How remote working fuels problem-solving and innovation
With the global pandemic and worldwide lockdowns, remote working has become customary for employees in terms of conducting their daily work. While this has been new to many, the company structure at Portchain has been built to embrace remote colleagues from the very onset, which has resulted in minimal disruptions of cross-team collaboration during the pandemic.
While the headquarters are located in Copenhagen, Denmark, our team is composed of colleagues from ten different countries including Italy, UK, Serbia, and Turkey. This fusion of different cultures accelerates innovative thinking and creative problem-solving across our different teams due to the many individual perceptions and perspectives. This allows us to help customers solve the hardest planning problems in shipping through digitization and integrated data science.
Flexibility fosters motivation
Since each team has to collaborate across borders, the culture at Portchain is built upon flexibility, collaboration, and non-hierarchical relationships between colleagues. Remote working, made possible through our completely digitized way of working, provides flexibility and mobility for our colleagues to balance their professional and personal lives. With a strong belief in self-structured work and personal drive, the company accommodates the needs of each individual while not compromising expectations of agreed deliverables. We find that giving colleagues the opportunity to work in their own preferred way actually helps drive motivation to continuously seek improvement of our product and to find better solutions to the problems faced by our customers. We asked João Fonseca, our Senior Optimization Specialist, how he feels about working at Portchain given our remote culture:
“Working at Portchain is highly rewarding: I work with very interesting and challenging problems that have the capacity to highly improve the work of our customers. Furthermore, the remote culture and work-life balance is perfect for me, allowing me to spend time with my two young daughters.”
Together at a distance
Enabling the team to nurture all aspects of their lives creates a working environment characterized by trust, openness, and efficiency. With open calendars and live, online collaboration, meetings can be scheduled efficiently, and information can transcend national borders with a single click. Frequent check-ins in teams and weekly video calls for the entire company keep colleagues closely connected despite the geographical fragmentation. While different teams have their own jargon, we all unite over one mutual company language, English, to keep information available to all colleagues.
Having a company structure that is built to be online reinforces usage of digital social platforms for transparent information sharing and collaboration. With the ease of creating a video call, colleagues can tap into the Portchain knowledge pool and obtain the specialist knowledge required to complete the task at hand. The diversity in skills and personalities necessitates openness towards one another, which in turn yields more creative solutions to the challenges we solve daily. We find that such knowledge sharing within and across teams is a cornerstone in our ability to deliver value to our customers, in which case diversity in personalities is an important asset. Furthermore, cross-team collaboration fuels professional growth as Utku Ufuk, our Software Engineer, mentioned, when asked about being at Portchain:
“At Portchain, I’m surrounded by smart, friendly and open-minded people whom I get to collaborate with on solving problems that actually matter. It’s a great environment for professional growth and a source of motivation for me to do my best as a software engineer.”
Growth regardless of distance
Growth is a key pillar of the employee strategy at Portchain, which involves personal and professional development. Our company is growing quickly, and the same is true for our colleagues. With a dynamic company structure, our colleagues have the opportunity to move both sideways and upwards in the organization depending on their personal goals. The freedom of organizational flexibility enables the company to embrace inputs and ambitions of each colleague into the growth journey of Portchain. The remote culture also plays a central role in the longevity of employee health, because it allows colleagues to prioritize personal and professional development as desired. The international profile furthermore fuels creativity and teamwork. Laura Konya, Project Manager within our Customer Team, puts it this way:
“I believe that the remote setup has a positive impact on Portchain’s company culture. It allows for a diverse and multicultural team, where we can learn from each other. It also allows us to more easily filter what discussions to engage in, as the majority of our teamwork occurs in virtual forums – this way everybody can contribute to their greatest ability where needed the most. And, if needed, it’s easy to hop on a quick 10 min call in Italy, or the Netherlands, or wherever, to brainstorm on the latest customer challenges. This remote company culture is very helpful and also friendly. Everybody, no matter of location, is always happy to pitch in and answer any questions you might have.”
Flexibility to excel in life
When further asked about how the remote culture and work-life balance at Portchain affects her ability to grow personally and professionally, Laura elaborated:
“It has definitely been a new way of working that has presented new challenges and areas to grow in. Working more independently automatically gives you greater responsibility of managing your day and a bigger ownership of deliverables – development areas that otherwise usually come with promotions. The remote setup has also given me the freedom to arrange my personal life more according to my values and fit my daily work into my family life.”
We are continuously looking for new colleagues both in technical and commercial roles in all parts of the world. If you have found this blog intriguing, head over to our open vacancies and apply right here: https://www.portchain.com/careers/#current-openings
We will be excited to welcome your application.