Buildkite has seven values: transparency, quality, diversity, independence, empathy, collaboration, and sustainable growth. These values inform how we work within our teams and how we communicate with our customers. And interestingly, these values drive the benefits that we offer Buildkiters.
We don’t think that it’s enough to just adhere to government mandates or to simply follow trends set by similar organizations in our industry. Why? Because those options don’t speak to our mission of building tools to help the best software teams stay happy and productive. Our benefits are designed to help Buildkiters support this mission by providing the things they need to enjoy their work and stay engaged.
I’m not going to simply list Buildkite’s benefits here -- you can find that on our careers page. The point of this post is to explore the “why” behind what we offer.
We believe that everybody should have access to good quality healthcare, particularly in 2020 and 2021. And because of that, we provide comprehensive healthcare for all Buildkiters and their families. This looks slightly different depending on the country, but it is flexible and designed to support individual healthcare needs.
To us, health can go beyond visiting the doc and taking medication. Really, it’s anything that helps you look after yourself and your well being. For that reason, every Buildkiter has a wellness and self-care budget. Wellness to one of us may mean taking a yoga class, to another having a supply of comforting snacks, and to someone else getting a new mattress.
We don't dictate what that means for different people because we are unique humans.
We think it’s important for people to work on self development and their careers. The idea being that people will stay within the organization, and they'll upskill and grow into more senior roles.
This includes a budget for taking classes, attending training or conferences, and travel and accommodation expenses. Because of the cancellation of most in-person conferences in 2020 and into 2021, we are expanding what we include in this budget. For example, something new that we are trying is having Buildkiters work one-on-one with professional and leadership coaches if they express an interest in doing so.
Buildkiters have an annual budget for office set up and supplies. This includes items you would expect like computers, phones, desk, chair, internet connection, or co-working space fees. In addition, this budget can be used for non-typical things like home cleaning, art, and plants.
Yes, that’s right. A budget for houseplants.
We are a remote-first organization. For most of us, home and office are the same place. So in addition to having the best equipment, we also want you to be in a space that you feel comfortable in. For many of us, having plants around is either relaxing or just gives us a very positive feeling about where we are.
There are three types of leave available to Buildkiters. The first, annual leave is paid vacation time. In Australia, where we were founded, 20 days of annual leave is mandated by the government. We go one step further and offer 30 days (six weeks).
You may have noticed that this isn’t ”unlimited” time off. We don’t do this because research suggests that employees are less likely to take time off when vacation time is unlimited or undefined. We want team members to take leave. It’s a good thing to us. So the six weeks is about ensuring that you have time to recuperate, or to take time off whenever you need it.
Personal leave is sick time in Australia and it is counted separately from annual leave. The government mandates 10 days a year, but we offer 20. Again, we want to ensure that you take time off when you are unwell rather than trying to push through.
Our parental leave policy is gender neutral in that there is a primary carer, which is six months off paid, and secondary carer which is three months off paid. Anyone can take either, and you don't have to take it all in one go. We've had secondary carers leave, take two months in one go and then come back and work four days a week without reducing to part-time pay.
An important thing to note about our parental leave policy is that it also includes the continuation of what we call in Australia superannuation payments or 401 (k) or retirement payments. This is not something that is mandated in Australia, but we recognize that not being paid superannuation while on parental leave has a disproportionately negative economic impact on women.
We give most of our team members the option of full-time or part-time employment. We recognize that folks have interests and responsibilities outside of work and we want to accommodate that. Some people are returning to work after a significant amount of time away or others may have startup projects or family responsibilities that require their full attention one or two days a week.
Very early on, Buildkite’s founders wanted to ensure that everyone's individual contributions to Buildkite were recognized by offering everyone a piece of the company. Everyone on the team is eligible to receive a percentage share of the company profits each quarter, and an equity stake through our employee share program.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what we offer Buildkiters and we are constantly thinking about where we can improve. As we add new team members in different parts of the world, we re-assess so we can give equitable access to things that we believe are important everywhere.
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