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2021 in Review: Another Year at Home and Looking Inward

It's been another year at home. Safe Software has been working remotely and safely.

In the past year, there have been many new and pressing causes that have taken the forefront at Safe Software. By looking inward, reflecting on our own biases, and the way we work in our new remote environment, we can foster true change. 


Looking Internally 

Diversity & Inclusion

This year, an ever-growing need to formally launch a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee was initiated. The ultimate goal was to create a starting point for our team and leadership to look at our blind spots. Our company is diverse and we want to have a candid conversation with ourselves on what we can, should, and will improve on. Since then, we’ve formed a dedicated committee that focuses on fostering change and educating our Safers. 

You can read more about some of the many D&I Committee initiatives here.

diversity for year in review

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

We determined that it would be best to get an objective view from an organization specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion. This was a place to start. Resultantly, we partnered with Bakau Consulting, a Diversity and Inclusion consultancy, who has since facilitated a company-wide educational workshop. This workshop focused on the Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression and conducted an internal audit survey to understand how staff felt about diversity and inclusion at Safe. With these findings, we recognize that as an organization, change ultimately comes from the inside out. 

Diversity and inclusion in tech and in our company is important to us. Diversity is our strength. We have a long way to go towards fostering change and doing better. We are committed to doing so in the months and years to come. 

Speaking of change, the pandemic has brought changes to the way we work. Like many companies worldwide, our team had to quickly think on our feet.  A remote-first working environment was new to us, and we’ve definitely learned many things along the way as we entered another year at home.


The Journey of Remote-First

Health and Safety of our Safers

At the forefront, the health and safety of our staff is the most important consideration to make when making any decision. With the added stress and challenges of COVID-19, we shifted to a remote work environment to ensure staff have the flexibility and support to work where they want. Staff are given the same opportunities, regardless of where they are located in Canada.

remote work set up example

Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

With restrictions easing in British Columbia, we’ve opened our HQ for most staff to choose whether they want to work at home, at the office, or a mix of both. The decision is entirely up to each Safer to choose based on their team needs, preferences, and personal situations. This will proceed into the future to provide the most flexibility for our growing team. 

For those who wish to work remotely, we provided a stipend for the purchase of any office furniture or equipment to ensure they felt comfortable and productive at home. For staff who choose to work at the office, we’ve implemented many strategies to ensure they feel safe and comfortable.This includes a Vaccination Policy, frequent cleaning of common areas, and “hotelling offices” for staff who would like to visit infrequently. We have also promoted inclusivity by having remote meetings if an attendee is tuning in virtually. 

Social Connectedness

When working with our new remote-first mentality, we’ve also recognized the importance of social connections at Safe. Since inception, we knew we had a strong culture of teamwork and collaboration. However, maintaining that in an online setting was a new challenge to us. We encouraged teams to continue using their annual team building budgets to connect and collaborate virtually. Some innovative virtual activities that took place within the team included an escape room, magic trick lessons, terrarium making, and even virtual golfing!

remote work games

The CMD Team came together to tackle a virtual escape room. This included instructing an agent to get through the challenge in just under 43 minutes! 

Our internal Fun Committee also took initiative by hosting online events to encourage staff to embody our core value of having fun. Trivia, lunchtime bingo, and pumpkin carving contests are just a few examples that took place this year. One exciting event held in the summer was the Step It Up Challenge. This was a month-long, voluntary challenge that encouraged Safers to get active and connect with one another on how they’re getting their steps in. In total, staff walked a total of over 20 million steps (that’s the equivalent of walking around the Earth!). You could say, there was some friendly competition. There were great prizes that were to be won along the way too. step it up is a remote challenge Safe did during the pandemic

We had various Safers hold up a sign to promote our ‘Step It Up’ challenge and get active!


What’s Next for 2022

As we enter another year at home, our D&I Committee will continue to research and provide recommendations to foster change within the organization and educate one another. We also plan to fine-tune on our hybrid working model to ensure staff have the utmost flexibility in working wherever they would like to, while being intentional about inclusivity and social connections.

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