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Last updated · 19 February 2024


We, as a company, don't define our culture. Period. No company does.

What a company can do, though, is to create enablers that give people the bandwidth to be themselves freely. The mix of these enablers and each of your personalities, opinions, beliefs, traits, and quirks defines who we are, and that defines our culture.

When someone leaves Significa or when someone new arrives, the culture adapts slightly. It morphs. It is an ever-changing, ever-growing thing that is flexible and moulds over time and people.

More so than explaining what our culture is, or was, or is going to be, let’s focus on what we have in place to facilitate an engaging culture, shall we?

Starting with this page, and then following with our Playbook, our Manifesto, and our Mission and values would be a good path to getting to know more about Significa.

To be here, in a distance-first world.

We don't want to fit into the world of all-remote companies, chat-first conversations, and distant relationships. That’s why we are an Office-first company, with this principle engraved in our Playbook.

We value the pat on the back and the tight hug when one’s feeling down instead of yellow-faced emojis and emotion-absent texts. We are suckers for one on one interactions while we create digital products.

More so, we go as far as saying Significa would not be what it is today had we adopted a remote-only policy. As we write this, people are holding a meeting on the terrace, others gathered around a whiteboard discussing a product structure, some shit-chatting with a coffee in hand about what sounds like politics with birds chirping along from their tree branches, cats are sleeping in the sun, and unicorns are flying over the Uber Eats carrier's helmet. We're probably exaggerating a bit, but you get the gist of it.

The serendipity resulting from being at our office physically can't be matched with a remote culture. No matter how hard one may try. It's the spontaneous moments of personal connection that make Significa’s culture what it is. For the better and the worse.

Maximum freedom and responsibility.

You'll find references to this motto scattered all over our handbook. That's, in itself, a statement of its importance.

A lot has been written and said about this in our Playbook, in its dedicated page Maximum freedom, maximum responsibility, in Hiring criteria, in Leaves, in Working hours and location, and in pretty much everywhere else, but the bottom line is we have a culture embedded in trust and accountability.

We don't micromanage, we don't boss people around, we don't keep track of working hours or location, we don't care about any of those. We care about giving you the room to be yourself. We care about you having a balanced work and life blend.

We embrace difference. Together.

Nowadays, it is hard to ignore the overwhelming chaos and polarization that surrounds us. Opinions are often treated as indisputable facts, leading to a culture where expressing differing viewpoints can feel a lot like walking through a minefield.

At Significa, we strive to create a safe space where everyone can freely share their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas without fear of judgment or condemnation. But let's be clear: this doesn’t mean we are building an echo chamber for the close-minded. On the contrary, we aim to cultivate an environment where diverse perspectives are welcomed and encouraged.

We reject the notion of blind agreement and instead embrace healthy debate and dialogue. Our commitment to fostering open discussion also extends to our clients, as outlined below in “Clients aren't always right. Nor are we.”

We believe that true innovation and progress emerge from the collision of differing viewpoints. That's why we actively promote exchanging ideas, encouraging individuals to challenge each other respectfully. We value the richness that comes from diversity, recognising that every perspective contributes to a more dynamic and creative environment.

Our culture is rooted in collaboration and discussion, from collaborative brainstorming sessions to design feedback sessions and code reviews. Every voice is heard and valued, as we believe that it's through embracing our differences that we truly thrive and blossom.

We are all different, with different beliefs and opinions, and that's what makes Significa so plural and so rich. Even in your contributions to projects, this is evident and appreciated.

We want to remain small.

Our Playbook and our Hiring criteria cover the will to remain small from different angles.

The fact of the matter is we praise the proximity culture we have. One where everyone is welcome to provide their insights, to contribute with their point-of-view, to be themselves.

Once a company grows, a lot of things change. Some staples have to be dropped, and the soul of the culture is lost. Hierarchies would have to grow, there would be more bureaucracy, more entropy, more distance between people, more intrigue, more gossip, and these are all things we don't want to be bothered with.

All this, without mentioning the quality of the work. As you can read in our Playbook, we've always stood up for quality. From a certain size up, controlling quality gets harder and less efficient. Few are the companies that can grow big and still keep full control over the deliverables they put out to the world.

Quality. Always.

We are driven to be the best. That's it.

Our Playbook and Hiring criteria go further in making sure we don't lose our standards.

We care about you. Deeply.

We prioritise well-being and believe that a healthy, happy team is a creative and productive one.

Every six months, we will enquire you about a lot of topics that relate to our culture and your wellbeing. They are our data-driven way of measuring and acting upon your life at Significa.

The success of Significa is measured by the quality of our work, our financial sustainability, and the happiness of our team. All of them are equally important.

Our Team satisfaction reports are our drive for change.

Clients aren't always right. Nor are we.

Making our clients happy is extremely important to us. Worth-of-mouth referrals from our delighted customers are still our biggest source for more projects. But more importantly, we want to deliver the best possible work.

Funny enough, often the happier clients aren’t those with whom we always agree. It’s quite the opposite, actually — as it can be read in the following statement from Cancan, C.E.O. at allO:

Unlike normal design studios, Significa has never comprised its design standard regardless of what we said, although we are its client. In the early days, there was a point when we were stuck in designing allO, and we had a big disagreement with Rui, because we were proposing something that imitated the design of a few legacy players. Rui was EXTREMELY "mad" at us back then: "Guys, if we want to build something innovative and revolutionary, we cannot keep doing the same as the others have done. We need to do something different and better." I am super glad Rui kept his standard, and we have created a fantastic product ever since!

See the original in this link .

We will always stand firm in our beliefs and, more importantly, use data and facts to prove our point — while bearing in mind that the opposite is equally true: we must keep our minds open to change our opinions when we are proven wrong. It is this rational exchange of ideas, opinions, data, and facts that will create amazing relationships and products.

Hierarchy is purely a technicality.

Regardless of how romantic anarchy may sound, we don't believe hierarchy-less companies work. But we strive to be 100% flat in how we carry ourselves and, mostly, in how we deal with each other regardless of roles.

In Significa's reality, hierarchies have mostly to do with the will to make decisions. As you know, everyone is cut differently: some prefer to stay agnostic, free of decision-making, and responsibility-heavy roles, whereas others are fine with rolling up their sleeves, making critical decisions, taking judgment calls, and dealing with the consequences.

With this, as Significa grew, leaders were needed, and we had to place key people who met the description given above in key positions for each department to ensure we could keep moving forward. At full-pace.