If there’s one person you can talk to any time about any matter, it would be her - our fun, responsible, accommodating, caring, and kind People & Culture lead. We at Workfellow are very fortunate to have Marina as our fellow and beyond happy to experience these magical moments of our growth with her.
Hi Marina! Let's start with more general questions. What is the perfect long weekend for you?
The perfect long weekend for me would be to take a little trip somewhere. I love to travel, visit new places and experience new things. Especially if there’s a long weekend, I want to make the most of it! I’d want to travel with someone I’m close to - either a friend, or with my boyfriend or family and do something active. It would be great to go for a hike or visit a beach and definitely try some new food!
What keeps you focused at work even when working from home? Any tips/hacks?
I actually find that I focus a little bit better at home. I’m a very social person, I love to be around other people at the office and talking with them, but I do think that it can be distracting to me sometimes. One of the things that really helps me when working at home is making sure that I’m still getting ready almost as if I were going to the office - it gives me a sense that I’m starting my work and shifting from sleeping mode to working mode. I also like to have a designated work space. I think having a work space where I’m not just sitting on the sofa really helps me focus and get in the zone as well. Another thing that helps me is light, especially during the dark times here in Finland. I turn on all the lights, open the curtains, and try to get as much natural light as possible. One more thing is making sure to take a small break outside during the day, maybe going to pick something up for lunch or sitting down quickly and eating somewhere other than my desk.
What was your first impression of the company and its people from the first interview? Tell us a little about your onboarding week.
My first impression was really positive. Before my first interview I was a bit nervous like most people would be, but Kazyna and Kustaa were so open and friendly that talking to you made me feel relaxed and I was able to focus on the questions. It felt natural and comfortable speaking with the other team members too.
I felt that impression carried over to the onboarding week as well. I was warmly welcomed and accepted by everybody and it was a really open atmosphere. To be honest, I did feel a little overwhelmed at first because I hadn’t worked in tech before. There was so much new information to learn and wrap my head around, that I was getting very tired at the end of the day. Still, it was exciting to be learning so many new things and being around such smart people. Hearing about Workfellow and what we were doing made me eager to jump in and become a part of it!
You started out as a Talent Acquisition Associate and then took over many other responsibilities and became our first ever People & Culture Lead. How was this transitioning for you?
It has been harder because I now have a lot more that I’m responsible for and a lot more that I’m trying to juggle at the same time. However, it’s also been very rewarding and I feel grateful to Kustaa and Henri for having the trust in me to really start to shape a lot of the frameworks of how we run Workfellow and how we build our company culture. Even though it’s a challenge, I’ve really been enjoying it. I still do love recruiting, but I’m also enjoying having such a hands-on role in helping to shape the company.
How was it to set up a unit as a first member of the team? Did it feel overwhelming?
It is a big responsibility and I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself to try to do things as perfectly as possible. I feel that I have a responsibility not only to myself but also to the rest of the company and team members to set things up correctly the first time. I want to create successful, beneficial and sustainable policies and ways of doing things that can really contribute to the growth of the company. While it has been challenging, it’s also been incredibly rewarding. One of the things that’s been crucial in my job and something that keeps me going, is being able to humanize even the most bureaucratic things. Though it might be frustrating setting up something complicated or filling out lots of paperwork, seeing the end result and the value that it creates for our employees makes me so happy. I truly care about each person’s happiness and making Workfellow a supportive and enjoyable working environment.
What was the most hilarious situation at work or during the team events?
I think the most hilarious memory that I have is from our Christmas Party when we all sang karaoke together. I got everyone to sing Backstreet Boys as a big group! All of our team events have been really fun. It’s nice to get a chance to talk to people and get to know them outside of work.
What do you think Workfellow should work more on to become even a better place for its people?
Now that restrictions are ending, it would be great to have more in-person events and give people the opportunity to connect with each other. Also, continuing to develop and strengthen our remote culture is important to me as we grow.
The question that we traditionally ask from everyone, how would you describe our work culture?
I would describe it as friendly but focused. People are kind and really respectful of each other. Everybody knows when it’s time to focus and when it’s time to joke around - I think there’s a really good balance of both.
What kind of future colleagues would you want to see and work with?
I think more of the kind that we have right now! We have such a great, compatible group of people and the main overarching quality that comes to mind when I think of everyone working at Workfellow is “kind”. We have such genuinely nice people, which makes going to work really a pleasure. I think that although everyone is hard-working and focused, there’s always kindness driving everything. I also like the fact that we can joke around with each other - everybody has a great sense of humor and there is always some fun joke happening in our Slack channel.
We are searching for lots of new workfellows! If you are interested in joining a growing startup, operating in a new product category, and like working with smart, enthusiastic, and kind people, check out our Career Page! Workfellow has several open positions in sales, marketing, and technology. We’re looking forward to receiving your applications!