At Ozone API, we adopted remote working from the outset and our colleagues are scattered across the globe, with some working in parts of the world where no other colleagues are based. Company culture is a big priority for us and so It got us wondering, what is it really like working like this? Does it decrease motivation or improve it? Is it isolating or enjoyable? Do they feel connected to the rest of the team? So, we sat down, virtually of course, with some of our team to understand what it’s like working in a remote position, when you have no team members nearby…
- What’s it like working in a remote role where there are no other colleagues based in your country?
Nihal, General Manager for MENA: Working in a remote role where there are no other colleagues based here in Dubai can be both challenging and rewarding. At Ozone API in specific, it has been quite an enriching experience. Ozone API have created an all-inclusive work culture that takes into account the unique circumstances of remote workers. By conducting regular team meetings and keeping everyone informed and in the loop, Ozone API ensures that remote workers don’t feel isolated or disconnected. Moreover, by accommodating the culture of the country where the remote worker resides, including different timings and national holidays, Ozone API demonstrates a commitment to valuing the diverse backgrounds and needs of their employees.
Alex, Project Manager: Working remotely at Ozone API, where there are no other colleagues based in my country, Moldova, is a surprisingly positive experience. Despite the physical distance, I feel fully integrated into the company culture and connected with my colleagues in the UK, India, Saudi Arabia and Brazil.
Ozone creates a seamless remote work environment that promotes collaboration and communication. I think that this geographical diversity enhances our team’s creativity and problem-solving abilities, bringing unique perspectives to the table. I truly appreciate the trust and support the company has shown in its remote workforce, making it a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Fabio, General Manager for LATAM: It works just fine and I associate it to a few reasons:
a) I like spending time with myself in my personal space and of course, professional life (honestly, the only difference I see between them are the activities associated to each one, but all of them are performed by the same person, so, it’s the same life after all ). So, having long hours working in my home office and connecting online with my co-workers/partners/clients when needed has given me a great balance and keeps me motivated to keep finding even better ways of doing my job.
b) I was working in a remote position for more than 10 years before the pandemic, while working for P&G back in 2004-2010. During that time, I think I had my boss in the same country only 10% of the time and a lot of projects/activities I was involved in also included people from other countries and phone/online meetings were the norm, so, I got used to it and learned how to make it work a long time ago.
c) The current tools (audio/video/messaging) we can access to connect to our co-workers are much more efficient than ever before, so, lack of communication is not an issue, actually, we have to take care to not over communicate these days!
- Tell us about the country or place you live in and what you enjoy about it.
Nihal, General Manager for MENA: Born and raised in Dubai, this is home. I have seen this city transform to what it is today. Dubai has always been a melting pot of cultures with a significant expatriate population, it has also become a regional hub for modern infrastructure and a global hub for business with attractive economic opportunities. The city has a robust economy with a focus on industries like finance, tourism, real estate and technology. I enjoy living in Dubai with my family for the unparalleled safety and security, the opportunity it presents to many, and the diversity of the lifestyle that one gets to experience everyday.
Alex, Project Manager: I currently live in Moldova, and I love this place. Moldova is a nice and peaceful country nestled in Eastern Europe, known for its beautiful landscapes, friendly people, and wine industry. I was born and raised here, my friends and family are here, and I feel comfortable and confident among people and places I have known for my entire life.
I must highlight the hospitality of the Moldovan people. The culture here implies open communities and strong family bonds, which I find incredibly welcoming and heartwarming.
Moldova is not perfect and has certain points to improve, but friendly and hardworking people, beautiful countryside, organic food and relatively affordable prices make it a comfortable place to reside. The country’s central location in Europe also allows for convenient travel to other countries. If you haven’t visited Moldova yet, you’re welcome to explore this country, as I’m confident that everyone can discover their own unique advantages here.
Fabio, General Manager for LATAM: I am based in Brazil, in a small town named Vinhedo. It’s located about 80km north of São Paulo and 15km south of Campinas, the nearest metropolitan regions. I am not a big city guy, so, living here (Vinhedo’s population is 80k) and benefit from the small town privileges, like taking my kids to school in 10 min, having a good relationship with my neighbours, plenty of open spaces, very few buildings, no huge traffic, etc, while having easy access to the bigger cities around when I needed (some specific stores, airports, etc) is just great. I don’t see myself and my family living anywhere else in Brazil.
- Has Ozone helped you to feel connected to your colleagues despite the distance? Be honest!
Nihal, General Manager for MENA: Ozone API’s efforts to maintain regular communication and to accommodate different cultural aspects has played a significant role in helping myself and other remote workers feel connected to our colleagues despite the physical distance. The consistent team meetings ensure that we can interact with other team members, the considerations in providing fair access to company benefits despite location, the sharing of updates, and engagement in discussions, foster a great sense of belonging. This approach not has not only helped in a collaborative work environment but also helped build personal connections, which are essential for a cohesive and motivated team.
Alex, Project Manager: Ozone API has gone above and beyond to help me feel connected to my colleagues, despite the physical distance. They’ve invested in various tools and technologies that facilitate easy communication and collaboration, such as work MacBook, various project management software, and work travel compensation. Moreover, Ozone API arranged the delivery of a gift right to my wedding ceremony, and during summer holidays allocated a certain amount of funds so that I could spend some fun time with the loved ones.
The company fosters a culture of inclusivity and regular interaction. We have regular team meetings, virtual coffee breaks, and online knowledge sharing sessions. Additionally, the leadership team encourages open communication, ensuring that everyone’s input is valued, regardless of their location.
These efforts have not only kept me connected with my colleagues but have also strengthened our team bonds, making me feel like a valued and integral part of the company, no matter where I am located.
Fabio, General Manager for LATAM: Yes, totally. Our work model is based on a few recurrent alignment/follow up sessions and a lot of space to actually work and execute what we have agreed, which works great.
- Do you actually enjoy working in a remote role as part of a global team?
Nihal, General Manager for MENA: Being part of the Senior Management Team at Ozone API while being remote has been a well-rounded work experience. The delegation and empowerment needed to be productive coupled with the flexibility that considers the local culture while maintaining a global team dynamic adds to the appeal.
Alex, Project Manager: Yes! Working in a remote role for a global team like Ozone API is a fantastic experience for me. It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The global perspective brings fresh ideas to the table and encourages innovation.
Furthermore, the flexibility that comes with remote work allows me to balance my professional and personal life effectively. It’s a win-win situation, as I can contribute to the company’s success while also enjoying the benefits of remote work.
Fabio, General Manager for LATAM: Yes, and on top of that, being the first one in a region, with all the opportunities we can see ahead of us, really motivates me to keep working to fulfill that potential and make Ozone API growth all across Latam!