Bakken & Bæck

Image

Handbook

01Welcome

Welcome to our handbook! It will give you a quick introduction to our culture, work philosophy and our thoughts on what we do at Bakken & Bæck. The Handbook is a common point of reference, whether you are new or one of the co-founders.

We are an international team who like to think there are no problems we can't solve, and no digital products we can't build. We love to experiment with new ideas and are not afraid to try new. Also, we like to have a lot of fun while doing it.

You want the same thing, and that is why you’re here!

Mission

Bakken & Bæck was founded by Johan and Tobias in August 2011. Since then the company has grown steadily into its present shape. The mission has always stayed the same though; to create great digital products, together with great people and have fun along the way.
imageimage

Newbies Checklist

  1. Read this handbook
  2. Learn how to use the coffee maker
  3. Get to know your colleagues by using our custom “1-coffee-with-every-colleague” card
  4. Read the latest banter in some of the 400 Slack channels
  5. Say hi to the bees and taste the honey
  6. Get your own custom emoji
  7. Comment on someone else’s post on Wake
  8. Invite your colleagues to an after work activity
  9. Make suggestions for changes 
to this handbook
  10. Like everything at B&B, the handbook is a perpetual beta and needs regular maintenance
Image

02Freedom and Responsibility

At Bakken & Bæck we try to give you the best, and want yours in return. We give you the freedom, responsibility and trust you need to thrive.

We know that people perform best when they care deeply about their work. Detailed lists of tasks to run through each day are tedious and demotivating. At Bakken & Bæck you will find the flexibility to manage your time and priorities, and not have to squeeze your creativity into a 9-to-5-time slot.

No one will hold your hand, because we don’t like micromanaging or top to bottom hierarchies. This means you’re in charge of your work, and that it’s up to you to make the right priorities. We trust you - you’re here because you are one of the best at what you do!

Be Kind

Be a good person. We have a huge impact on each other and are the architects of the space we want to work in. Being nice to others is a boomerang that comes back to you when you need it the most.

Building world-class digital products requires diverse perspectives. At B&B we embrace a diverse and inclusive culture and are committed to providing equal opportunities to all, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or any other aspects of appearance, background or personality.

We don’t tolerate any kind of disrespectful behaviour, discrimination or harassment.

Embrace the unexpected

Serendipity and spontaneous discovery are at the heart of all creative thinking and are some of the cultural pillars of B&B. We believe that good things come from experimentation, random ideas and "just trying things". That's why keep a low threshold for ideas and initiatives, and host events like Stupid Hackathon.

Working together

To us, collaboration is the foundation of all great products. We work together as a team all the time, across disciplines and locations. We don't divide by departments or create complicate organisational charts, but we are continuously looking to improve and adjust the way we're structured.

As a diverse team with different skillsets we have individual needs when it comes to mentorship and guidance. To help support you in the best way possible, we have product managers and team leads, and the opportunity to be one yourself.

We are diverse

Working across offices in Norway, The Netherlands and Germany with clients across the globe has its pros and cons. By using tools like Slack, Wake and video calls, we try to keep the cons to a minimum and make the distance as short as possible. This has made us really good at working remotely. As much as technology can help to build bridges across locations, it will never fully replace the face-to-face encounter (or will it?). We try to take the opportunity to meet each other in real life as much as possible, whether it's because of project work, social happenings or larger company trips. We might even travel to your hometown to visit your family.

Share and Evolve

There is no such thing as oversharing or overcommunicating when working in a team of people spread across locations. Share your work with your team as early as possible, and say too much rather than too little.

It gets messy

We’re a small but fast-growing company with many people trying on different hats. Every project and process is different, and there will be friction and sometimes chaos. If you feel that something isn’t working the way it should, it probably isn’t and we should do something about it. With your help, we identify the things that aren't working as early as possible and adjust accordingly.

In the office

Our workspace is our home away from home. It’s where we explore ideas, hang out, eat lunch, have meetings, discuss the best front-end development strategies and create really good digital products. Take good care of the space, and make yourself at home.

Get out of your seat and use the space. Move around - it’s good for you. Put on your headphones or find a quiet spot if you need it.

Do you want to do some activities like yoga or lunch-karaoke? Make it happen! If you find something that we should improve or change, share it, and we'll change it together.
imageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Internal projects

Over the course of the years, we have learned a lot about what it takes to run successful projects internally. It takes a lot of work, but great things like Daylight, Orbit and Wake have come out of that magic hat.

We keep a low barrier for coming up with ideas, experimenting and prototyping. We love to share and discuss ideas all the time. During the course of a year we end up with a great number of ideas that don't amount to anything - but also a few, both big and small, that end up as actual products or even companies.

Check out
daylight.today
orbit.ai
wake.com

Image

03Perks and Recreation

At Bakken & Bæck we value a healthy work-life balance, and we strongly encourage 40 hour work weeks — not more. As a team we are continuously developing our set of perks and benefits together, based on both the needs of individuals and the team as a whole.

Flex it up

We use a flexible working hours’ scheme at B&B, meaning that you are your own boss when it comes to defining your weekly 40-hour timetable.

We know, however, that we do our best work and have the most fun when we are together in the office as much as possible.

Working remotely

As a B&B employee, you have the opportunity to work remotely when you need to. Sometimes we wish to work from home or from some other random place (like a cabin, a bungalow or your parents' house). When you’re working remotely there are a few important things to keep in mind.
  1. Check with your team first. We want to be flexible and accommodate everyone, but sometimes we need you in the office.
  2. Make it easy for your team to reach you, and let them know if you will be out of reach for periods of time.
  3. Be sure to have a good internet connection, and be online during our core working hours.
  4. Be present on Slack, and be extra diligent with sharing on Wake (if you design stuff) or Github (if you code stuff).
imageimageimage

Say what?

We want the best people, that's why we hire from all over the world. Out of around 60 colleagues, we represent 25 different nationalities. We’re from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela.

Our working language is English, and you should strive to use it around the office, at lunch and in meetings as well to include everyone that doesn’t speak the local tongue.

Of course, if you move to work at one of our offices in a country where you don’t speak the local language, it’s nice to learn how to do so. We subsidise language classes and necessary exams so you know that you have to run fast when someone tries to serve you smalahove, rauwe haring met uitjes or schwarzsauer.

Holidayin’

Vacation and time off is something we all need. At B&B you are free to plan your vacation whenever you want, and we have no forced time off in July or December. Want to go to Peru for four weeks in September and pet some alpacas? Go for it.

Please give notice as early as possible if you are planning a longer vacation or taking time off. That makes it easier for us to plan for upcoming and ongoing projects.

Floating Holidays

We allow you to take paid days off for non-Christian religious holidays or switch those holidays to non-Christian holidays. Why should Christmas get all the love?

Extra days to chill

In addition to your vacation you get these days off:

  1. Christmas Eve, 1st and 2nd Christmas day
  2. New Years Eve, New Year’s Day
  3. Rosenmontag (Germany)
  4. Easter: Maundy Thursday (only in Norway), Good Friday and Easter Monday
  5. May 1st
  6. Liberation Day (Netherlands)
  7. Ascension Day
  8. Whit Monday
  9. Constitution Day (Norway)
  10. Fronleichnam (wtf?) (Germany)
  11. Koningsdag (Netherlands)
  12. Unity Day (Germany)
  13. All Saint’s Day (Germany)
  14. 2 days off whenever kindergarten or school has planning days (if you have kids, though)
  15. Every leap year you’ll get the extra day off on February 29th ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Having fun together

Getting together outside the office is both fun and important. It’s an excellent opportunity to get to know people, in and outside the country you work in. That’s why social gatherings are an important ingredient in the B&B stew. Twice a year, at summer and Christmas, we gather everyone in the company for a two-day trip and a great party.

Once every other year we also throw a party for friends and friends of friends because the friends of our friends are our friends.
imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Baby boom

Even though we sometimes feel like a big family at work, nothing compares to having one of your own.

We want to provide the best possible support for the families of B&B. We got the moms and dads in the company to design our “baby kit”, so you can get a head start on your new parental adventures.

We’re proud to say that it’s probably one of the best in the business.

Baby kit

  1. A 2.000 euro bonus to buy whatever you think is necessary for your little family.
  2. A restaurant gift card worth a delicious three-course meal for you and your better half.
  3. Gift card for 30 coffees at a coffee shop near your house.
  4. A magazine subscription of your choice, so you can stay inspired and have some time off while the newborn baby sleeps.

Paid leave and time off

  1. In all offices, we provide two weeks of paid leave so you can be with your newborn and partner.
  2. Paid leave is also offered in case of adoption.
  3. In the case of in-vitro fertilisation, the necessary time off is given for treatments.
imageimage

Mental health support

Being a young group of people, our team members fortunately are rarely on sick leave due to their physical health. However, being young and working in a fast-paced environment can come with other types of strains. We believe that providing a proper support system for mental health is important. We provide:

  1. Extensive health insurance that provides immediate access to psychological therapy treatment.
  2. Flexibility to adjust working days based on medical and health-related needs.
  3. In the case where health insurance doesn't cover psychological therapy, we'll sponsor up to five therapy sessions per year.
  4. Subsidised subscriptions for digital mental health tools (ie. Headspace).

Health insurance

Sometimes life can hit you harder than a massage can solve. All employees are provided with an extensive health care package* covering the costs of:

  1. Hospitalisation, with or without operation
  2. Cancer examination and treatment
  3. Outpatient surgery
  4. Examination and treatment with a medical specialist
  5. Up to 24 yearly treatments with physiotherapist, chiropractor or naprapath
  6. Psychological first aid
  7. Access to psychological treatment
  8. Access to 24-hour helpline

* with some variations between offices

Stay fresh

Keeping your body in physical shape can be key to proper wellbeing. We subsidise your activities, whether it's a gym membership, dance class or curling club fee.

We also offer an unlimited amount of cod-liver oil and vitamins in every office. It might not be super tasty and not everyone sees it as a perk, but it sure is healthy.
imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Stay inspired

To be one of the best digital product teams in the world, we need to look for inspiration and new perspectives. You know best what inspires you and what you need to stay on top of your game.

Training courses, conferences, exhibitions or inspirational tours: as long as it’s relevant for your work and you can give back to the rest of your team, you’re encouraged to go. The costs will be covered (as long as they don’t exceed €1500 per year).
imageimageimageimageimageimage

Office specifics

Bi-weekly massage

Yes, it’s true. Every other week, a masseur comes into the office to give half-hour-long relaxing massages that relieve stress and prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). They’re a blessing, really!

Getting around town

You wanna get around, and you wanna do it smoothly and environmentally friendly. That’s why we offer to pay the subscription for city bikes in your city (only Oslo for now).

If you work at the Oslo office and have an electric car, you can charge it for free in the office garage.

Keeping up with culture

Our Hamsters in Amsterdam love their art and sure like to stay inspired. So, if you’re a part of the Dutch office, you will get a Museumcard, which gives access to over 400 museums in The Netherlands for free.
imageimage

Food for thought

Lunch, snacks and coffee

“Without food, the hero doesn’t work” is a famous Norwegian saying. Good food is important to us, and coffee is a matter of life or death. In every office, good and healthy lunch is included. Of course, we'll have a locally sourced gluten-free vegan option for you.

There's breakfast if you had to skip it at home, and fruit, snacks, juice and soda for whenever you need some extra energy. We also take pride in having the best coffee in town!

If you see anything missing in the kitchen, just ask the local office manager to order it for you.

Glutards unite

As a diverse company, we have three different types of vegetarians and several allergies. Luckily, we've got an amazing chef in Bonn, and excellent catering in Oslo and Amsterdam that accommodate everybody. This way, everyone can stay healthy and nurtured without risk of becoming sick from eggs, gluten, citrus, milk, lactose, fish, nuts, spinach, basil, peas, kiwi, apple peel, seafood, shellfish, whiskey or white rum.

The hardware and software you need

Our jobs demand that we have the best tools available at any time.

You can decide your own setup, and we’ll provide you with the phone, computer and any software you need to do your job as well as possible. We’ll also provide you with a paid data plan.

Relocation to another office

Being a company with multiple offices in different countries, we have the unique opportunity to work from different places. To facilitate and encourage relocation, we offer:

  1. Transportation costs to your new location.
  2. Two weeks of accommodation while you settle in.
  3. Covering the costs of shipping your stuff.
imageimage

Doing business

We strongly believe that having a stake in our projects is great for everyone as it makes sure we’re one team working towards a common goal. It’s also a great way to make sure everyone can reap the rewards of our work.

Full-time employees will be offered to buy stocks and become a shareholder in our investment company, Bakken & Bæck Invest. Now and then, we’ll decide to work for equity over money if we really believe in a company that wants to work with us. Our investment company will own a percentage of shares, which is divided among all shareholders at B&B—a flexible way to get paid for our work.

Bakken & Bæck Invest, or BBI, owns shares in our own ventures, like Orbit, and in a few other companies that we’ve decided to invest in by working with them. The portfolio has grown in both size and value every year.

Making the world a better place

As a company, we want to be as sustainable as we can be, and we look for ways to do so continuously.

The Oslo office has a beautiful rooftop terrace that we share with two beehives and 100 000 bees. Bees are essential to our ecosystem, and we are doing our part by creating an area for them to do their important job.

At B&B, we subsidise the cost of a beekeeping class so you can join in on the melliferous activities of honey slinging and tending to the beehives. Soon, you and your colleagues will get to taste delicious «office made» honey straight from our rooftop!

Besides beekeeping, we try to make sure we don’t waste too much food—our latest initiative in Oslo being focused around bokashi, or simply composting food waste. If we travel by aeroplane, which we have to do now and then, we make sure to purchase CO2 compensation for our flights.

If you have ideas for making the office you work in more sustainable, please mention it to your office manager.
imageimage

Put on your lab coat

We love to explore the intersection between software and hardware. It’s fun, we care about making things.

That’s why we have our own hardware lab, which you, of course, will have full access to. The lab is a place to learn how to make new things, test emerging technologies and run fun experiments. Some things we’ve made in the lab:

  1. Drones of all shapes and sizes
  2. 3D printing
  3. Laser briefcase for projections and visual installations
  4. Kinetic-controlled LED screen
  5. Door-opening Slackbot
  6. 15 sqm LED screen made of empty bottles

In Oslo, we'll sponsor a membership at Bitraf, a really cool maker-space downtown.

Benefits may vary

The various offices may have slightly different perks for two reasons: one is that cities offer different services to meet the varying needs of its residents. Like city bikes: in Oslo they are a necessity. In Amsterdam, on the other hand, it would be ridiculous since everyone has their own bike.

The other reason is that we create the perks together. So the Hamsters chose a free museum card instead of bikes, and the German office wants teilchen instead of massages because to them it has the same relaxing effect.

This way, you can be a part of shaping your own office and your own work environment.
imageimage

Work in progress...

Everyone at B&B can contribute to making this Handbook better. If you have comments, additional info or things you think we should remove, you are free to suggest edits and additions.

You’re a part of the team now, and as a team, we will continue to care for, adjust and develop it.

We define
We design
We develop
all things
digital

We’re Bakken & Bæck, a digital studio based in Oslo, Bonn and Amsterdam. Ambitious companies call us when they need an experienced team that can transform interesting ideas into powerful products.
Kron

Making smart investments personal

Designing and building an investment platform from end to end

Kron

Selected clients

  • 0x

    A new visual identity and online presence, powering their mission to be the bedrock of a new financial system.0x.org

  • Schibsted

    An AI-powered chatbot that helps deal with 1,3 million customer support inquiries from five major Norwegian newspapers.schibsted.com

  • Kolonial

    The mobile app for Norway’s fastest growing startup that has been revolutionising grocery shopping.kolonial.no

  • Wake

    A platform for sharing and discussing design work, which started out as an internal project and was spun out as its own startup.wake.com

  • Morgenlevering

    Concept, prototype and new visual identity for the award-winning service that brings quality products to your doorstep.morgenlevering.no

  • Penda

    A mobile solution that streamlines the operations of waste collection in Ethiopia, to help foster a more circular economy.pendapaper.com

  • NTB

    An AI-powered digital reporter that compiles articles like a human being, saving journalists valuable time and energy.ntb.no

  • Alva

    Several digital products for an innovative real estate start up including a smart algorithm that analyses information automatically.alva-tech.no

  • Kahoot!

    The first iOS app for Kahoot!, the world-renowned educational game that has more than 50 million active users.kahoot.com

  • Orbit.ai

    Our own AI platform with a range of tools that understand and automate language and conversations.orbit.ai

  • Business Inquirieshello@bakkenbaeck.com

From apps to artificial intelligence, from brands to blockchain – we build it

As a tight-knit team of sixty engineers and designers1, we know how to build products from the ground up that stand the test of time.

With solid expertise in a wide range of industries and several PhDs in machine learning and artificial intelligence, we believe that there are no products we can't build.

Forming close relationships with ambitious companies outside of organisational bureaucracy, we like to get things done at full speed.

We do have a soft spot for the serendipitous path of discovery. That’s why we host An Interesting Day2, run stupid hackathons3, keep bees and make honey4.

Join us

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everyone has the freedom to thrive while being taken care of.

Check out our Company Handbook to get a peek into our perks and the inner workings of our culture.

We always keep our ear to the ground for great people. Pop us an email, or send us an open application if you think we should talk.

Oslo

Bakken & Bæck AS
Trondheimsveien 135
0570 Oslo
Norway

Bonn

Bakken & Bæck GmbH
Fürstenstraße 2-4
53111 Bonn
Deutschland

Amsterdam

Bakken & Bæck
Van Diemenstraat 38
1013 NH Amsterdam
The Netherlands