Mar 8, 2022

An office-first company in a remote-first world

The gist of building a culture from within and the dynamics of our collaboration

Remote and hybrid work are two of the most popular buzzwords of the post-pandemic world, with many companies claiming that’s the way forward. As a tech startup ready to break the mold around legacy CAD, we beg to differ. At Shapr3D, we’re back to our office-first setup and we’re here to share why.

Why did we return to the office?

We believe that companies don’t fail due to their tools – they fail due to culture. Shapr3D is super ambitious, working hard not only to build a stunning product but a stunning culture too. As a tech company in the hyper-growth phase, scaling up our culture together with our product is especially critical for us. And let’s face it, it’s hard to understand Shapr3D’s mission without being close to those who triggered it. Similarly, it’s hard to get the nuances of the company culture without experiencing its dynamics day by day.

According to our philosophy, the users and the product come first, the team next, and our ego last. In our current state of growth, we need people who can prioritize the success of their teams, instead of their individual comfort. The work of our cross-functional teams is intertwined on so many levels that close collaboration is not even a question. Onboarding new team members is also much more effective face to face, and so is growing talents from within.

We’re building a product that has to be pixel-perfect in and out – it’s a collaborative design tool after all. For us, product obsession is more than a catchphrase. We’re not just building the app, we’re active users of it, modeling and manufacturing our designs. At the office, we can always ask for feedback and get the prototypes 3D printed anytime we want.

In the past 2 years, the size of the company grew from 30 to 130, which meant that most of us never got to meet during the long months of working from home. We felt separated from our teams and missed the sense of belonging, making us less motivated and less energized. Not being able to work in the office was especially unfortunate because we actually like spending time together.

Empowering people to be at their best

Building the CAD of the future is not an easy task. To reach this ambitious goal, we need to react fast, iterate, and make changes on the fly. We believe we can accomplish this best from the office, working hand in hand.

In order to empower people to be at their best, we came up with the following setup: we’re in the office 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday), taking the opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. Wednesdays are dedicated to focus work: no meetings, no disturbances, just progress. Since Wednesdays are ‘no meeting’ days, we can choose to work from home if that’s how we can progress best. After spending the past 1.5 years jumping from one Zoom call to another, we really value this dedicated time for being effective.

Besides the many benefits of our office-first setup, it also helps us draw the line between home and work. We are expecting high-performance, dedication, and focus from everyone, but we do our best not to take work home. Yes, we’re office-first, but we place health and family above all: if we need to cater to the needs of our family, or need to see the doctor, it’s a done deal, no questions asked. It’s not a strict 9-to-5 job: there’s no tracking of our coming and going – we trust each other with tasks and responsibilities.

We are aware that this might not be the ideal setup for everyone and that’s perfectly fine. We are looking for those who love collaborative work, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and crave for exponential growth. Plus, you can join the fastest-growing design and manufacturing software startup of the 21st century.

Relocation to Budapest

To be able to reach our ambitious goal of redefining the CAD industry, we need the best professionals in their fields. It means that we’re willing to reach over continents to find the perfect candidate. We know that asking someone to move to another country is a lot, so we’re giving new colleagues all the help to get a head start on their Budapest life.

We believe that Budapest is a beautiful city and a great place to move to as an expat. We have colleagues from 10 different countries. Are you ready to be the next?


Learn more about our relocation process and check out our open positions!