Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2023

Welcome to our corporate social responsibility (CSR) report! As a responsible company, we stay committed to following sustainable business practices. While helping businesses launch pioneering solutions and grow through digital transformation lies at the core of what we do, we believe our impact is also determined by the difference we make in people’s lives and the footprint we leave on our planet.

In this report, we listed our long-standing CSR policies, primary sustainability goals, and the progress we’ve made on each of them in 2023. Join us as we delve deeper into how we ensure a safe and innovative work environment, care about our employees’ evolving needs, and support the most vulnerable members of society.

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Community Involvement and Development

Redwerk has always recognized the importance of community involvement and development. We aim to drive positive change and foster development beyond the IT community and the confines of our business. Here is how we do it.

Helping less privileged

Over the years, we’ve supported and initiated numerous charitable events, such as helping seniors during COVID-19, socializing with disabled people and seniors in nursing homes, buying computer equipment for orphanages, donating money to kids with heart diseases, buying Christmas presents for foster children, and buying food and medicine for animal shelters.

Supporting Ukraine

In 2023, though, all our efforts are geared toward relieving issues caused by persistent, inhuman, and downright genocidal Russian aggression. We continue supporting and arranging our own fundraisers on special occasions, such as our company anniversary, and always match our employees’ donations.

We also allow each teammate with family or friends serving in the army to make a companywide fundraising announcement on their birthday.

This year, on Ukraine’s Independence Day, we arranged a charity auction where employees willing to participate presented their lots – an excursion in their hometown, an invitation to play a game together, memorabilia from the frontline, a painting, or anything else they found worthy of a donation. We matched our employee donations and transferred the money to the Hospitallers nonprofit chosen by the vast majority of our team.

We also arranged an internal fundraiser for a low-income foster family we’ve supported since 2016.

Our founder together with the founder of Binary Studio personally donated $10,000 to support the war victims in the Kherson region.

Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, we’ve donated over $220,000 to more than 100 Ukrainian nonprofits.

Spreading the word

Besides charity, we find it important to spread the word about the real situation here in Ukraine. We need foreign businesses to continue purchasing from Ukraine, but the war scares many.

That’s why we give interviews to the media and use our blog and social channels to explain how Ukrainians have adapted to the challenges and why it is still reasonable to buy IT services and other products from Ukraine. We created special hashtags – #workwithukraine and #buyfromukraine – to promote this message and encourage foreign businesses to continue engaging with Ukraine.

Fostering local economy

We continue our practice of hiring specialists who stay in Ukraine. This approach not only allows us to tap into the rich pool of talent in our local communities, but also contributes to the support and growth of the local economy. By creating job opportunities within Ukraine, we are investing in our communities’ economic stability and development. This matters to us because we believe that businesses thrive when their communities thrive.

Labor Practices

Our people are the pillar of our growth and innovation. We take pride in their professionalism, commitment, and high work ethic. That’s why we strive to create a comfortable, fair, psychologically safe, and progressive workplace, recognizing their contributions and the immense value they bring to our company and the international tech community.

Fair compensation

Redwerk’s HR department continuously monitors job market fluctuations to ensure we offer fair, competitive pay to our employees. We perform annual performance reviews to help teammates get promoted with a subsequent salary increase.

Tax assistance

To bolster a supportive work environment, we assist employees in tax filing. We understand that navigating the complexities of tax regulations can be challenging. To alleviate this burden, we have onboarded certified payroll specialists well-versed in tax laws and procedures. These specialists are available to assist our employees with their tax-related concerns, ensuring accurate and timely filing.

Work-life balance policies

We know that a well-rested, happy employee is twice as productive as an overworked one. For this reason, we have a strict no-overtime policy encouraging employees to stick to the 8-hour workday. Of course, if it happens that an employee worked longer hours or worked some hours on weekends, their time is fully compensated.

Redwerk believes in the power of work-life balance. In our case, it’s more of a war-life balance. We’ve always had an option to work some days remotely, but after COVID-19 and the large-scale war, we’ve become a fully distributed team working remotely.

On top of that, we give our employees complete control of their schedules. They can work flexible hours whenever they feel most productive or have an opportunity to do so. The only condition is that they must show up to work until 2 p.m. and mention their working hours.

Home office setup

The company provides employees with all the essential equipment for their work – laptops, monitors, headsets, testing devices, power banks, office desks, and other things to set up an ergonomic workstation. This initiative ensures our employees have the necessary tools to perform their tasks efficiently and comfortably. We aim to promote productivity and well-being among our employees, even outside the traditional office setting.

Wellness stipends

During such tough times, it’s crucial to care about employees’ mental health. We’ve introduced wellbeing stipends encouraging teammates to allocate time for relaxation. Every month, each employee can receive a fixed allowance to be spent on pilates, yoga, cardio or weight training, swimming, dancing classes, therapy, or massage.

Employee engagement and development

All remote work can be strenuous on mental health, too. We arrange online and offline team buildings and meetups every two or three months to prevent social isolation. In the summer of 2023, we finally met offline for a small pool party in honor of our 18th anniversary.

We further our employees’ education by buying professional literature, remunerating course or conference attendance, and offering free English, German, and Spanish classes.

Gifts on anniversaries and special occasions

We acknowledge our employees’ commitment with words of gratitude and physical gifts. Even though we evaluate employees’ performance and contributions regardless of tenure and see multiple benefits in healthy turnover, we want to recognize our teammates’ loyalty and make them feel valued.

Employees who’ve been with us for five years can choose the present they want to receive on their anniversary. We gave anniversary presents like PS5, GoPro cameras, iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra, Galaxy S23, MacBook Air, and other electronics.

Those who’ve worked at Redwerk for at least a year receive congratulatory flowers, balloons, or sweets.

We also congratulate our teammates with presents of their choice on special occasions, such as a wedding or the birth of a child.

Human Rights

Redwerk respects internationally recognized human rights and complies with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. At Redwerk, all work is voluntary, and employees are free to terminate their employment at any time, giving a two-week notice.

Inclusive workplace

We strive to make our hiring process transparent and bias-free. We select candidates based on their skills and experience, welcoming applicants of all genders, ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, etc.

In Ukraine, women are still underrepresented in tech. Redwerk is committed to changing this status quo. So far, female professionals make up 40% of our team. We also share stories of women we employ or engage with professionally, hoping that more women will explore tech careers and won’t let century-old stereotypes creep in and plant a seed of doubt.

Zero pay gap

We nurture a merit-based culture with no pay gap for the same role and scope of responsibilities. We ensure that all our employees, regardless of gender or any other factor, are compensated fairly for their skills and contributions. This commitment to equality not only upholds the human rights of our employees but also fosters a culture of respect and fairness within our company.

Free idea sharing

We want every teammate to be heard and recognized for their ideas, so we established a barrier-free communication companywide. Anyone can speak directly to any teammate or founder without mediators or bureaucracy roadblocks.

Equal opportunities

Redwerk ensures equal access to educational resources and career opportunities for every employee. Also, we conduct regular employee satisfaction surveys to prevent any kind of abuse or harassment.

Psychological safety

Redwerk partners only with reputable businesses in the domains of e-government, e-learning, e-commerce, media & entertainment, martech, and healthcare. As a customer-centric company, we carefully monitor our relations with clients and ensure they are happy with our work. However, in the event a client coerces our teammates to work overtime or uses psychological pressure to make them do more work for free, we’ll terminate this engagement immediately.

Fair Operating Practices

Redwerk has been delivering software development services to businesses in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand since 2005. The primary reason for our long-standing success is our resolve to provide quality services and build strong, lasting relations with our clients. The latter would only be possible with adhering to fair operating practices.

Legally binding agreements

Our first interaction with potential clients starts with signing an NDA to guarantee the confidentiality of the information they share with us. If they choose us as their IT services provider, we proceed with signing a contract detailing the responsibilities of both parties. Once the project is finished, we can sign an SLA binding us to maintain the product and respond to critical issues.

No vendor lock-in

When developing or testing software, we document all of our workflows and follow the industry standards to ensure the code we deliver is easy to understand, reuse, and maintain. This is also crucial for a future hand-off process. If our client wants to end our partnership, there are no vendor lock-in issues.

Transparent workflows

To ensure a transparent process, we log all working hours in Jira or other issue-tracking systems our customers use. We engage with clients based on the Time & Material model, meaning they only pay for the actual work done within the previously agreed scope.

Over 70% of our clients recommend us to their friends and business partners, which signifies their high satisfaction with our services.

Responsible marketing

When promoting our services, we resort to ethical business practices only. Our competition strategy is continuous upskilling, innovation, and value creation. We rely on white hat SEO and have never tarnished the reputation of our competitors because we prefer communicating our strengths rather than dragging someone down.

Sustainable hiring practices

As a business employing 90 professionals, we know how hard it is to find and retain top talent. That’s why we practice sustainable hiring, hoping other market players will follow suit. Sustainable hiring means we don’t resort to headhunting because we find it highly disruptive and unethical. Instead, we focus on improving our corporate culture and expanding or updating employee perks so that applicants come to us first rather than the other way around.

Environmental Impacts

There is no second Earth. It’s true, and that’s why it’s crucial to be mindful of our environmental footprint and instill eco-awareness in employees. As a part of the global tech community, we share the responsibility of preserving our planet for future generations. Reducing carbon footprint is a continuous journey, but here’s what we’ve accomplished so far.

Making our offices greener

In 2018, we revisited our approach to running our offices in Kyiv and Zaporizhia, making them more environmentally friendly. We incorporated online document management to reduce paper waste, replaced disposable cups and plasticware with ceramic mugs, plates, steel cutlery, and reusable food containers for each employee.

Paper towels were replaced with hand-drying machines and chemical detergents – with eco-cleaning products. We also placed garbage sorting bins and partnered with vendors that take the waste to special sorting centers.

Improving hardware management

We have adopted a two-pronged approach to hardware management. Firstly, we use modern hardware to minimize energy consumption.
Secondly, we ensure that our older computers do not end up in landfills. Instead, we donate them to schools in the countryside and foster homes in dire need of such equipment.
This initiative not only extends the lifecycle of our hardware but also contributes to bridging the digital divide. By providing these institutions with access to technology, we are helping to create opportunities for learning and growth.

Reducing CO2 emissions

With all remote work, we reduce carbon emissions because there’s no need for daily commuting. By reducing the number of vehicles on the road, we can decrease our carbon footprint. We believe office attendance must be voluntary, so we didn’t enforce any return-to-the-office policies when we reopened our offices after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using digital handouts at conferences

Attending tech conferences is crucial to our business operations, and we are convinced it can be done sustainably. For example, we no longer print booklets, business cards, or other paper handouts because we know people will throw all these materials away when they leave the conference hall. Instead, we use digital handouts accessible through QR codes.

Also, we prefer enticing conference visitors with experiences and insightful conversations rather than free merch contributing to textile or plastic waste.

Developing solutions that enable change

However, our biggest environmental impact is helping green tech startups bring their innovative solutions to life. We’ve helped Kooky, a Swiss green business, launch the first reusable cup system in Switzerland. We developed a SaaS product that allows the Kooky team and their restaurant partners to manage and track the use of reusable cups. It became the Gold Winner of the Vega Digital Awards 2023.

Another green project we contributed to is My Bike Valet, a patent-pending, space-efficient bike-parking system. We developed iOS and Android solutions, helping cyclists easily find and book a safe bike parking spot in a specific area.

Consumer Issues

Redwerk’s mission is to help businesses worldwide deliver unparalleled digital experiences to consumers. We empower companies to focus on their business growth while taking care of the technical side of their products.

Data privacy & security

Safeguarding our clients’ data is critical to our corporate social responsibility. We have implemented robust security measures and adhere to global privacy standards to protect our clients’ data. We believe in transparency and keep our clients informed about how we handle their data and ensure its integrity.

Honest communication

When communicating with our clients, we are very clear on what we can and cannot do and what timeframes are realistic for the needed scope of work. We don’t onboard new clients when we are at full capacity, and we certainly don’t work on projects beyond our expertise.

Managed services

Redwerk provides managed services, meaning we assign a project manager/business analyst to each project to handle communication, planning, value creation, bottleneck prevention, and conflict resolution. This approach allows us and our clients to stay on the same page and build trustful, lasting relationships.

Customer satisfaction surveys

We conduct customer satisfaction surveys regularly to identify early signs of miscommunication or dissatisfaction and resolve those issues amicably. We use the feedback from our clients to improve our services, streamline workflows, and increase the value we create for our clients.

Monthly reporting

We hold ourselves accountable by preparing monthly delivery reports for each client detailing what has been done, what issues arose and how they were resolved, and how we suggest improving certain workflows to increase productivity and cost-efficiency. We may also include recommendations on how to fine-tune certain features to increase usability and overall customer satisfaction.

Organizational Governance

Our approach to organizational governance fully aligns with our core values of collaboration, transparency, and innovation.

Flat Organizational Structure

Redwerk has a flat organizational structure that fosters the culture of free idea sharing, independent work, initiativeness, and creative thinking. It enables a culture of collaboration and mutual respect, where everyone’s ideas are valued and considered.

We have Delivery, HR & Office Management, Marketing, and Sales departments but no department heads. All employees report directly to the company’s CEO and freely interact across departments to stay in sync and promote knowledge exchange. This approach encourages a balanced distribution of power.

Minimum Bureaucracy

We strive to maintain minimum bureaucracy in our operations. By eliminating unnecessary red tape, we ensure swift decision-making and efficient processes. This approach allows us to be agile, resilient, and responsive to the needs of our clients and employees.

Employee Empowerment

Our organizational governance is deeply rooted in the principle of employee empowerment. We trust our team members to take initiative and give them the freedom to make decisions related to their work. This empowerment increases job satisfaction, boosts morale, and leads to high-quality work.

Cloud infrastructure

All the critical infrastructure, such as code repositories, backups, and client data, are safely stored in the cloud. This allows us to leverage the robust security measures provided by leading cloud service providers, ensuring the safety and integrity of our data.

Cloud storage provides disaster recovery solutions, safeguarding our critical infrastructure against potential data loss scenarios. We understand the importance of data privacy and strictly adhere to all regulatory requirements for data protection in the cloud.

Emergency support

We’ve established an emergency fund that allows us to support teammates financially in case of an unfortunate event. Right before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we allocated $140,000 for relocating employees to safe areas. We also paid out four full salaries to teammates who joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Besides financial assistance, we help teammates find accommodation abroad or within safer areas in Ukraine and use our business network to find affordable housing.

Supply Chain

The war in Ukraine emphasized the need to support local businesses to keep Ukraine’s economy going. When producing merch or buying presents for teammates and their kids, we exclusively turn to Ukrainian vendors to support their small businesses.

We also use the services of trusted Ukrainian tech companies like GitLab, Serpstat, and Grammarly that continue hiring specialists staying in Ukraine.

To guarantee the safety and integrity of our customers’ and employees’ data, we partner only with reputable cloud service and hosting providers, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, Hetzner, and DigitalOcean.

Most digital products are dependent on open-source libraries and frameworks. We choose only thoroughly tested, proven, and continuously maintained solutions when integrating open-source software into our clients’ products.

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable business development is no longer an abstract and theoretical concept. Businesses that want to be successful understand the need to focus not only on their capital but also their impact on society and environment, which can be indeed tremendous.

For 2023, Redwerk has established five sustainability goals. We’ve achieved decent progress on each of them.

Goal 1: Support NGOs and Ukrainians affected by the war

We continue arranging charitable projects and participating in fundraisers of trusted nonprofits to help relieve the damage inflicted by Russia’s invasion and supply our military with the essentials they need. Since January 2023, we’ve donated to multiple nonprofits, such as Hospitallers, Ti Potriben, Tykho, and Tazyky.

Goal 2: Upskilling and professional development

The provision of high-quality services requires ongoing upskilling. The latter is also important for employees’ professional growth and job satisfaction. That’s why, besides covering employees’ expenses on professional literature, courses, and language classes, we also arrange internal meetups and curate a list of free and paid tech events every month.

In 2023, we conducted two internal meetups devoted to Blockchain and SEO respectively. Pre-war, we also conducted dozens of external Dev & QA Meetups, sharing our expertise with the larger IT community.

During the darkest times when Russia continuously damaged the Ukrainian energy system, we supported our employees by booking desks for them in coworking spaces equipped with Starlinks and power generators. Our team could continue working and learning despite the blackouts.

Goal 3: Maintaining work-life balance

We’ll keep operating as a remote, distributed team with a flat structure, flexible scheduling, and minimum bureaucracy. This organizational structure has proven effective since 97% of our teammates are happy with their schedules.

We are also flexible with our perks, ensuring we provide the most relevant and helpful benefits for the team. Our foremost priority is our employees’ physical and mental health, and it can be achieved with a balanced workload, quality time with family and friends, physical training, and different activities that improve mental health.

So, we keep an eye on the workload of each teammate, give them freedom over their working hours, and compensate for wellness services each month.

Goal 4: Winning new clients and creating more job opportunities

Running a business amidst the war is challenging but not impossible. We understand that if every business like ours keeps running and paying taxes, Ukraine’s economy will be in a much better state. We also understand that our business is a source of job opportunities for people staying in Ukraine. Since the start of the year, we’ve secured five new contracts and hired 13 specialists.

Goal 5: Resting and celebrating our achievements

Recognizing employee contributions is crucial for sustaining high employee morale, productivity, and overall job fulfillment. Every Friday, we publicize accomplishments from each department and spotlight those who made it possible.

Our employees are true hard workers, so we create opportunities for them to rest and have fun. We combine online and offline activities because we are distributed across Ukraine and abroad. In 2023, we surprised our teammates with presents and online team buildings on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Ukraine’s Independence Day, and our 18th anniversary. We also met offline for a pub quiz in April and the annual summer corporate party in July.

Given the current situation in Ukraine, our celebrations are modest and often charity-driven, but they are still an immense source of joy for our team.

Learning and Looking Ahead

As we conclude our CSR report, we reflect on the strides we have made in the past year and look forward to future opportunities.

Our commitment to running our business sustainably has been unwavering. We have strived to balance our economic growth with social responsibility, ensuring that our success does not come at the expense of our environment or communities.

We are excited about the potential of technological advancements, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), to drive positive change. AI can be a powerful tool for good, helping us solve complex problems, improve efficiency, and create innovative solutions that benefit society.

We understand that our journey towards sustainable business practices is ongoing. We are eager to learn, adapt, and grow as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

We are immensely grateful to our clients and partners for their continued support and trust in us. Together, we can make a difference.