Internal Policies of Icecat Group

Internal Policies of Icecat NV Group

Welcome to Icecat NV and its vibrant family of companies! Our goal is to create a modern, enjoyable and enterpreneurial work environment for all our employees. The intention of the following guidelines, subject to periodic updates by the Icecat board, is to foster a positive and productive atmosphere. These policies do not replace in any way the terms and conditions outlined in individual employment contracts but provide additional insights into our company culture.

    As a full-time employee, we encourage you to work within the flexible timeframe of normal business hours, generally between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, including a break. If you need to be absent, take a day off, or plan holidays, simply inform your manager before 9:00 AM and keep the shared week planner up-to-date. For non-illness-related absences, such as doctor or dentist appointments (excluding illnesses), please schedule them outside of working hours or compensate for the time away.
    Make sure to utilize all your contractual free days within the same calendar year, as they will not carry over to the following year. We believe in a healthy work-life balance.
    We embrace the possibility of working from home in addition to utilizing our flexible office spaces. While the option to work from home is not guaranteed, we strive to accommodate it whenever possible, except for specific circumstances. New employees who are not yet established in the company or those who have expressed intentions to leave may not work remotely. If you work from home, please ensure your group chat account is active to demonstrate your availability and engagement with colleagues.
    Maintaining a delightful office atmosphere is crucial to our collective happiness. We kindly request everyone to clean up after themselves in communal areas such as kitchens, meeting rooms, and flexible workstations. Our clients and colleagues appreciate having access to clean and fresh facilities.
    Feel free to express your personal style when there are no clients present, as long as it doesn’t distract others from their work. When interacting with clients, a business dress code is expected. Men, please wear a tie if your client’s company follows such a dress code. We encourage our creatives to dress freely, even in front of clients, as long as they maintain a professional appearance.
    We highly recommend incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine, as it benefits both you and our organization. Active individuals tend to experience fewer illnesses, and if they do fall ill, their recovery time is typically shorter. As a small contribution to a healthy diet, we take care of fruit in some offices.
    While we respect personal choices, we discourage smoking and encourage you to consider quitting. Non-smoking offers numerous health benefits. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the workplace. If you – as a smoker – are serious about quitting, discuss with your manager how we can assist.
    Creating a safe and respectful work environment is of utmost importance to us. We encourage healthy debates and candid discussions. However, shouting and disrespecting colleagues are not acceptable. Shouting has only a function in life-threatening, emergency situations, not in normal work interactions.
    Consensual romantic relationships within the office are allowed. But, it is essential to inform a non-involved superior, to ensure that work and personal life remain fully separate. But, avoid entangled hierarchical and romantic relationships between colleagues, including trainees, completely. If they occur, transparency is key, to be able to quickly mitigate the potential risks. Because the default reaction of keeping romantic office relations private typically has damaging outcomes.
    We value entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. If you have a brilliant idea and possess the talent, drive, and background to make it successful, we welcome you to share it with us. Entrepreneurial spirit forms the foundation of our business and has contributed to the success within our wider portfolio of companies like Hatch, Iceshop, Syndy, Cedemo, Futurumshop, Icecat itself, Virtuagym, NPEX, Vondel Marketing, Bintime, etc. etc.
    Our mission revolves around fostering open business infrastructures. We promote the use of open source licenses and prefer open standards, open source software, and open content. For example, we encourage the use of OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office and Chrome or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Additionally, we actively explore open-source integrations, including AI frameworks.
    We prioritize keeping promises and expect the same from you, especially when interacting with clients, suppliers, colleagues and partners. This commitment is fundamental to maintaining a healthy company. Integrity also includes maintaining a clear separation between personal and business interests. Avoid accepting valuable gifts from suppliers in private or accepting personal services from employees if you hold a managerial position. There is no integrity without full transparency.
    Given our historic background in internet retail, we are accustomed to providing same-business-day service levels. It is generally expected that you respond to all emails and other communications within one business day, preferably the same day. There should never be an excuse for delayed responses. If you are absent or on holiday, ensure you organize a suitable replacement or delegate responsibilities accordingly.
    Quality is highly valued by our clients and serves as the cornerstone of our future success. Therefore, maintaining high standards of quality in our work is a top priority.
    While we strive for fast growth, we prioritize profitable fast growth and increasing the company’s overall profitability. Profitability allows us to invest in new ventures, enhance quality, and support the growth of our employees. Moreover, healthy profitability allowed us to be independent, and resilient in times of crisis and misfortune.
    Controlling costs is vital for profitability. Therefore, you should avoid unnecessary spending. For instance, when possible, opt for free international calls instead of expensive mobile phone subscriptions, as long as the communication quality with clients is not compromised. Or, opt for outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries. Or, even better: automate away the repetitive and time-consuming jobs.
    Company property should primarily be used for business purposes, especially during working hours.
    Without being complete, for our way of working, please keep the following in mind:
  • Use our standard tools for internal and project communication, as well as internal and external calls, provided the call quality meets expectations.
  • Secure communication takes place via Signal, and we encourage minimizing the use of less secure apps.
  • Google Meet serves as our preferred platform for online meetings.
  • All offers sent to clients should be in PDF format to prevent unnoticed changes.
  • Use Google Docs, OpenOffice, or MS Office for your office work unless your role requires specific tools.
  • We leverage Google Drive as a groupware tool for sharing documents, particularly text files, and spreadsheets.
  • When developing server-based solutions, we prioritize scalable open-source approaches to avoid vendor lock-ins.
  • Embrace social media! Ensure you have active Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, follow colleagues, relevant lists, gurus, and e-zines, and share relevant company information regularly. Use relevant, popular #hashtags, and include relevant @accountnames to boost the visibility of your posts.
  • We like to see you blogging, as it benefits both you and our organization. Maintain a cool and positive tone in your blogs. Make regular contributions to
  • New email addresses should adhere to the format: <first name>.<family name>@<company url> (e.g.,
  • For spam control and email backups, consider using Gmail (POP) in addition to the server spam filter. However, when sending emails, always use your official company email address. If you use Gmail, ensure your emails are sent through the company (SMTP) mail server to display the company sender’s email address. Consult your colleagues for advice on the settings.
  • Use our company ERP tools for bookkeeping and invoicing, which are user-friendly and intuitive ASP tools.
  • Maintain week planning and holiday schedules online in the appropriate tools. Request access from your manager. For sales planning, we employ a spreadsheet-based approach for Leads and Sales planning. Seek training from your manager.
    New employees can expect a part-time, in-company training program during their first month to facilitate a smooth onboarding process. We also assign a buddy to each new employee whenever possible, providing guidance and support during the initial phase. In the case of larger groups, collective training may be arranged. If you feel the need for additional external training programs, please discuss it with your manager. Furthermore, we encourage regular masterclasses to inspire and learn from each other.
    We highly value ideas and suggestions from you. However, we discourage bureaucratic behavior or actions that stifle creativity or brainstorming.
    Further, we understand that dominant, local cultures can sometimes foster a biased environment, which is not conducive to bottom-up innovation. We strive to overcome this challenge by ensuring that no single local culture can dominate our global business operations. This can be challenging but is vital for fostering a creative and innovative work environment.
    We aim to be as “Green as possible” and actively promote sustainability. Whenever feasible, we encourage the use of electric vehicles or equipment with green certifications. And, support sustainability data also in our content services. When evaluating actions and proposals, consider the impact on sustainability.
    Adhere to applicable local laws and regulations. If you have any complaints or concerns related to integrity, undesirable behavior or anything else, please report them to your manager or the appointed confidential advisor for undesirable behavior. If reporting to your manager is not possible due to a conflict of interest or if the issue remains unresolved, escalate the matter to the next higher-level manager.

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