September 19, 2019

Smartcar’s company culture: How we’re creating a respectful work environment 🤝

Mathilde Patmon

Director of People

Welcome to part 2 of our company value blog post series. After part 1, today’s topic lies especially close to our hearts: respect. We’ve done a lot to create a respectful work culture here at Smartcar, and we’d love to share our insights with you.


Fostering a respectful work environment can mean a lot of things. To us, it means being kind, inclusive, and collaborative.

We pride ourselves on having a truly kind team here at Smartcar. We’re genuine and down-to-earth people that work hard but don’t take themselves too seriously. The phrase “this isn’t in my job description” is not in our vocabulary. As a team, we fail and succeed together, and we stay a team even outside of work.

To mention a few examples, our founders Sahas and Sanketh helped Gurpreet (Senior Software Engineer) move to a new apartment one weekend. When we receive significantly more job applications than usual, the whole team helps Jackie and me with screening applications and hopping on interview calls. When our Content Writer, Charlotte, publishes a blog post that she really wants to go viral, the entire company shares her post and even calls up friends and family to chip in.


Being respected has a lot to do with feeling welcome and feeling empowered to participate. If you have an idea - share it! If you have hesitations about something - speak up! If you see that someone needs help on a project - help them! We value a no BS environment with open communication and equal opportunities for everyone. A few examples of this include:

When giving a job offer to a potential new team member, several colleagues send out congratulations emails. We want new team members to know we’re excited to meet them, and we want them to feel welcome right from the start.

No matter which department you work in, everyone is welcome to join in on different teams’ meetings. Many of our Business team members have participated in Engineering sprint planning, and asked questions to fully understand the technical side of our product. All of our engineers have joined our Head of Sales and Business Development, Zeenia, on Sales pitches to understand the needs of potential new customers. Some of our interns have sat in on candidate interviews to learn more about our recruiting process.

When our Recruiting team proposed hosting quarterly demo events at our office, our CEO provided a budget to experiment and prove the concept. After three events and one new hire from each event, we transformed the experiment into an ongoing part of our recruiting practices.

Even outside of working hours, we sometimes go hiking, boxing, or bowling together. Other times we organize game or movie nights, or we feast together at a potluck or barbecue. Every team member brings in their own background and interests, so our outside-of-work activities never get boring.


Last but not least, creating a respectful work environment means to collaborate. You can’t respect someone or be respected if you’re completely alone. In fact, all our roles here at Smartcar involve working with and learning from others.

Our engineers often work on larger projects in pairs. They also do code reviews and peer programming. Finally, at least two engineers have to approve every PR before gets merged in.

Smartcar’s Recruiting team is highly collaborative as well. We work with the Marketing team on organizing events and managing our social media channels. We also value the team’s input when hiring someone new to join the Smartcar family. During the final step of our interview process, five team members participate in interviews. When we make our decision, hearing various perspectives helps us eliminate bias and ensure that we’re hiring top talent.

Finally, the Marketing function benefits from close collaboration with other departments. Charlotte wouldn’t be able to improve SEO without help from Engineering, send the right email campaign without help from Product and Sales, and publish a blog post about our company values without - well - help from someone on our Recruiting team. 😉

This is how we’re being kind, inclusive, and collaborative to create a respectful work environment at Smartcar. Of course, no company is perfect, so we’re always striving to listen to everyone’s feedback, to keep doing what we’re doing well, and to improve what we could do better.

Stay tuned for two further blog posts about our remaining company values, and feel free to reach out to our People & Operations team with any questions. We’d love to chat!

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