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Paddle @ work, one year on

It’s been a whole year since we launched Paddle @ Work and a lot has changed. We raised $200m in series D funding and our valuation of $1.4bn gave us Unicorn status, we acquired Profitwell and gained 80+ new team members across three new locations, and we welcomed 162 new Paddlers around the world. 

We’ve also had some pretty big product developments. We integrated ProfitWell Metrics into the Paddle dashboard to enable Paddle customers to access accurate, real-time subscription reporting and analytics to understand what drives their subscription growth. Over the coming months we’ll be looking at how we can further integrate ProfitWell products into the Paddle platform to deliver more value to our customers. We’re already starting to see the results of unifying these two talented teams and the tremendous value it creates for SaaS businesses, and we have many more exciting projects on the horizon. 

Now feels like a great moment to stop and reflect on how our approach to working has impacted our business, our goals, and most importantly our people.

What is Paddle @ Work?

Paddle @ Work is our approach to work-life. It provides every employee with flexibility over how, where, and when they work – underpinned by three core philosophies:

  • We are Digital First
  • We personalize our work days
  • We are global and local

When we launched this way of working, we invested in four key areas to make this approach as inclusive and successful as possible:

  1. Hubs 
  2. At home
  3. Summits
  4. Navigate

1. Hubs

We’re Digital First but having beautiful office space is still a priority. Why? Because Paddlers told us that they wanted to visit a hub from time to time to collaborate with colleagues. Whether you’re visiting the office every day or just every now and again, we want your experience to be enjoyable, productive, and sociable. 

Since acquiring Profitwell, we now have five hubs across three countries: London in the UK, New York, Boston and Salt Lake City in the US, and Rosario in Argentina.

Take a look at our London hub:

2. At home

Paddlers can work from home whenever they like. Our generous work from home stipend helps Paddlers set themselves up to do their best work and it’s made available to new joiners before they start. 

Paddlers have told us they love having the freedom to work from home as much or as little as they like. Spending more time with children and pets is amongst the many benefits.

3. Summits

We held our first annual Summit in May, and it was a big moment for our business. It was the first time all of our colleagues from both Profitwell and Paddle got together, with 145 people flying in from overseas. For many Paddlers, it was the first time they had met some of their colleagues in person, which made it memorable for everyone. Spread over three days, we united via workshops, team building, eating and dancing to celebrate, collaborate, and strategize the future of Paddle.

4. Navigate

Now we get to the really good stuff! Navigate allows our employees to work from anywhere, including another country, for up to 45 days each year. That could be in one big trip, or in several smaller trips.

Since we introduced the perk, 24% of our employees have chosen to navigate for a total of 939 days and we expect this to be at 29% by the end of 2022. To encourage Paddlers to sign up and take advantage of Navigate, Paddle provides an Airbnb voucher towards the first trip which makes it that bit more special. Navigate is one of our standout perks and is typically one of the first things that candidates want to know about in the interview process. It’s particularly appealing to those who want to spend time with loved ones in another country without taking time off, or those who just love to travel.

Recently, two of our BDRs took a 30 day road trip around Europe, splitting their time between holiday days and working via Navigate. It’s a great example of how flexibility and personalization can empower employees to get the best of both worlds.

How successful has Paddle @ Work been?

Internally, our Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS) is now at 63 compared to 47 last year.

The area that has the highest score is ‘freedom to work/autonomy’ which is a strong indicator that flexible working is adding value to our employees’ lives. 

We also asked Paddlers to rate our digital first principles, the levels of all company information they receive, and their experience of working across multiple time zones. All areas scored higher than four out of five. In response to the question ‘do you feel empowered to decide where you work?,’ we scored 4.6/5, which shows that Paddle @ Work is moving in the right direction.

This year, we also saw the launch of our first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These are run by Paddlers, with support of the People team, and are a fantastic example of internal community building between our global teams.

The first ERG was the Rainbow Collective, a space for LGBTQIA+ Paddlers and allies. It’s built on three pillars, Advocate, Celebrate, Educate, and has welcomed members from around the world. The ERG is still in its early days but already they’ve hosted in-person and virtual socials and are leading the celebrations of awareness days across the company. In August, Rainbow Collective celebrated its launch by hosting a company-wide event; a panel discussion with three external guest speakers that was hosted in our London hub and streamed live around the world. 

Building digital first communities and creating safe spaces can be especially important for the members of these groups. We work hard to foster a culture of inclusivity and we want to ensure that every Paddler feels seen and represented.  We’re already starting to see the positive impact of our ERGs and we’re looking forward to seeing more groups launch over the next year.

How has Paddle @ Work been received?

What Paddlers are saying:

“Really happy with the balance, feel like I am more productive and enjoy the flexibility.” Engineer in London.

“As a manager myself, I love communicating to (the team) to pick what works for them. It empowers me as a manager and I get more from them. Navigate is great and overall I'm loving Paddle at work.”  Operations Manager, London.

Externally, we’ve been recognized too. Paddle has been certified by Flexa as a truly flexible employer for the second year running – placing us 4th in their list of top flexible companies in the SaaS and development software industry. In September 2022, we were placed 27th in Tempo’s top 100 Super Startups for 2023, and in October we were included in Otta’s Rocket List – the top 100 fastest growing companies to accelerate your career.

Want to join us? Check out our open roles.

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