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June 2, 2021

How to be the best place to work for work-life integration

Trever Yarrish



Chief Experience Officer / Founding Partner
Grants Pass, OR

Our industry is experiencing a technical exodus at scale, with women disproportionately impacted, beyond the Covid-19 epidemic. Lack of flexibility, work-life integration, and connection are often credited with this movement, as well as lacking culture, growth, and impact. One in four women is currently considering leaving the workforce altogether. Many companies are failing to live up to their own policy handbooks.

What if there was a different way? 

Remote and Humans First

Be a remote-and-human-first company. It’s not just marketing-speak. At ZEAL, it’s how we have approached everything for nearly a decade. 

Be intentional about how you build a virtual culture that supports teams and customers. Accountability doesn’t have to look like keeping green Slack lights on. No one wants to sit on Zoom all day long in gratuitous meetings either. That’s a recipe for burnout and doesn’t spur innovation or collaboration. Inclusive, principle-driven cultures do. 

Results are critical but just as much as learning and growth. It’s better to work with whole, happy, grounded people that have lives, families, and outside passions. These are people who feel supported even when they are not only doing the company’s work but also engaged in their own passions and dreams. The culture will eventually speak for itself. But don’t take my word for it...

ZEAL gave me freedom. Yes-financially, but also with my time. As a mom with three kids, flexibility is paramount to me. I feel so supported and trusted. ZEAL even sponsored my Youtube Channel and podcast and has encouraged me to grow and learn. It’s one of the best places I’ve worked at, for sure. 

-Amy Dutton, Senior UI/UX and Frontend Developer

ZEAL has been nothing but supportive of me and my side projects. -- I don't know many companies that would do that. They have also helped me to restore a better work-life balance and provide more security for my family.

-Anonymous, ZEAL workplace feedback survey

Connection + Culture

Connection and culture are everything at ZEAL and they are driven by our principles. Your core principles shouldn’t simply exist in a document. They should live (and iterate) in how you engage with one another and your community. In addition to creating intentional time to connect, ongoing surveys and opportunities for authentic feedback help companies to understand what they are doing well and what they may need to improve upon. The data helps to tell our story as well. 

100% of all current and former team members say that we have an inclusive, supportive culture that encourages connection. 91% of employees have been at ZEAL for over 1+ years and 33% of employees have stayed 5+ years or longer-well above industry standard for retention rates in tech. 100% of current or former staff members are extremely likely to recommend someone from their community to work at ZEAL and 25% of all former team members who left ZEAL eventually came back.

The connections formed between everyone we interact with are strong and meaningful. This includes ZEAL teammates and client teammates. 

Kevin Craine, Senior Software Engineer

My favorite part about working at ZEAL is the people. We have awesome people and that is honestly one of the most important things. Coupled with that is culture. I am so grateful to work at a place where I feel aligned with the company's principles and overall vision.

- Matti Salokangas, Senior Software Engineer - ZEAL

Yes-we are humbled to have such a strong culture and we’ve worked very hard to make it so. That said, there is always room to grow, learn and improve, which is why we focus on leveling up as a company. 

Impact & Growth

At ZEAL, we prioritize learning and sharing our knowledge and expertise. We know this helps with attracting and retaining the best talent. Our in-house teams work on a variety of projects in Fintech, AR, BI, Healthtech, VC, and media. This allows for team members to constantly learn and grow through new projects, client teams, and technologies. 

The diversity of projects and learning opportunities with teams to support you is hands down the best part about working at ZEAL. -Anonymous, ZEAL workplace feedback survey

I love the supportive environment that encourages growth and personality, while still working to build team spirit and community despite the distance between everyone. -Stacey Yarrish, Special Projects Manager 

We also implemented ZEAL Fridays where we encourage team members to pursue non-billable projects and learning as well. This can include game design, content development, podcast creation, streaming, digital media, learning new programming languages, frameworks, and beyond. 

We wanted to do more about inclusion, as well as creating more opportunities for our community. So, we partnered with LEARN academy and created a software residency program that focuses on supporting the next generation of inclusive tech talent.

“I look back on my six months here and don’t recall ever having a dull day, or even a dull moment, really. The learning never stops; I think being at ZEAL has brought to light the idea that the passion for developing drives you forward, not the knowledge.” 

Jules Rogmans, Former Software Apprentice 

By emphasizing growth and true work-life integration, our team members are switched on and passionate about what they’re creating because we know this (ahem, zeal) will follow them into their work with clients and in how they approach everything. 

We help countless teams achieve their (sometimes lofty) goals all while making the journey pleasurable for everyone involved. That is what you can expect from ZEAL. It’s our signature move... Yes-we have countless swag and care packages (but also) everyone is there to help each other. Not only to be better at our trade but to become better people.

-Nate Clark, Senior Engineer 

Want to learn more about how you can create the best culture for your team? Follow us and join our community. We are hiring too! Apply or reach out/refer directly here.

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