Feb 5, 2021
Ho Sang Yoon, Seoul
Working at Reddal - A Korean perspective
“Can you tell me again how it’s done at your firm? How is that possible?”
It has been well over a year since I joined Reddal, and still, this is the most frequently asked question from my friends and family. I explain everything: multi-national team set-up, projects across the Nordics and Europe, flexible work hours, remote working, efficient-to-the-point-of-being-unreal admin procedures and work practices (by Korean standards, of course), even the casual virtual chats. Their responses are a mixed bag. Some express shock at the amount of autonomy over my work, others are amazed by the transparency and flexibility of protocol, and a few jokingly call me out as a liar.
The truth is that I have a unique opportunity in South Korea to work for a company with a healthy work culture. I cannot speak for all Korean companies, but big conglomerates operate with a large workforce and an even larger bureaucracy. Taking my friends’ word, they have little room for flexibility, and everything is contained by the system. In this context, I want to talk about how Reddal’s core values enable me to thrive at Reddal.
Reddal is committed to cultivating a healthy workplace and culture. The 3 C’s - courage, credibility, and creativity - are the core values that demonstrate this commitment. We are expected to demonstrate these values every day, and for me, it started even before I joined. During the interview process when one interviewer questioned the credibility of my answer, I was afraid I had given a wrong one and would get turned down. That situation pushed the right buttons and I played around with a ridiculous idea. Cornered, I worked up the courage to pitch that idea and now, here I am. Somehow, I demonstrated courage, credibility, and creativity all at once.
That expectation for us to be courageous, credible, and creative continues every day. We work hard to solve difficult problems without a clear answer. We throw out and test ideas, go back and restructure our thoughts, and repeat. The autonomy, flexibility, and efficient work practices are simply a means to ensure we find an answer. So when anyone, myself included, decides to start the day an hour earlier or email someone senior to reschedule a meeting out of the blue - things that are virtually impossible in a typical Korean setting - I know it is a commitment to these values.
However, I think that it goes even deeper than that. After all, these practices are nothing more than guidelines or recommendations. What makes this possible is the trust between colleagues, the conviction that they are making sound, unselfish decisions. I believe that they are open to my ideas, kind enough to accommodate my needs and treat me fairly.
In my view, a good work environment has the company supporting and pushing you to be better than yesterday. I firmly believe that Reddal’s commitment to the three core values of courage, credibility, and creativity gives me the perfect setting to enjoy my work. Reddal even flew me over to Finland to make sure I attend their training session in person and learn as much as possible - now that’s what I call commitment.