT companies that either hastily register themselves overseas or transfer their head offices to the U.S. after barely getting to their feet and begin calling themselves an ‘American company’, Jooble has always positioned itself as a Ukrainian company.
Although Jooble’s product, a popular job aggregator, works on 71 markets, the main and only office of the company has been located here in Kyiv since the first day. Jooble has no other locations or offices overseas. Unlike its main competitor Indeed – the largest American job aggregator with offices all over the globe. Despite its modest infrastructure as compared with Indeed, Ukrainian Jooble is the second most visited job aggregator in the world.
The new office of Ukrainian Jooble is located at 71 Kostyantynivska Street. The company moved in here in September of the last year. Before that, they had a place at Klovska, “Carnegie Center” business center. They were renting a part of the 16th floor with a stunning view of the Kyiv cityscape. But over the past five years, the company has grown from 50 to 150 employees (that includes developers, sales, support, data scientists, marketing, etc) and the space became scarce.
Currently, the company has around 80 vacancies. They are mainly looking for salesforce and technical staff, but their primary focus is on finding country managers – i.e. people with a good grasp of foreign languages. There are also a few freelancers working for Jooble.
A million euros’ tab for abandoned factory renovations
A tour of the new office was given to us by Anastasia Parfe, Team Leader of Sales and Link-building team. The company has overhauled the site from scratch and converted it from concrete ruins into a modern loft. There are three floors with the total area of 2,800 sq.m., with main space occupied by a spacious open space on the second floor.
“In the beginning, we were looking for a turnkey building, but nothing would meet our requirements,” explains Anastasia. Firstly, we wanted to have it closer to the metro – 10 mins walk tops. Secondly, we wanted to have enough space, not only to accommodate all the existing employees but to be able to expand in the future, to have space to accommodate new people.
Then we began looking for a space that we could retrofit to our needs. This led us to an old abandoned ceramics factory.
“The place was basically with bare walls, broken windows, and flying pigeons.”
Repair works in the new office began on November 10, 2017, and continued for 9 months. Jooble invested 1 million euros in renovations and finishing.
Even though the views from windows of the new office are no match with sunsets at Klovska, this is partially offset by interior garden right in the center of the open space. The garden serves as a wow effect and merely as a green space at Jooble.
“When we were just planning the renovations, we created a file where employees could share their suggestions. We had quite a few peculiar suggestions: like a dancing pole or a huge inflatable rabbit. But then we got a suggestion to create a relaxation place where people could take a break from their screens and switch to something pleasant,” Anastasia continues.
All the plants here are real. And to properly upkeep their garden Jooble has hired a florist who visits the premises twice a week and takes good care of the greenery. In fact, the entire space is equipped with air humidifiers, as they say, it is important for IT folks.
“Lair” and cosmos
According to Anastasia, they faced two issues in the old office. First, the toilets – they had only two, which was not enough for a team of 100+ persons. Second issue – lack of conference rooms “It was impossible to arrange meetings when we had only three conference rooms that were always occupied.”
Currently, Jooble’s office has 16 conference rooms (10 small and 6 large). Each room has its own space-related name. For instance, “Black hole” or “Event horizon.” And one of the walls is adorned with a giant mural of an astronaut.
Unlike office at Klovska, the new office boasts many utility spaces. First of all, the employees got their own gym. Now Jooble has yoga, stretch and various other sports groups with regular group training sessions. Professional coaches visit the office mornings or evenings. Half their fee is covered by the company, and the rest is covered by members of a relevant group.
Jooble’s corporate parties and teambuilding events with professional bartenders and DJs are held in the “Lair” bar on the ground floor. Employees can visit the bar with their friends during off hours, celebrate their birthdays as well as other holidays and call their friends that are not from Jooble. The only thing is that you’ll have to mix your cocktails yourself.
“Corporate events are an important part of the team’s life. We go abroad often. Last December we visited Egypt, last January we were in Poland, before that we visited Bukovel, and climbed Hoverla in summer. All expenses covered by the company.”
On top of offsite corporate events, usually held one or twice a year, as well as New Year’s party and company’s Birthday celebrations, Jooble has the so-called “Birthday boy/girl days.” On the last day of a season, for instance, spring or fall, the company celebrates birthdays of all the employees who were born during that period.
Jooble does not provide free lunches, but their kitchen always has coffee and tea for their employees, as well as some snacks, such as sausages and cheese, crackers and sweets, fruits and vegetables. “We tried to provide catering, but it didn’t catch on. Our employees usually go out for lunch or heat up their own food in the kitchen.”
There’s a place to read a book, event area, mini library, and showers.
“Once I woke up and there was no water at home. I came to the office at 7 AM to take a shower and freshen myself up before the work,” Anastasia reminisces.
Flexible schedule and strict KPIs
In Jooble, like in many modern companies, people can come to work any time they want – it can be at 7 AM or 11 AM. However, the eight-hour workday rule is still in place. Also, the company has the so-called ‘sick leave without medical certificate’ system, that is when an employee gets sick, the company sends him/her home to recuperate and does not demand a medical certificate signed by a doctor.
Employee performance is assessed through team’s and personal KPI. All teams have different KPI assessment schemes. “For instance, KPIs of managers are measured in points with a maximum weekly score of 100 points.” Then, the results for a specific period show the most effective and non-effective employees and team leaders. And to keep up the competitive spirit and incentivize the best, the company has monitors installed right under the roof of the open space streaming KPIs in real time.
The third floor of the office is occupied by accounting and finances – the only detached space from the rest of the open space. Founders Roma and Zhenya do not hide in offices with leather armchairs: they still come to the office every day and work like everybody else. And sometimes they work standing: Jooble has dedicated standing workplaces.
According to Anastasia, the company did not make all the desks ‘standing’ because there’s just no demand for that. However, if an employee needs anything, he/she just need to tell about it.