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A Trip Around the Sun with the Band

Joining a band is cool and all but what is it actually like? Our Data Engineer Joona shares memories and moments from his first year as a Recordlian.

Joona Poutanen

Written by — Joona Poutanen, Data Engineer

Now that I've traveled my first round trip around the sun with Recordly, I wanted to share some memories or souvenirs from the past year. While writing this blog, though, I pondered whether this kind of text is just over the top and a huge cliché. On the other hand, this is how the first year has felt to me so fuck it, here goes.

After the pandemic, I struggled to visit the office. It was just so much easier to do remote work without worrying about commuting. This changed when I joined Recordly where I suddenly had many reasons to visit the office: my co-workers. No matter how grey or rainy a morning might be, when I finish my day at the office, I feel refreshed and joyful after so many laughs and genuinely good moments with my colleagues. Padel and board games with colleagues have also been highlights of my weeks.

Regular board game nights at the Tampere office have always been a great success. Here we are playing Terraforming Mars.Regular board game nights at the Tampere office have always been a great success. Here we are playing Terraforming Mars.

IMG_0262Friendly competition with padel is a good way to start a working day. Here I’m posing for the photograph instead of playing the ball to satisfy our marketing guru.

In my previous life, I heard many times that I'd have a chance to contribute to and give feedback on company-wide decisions. In reality, it felt like my opinions mattered very little. Although there is the possibility that my opinions may have simply been bad, I think the more likely explanation is that many companies claim these things without actually meaning it. Or rather they think they have the culture for it but the reality is different. Creating that kind of culture is far from easy; Sooner or later, you bump into the first hard or awkward discussion that measures the culture’s strength

Especially in a culture company like Recordly, some moments feel as hard as climbing a steep hill. Luckily, after the hill, there’s usually smoother sailing and personal growth. Here we are at Vierumäki during our remote retreat.

At Recordly, I feel that my opinions are valued, and opening my mouth has more meaning than just filling up space with sounds. One concrete example is that I have voiced my concerns on some possible customer cases based on a company’s ethical reputation and those cases have been closed after my comments. Furthermore, our culture encourages people to take ownership of the things they feel strongly about and make them happen. For some it may be stickers and for others something else.

The Weekly Thursday quiz is a holy sacrament at Recordly. One of our consultants felt that we needed stickers to celebrate quiz winners and made it happen. I own both, just saying.

Eating cake and playing padel are fun things to do, but in a consulting company, your project work pretty much defines what your actual work is like. Having the right project can make your work feel extremely rewarding and meaningful but on the other hand, being in a kind-of-okay project can quite quickly become mentally draining. Therefore, resourcing inside the company has an enormous impact on our employees’ well-being.

For me, it has felt like I can honestly turn down a project that doesn’t feel a right fit for me without feeling bad about it. Our resourcing people are also genuinely interested in finding me a project that I like and that develops my skills. Of course, being a relatively small company places some restrictions on how impactful a customer project one can have, and maybe some of the projects haven’t been my dreams come true. However, saying these things aloud is also encouraged which I think is a rare thing.

Sales people hunting new cases and offering refreshing smoothies in sunny Helsinki at Amos Rex (currently using invisibility cloaks).

What makes a company great? No matter what the industry is, the answer is always the same: the people. People create a culture that fosters innovation, people make a space safe for open discussion (sometimes painful), and people are the ones who share good times and laughs together.

IMG_6874After sweaty miles and cumbersome assignments, our Amazing Race was concluded and the green team won (I say undeservingly since my team was in 2nd place).

I think that at Recordly, we have found something beautiful in terms of culture, and it is indeed all about our people. In other words, people are front and center when it comes to the things that matter in our band. I’m not a very business-oriented person and therefore in my opinion, it’s extremely important that a company truly values people above all else – even in the famous bottom line. I think Recordly is a great testament to the fact that when you have people who feel good and are passionate about their work as well as their community, the economic bottom line seems to work itself out.

I hope this blog felt more than just a lukewarm page filler in a good or a bad way 💛 If you want to know more about Recordly or just to give feedback about my writing skills or jokes, feel free to send me a message.

Bonus pic of my two tireless secretaries: Elma and Helga.

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