If you want to learn more about business development, corporate culture, charity projects in Lviv and many other exciting things, then read Ivan Korzhov’s story.
“Five years ago, we moved into an empty office left by another IT company. At that time we had about 15 workplaces, one meeting room and no recreation areas at all. Currently, we occupy two floors, and the office is not only about work, but also about communication between people, so we try to create an atmosphere in which a specialist can both provide services and relax. For example, we have a large table for meetings, and a little further away there is a ping-pong table where you can have a break and take your mind off your tasks. There is also a game console where we can arrange battles. The working areas of the office are divided. On the 3rd floor there is a classic open-plan office, and on the 2nd floor you can work sitting on a comfortable pouf. This allows everyone to choose a comfortable place for themselves.
Besides, I believe that networking is one of the important components of an integral team. As the number of specialists increased, we decided to hold meetings for socializing in an informal atmosphere. At the end of the working week, we order pizza and play board games. Sometimes we even meet on Saturdays. We had such a meeting in October, for example, because we wanted to play a long game based on “Game of Thrones”.
In February-March 2022, the office was transformed into a help center and in fact, we worked around the clock to receive colleagues from other cities and help them with relocation. We handled a variety of cases: with cats, dogs, birds, and even snakes. Within a day or two, we found a place to accommodate a specialist, their family and pets. If necessary, we organized transfers to the border with Poland, where our colleagues from Infopulse Poland were waiting and helped the specialists to get to their final destinations, which were specified in the relocation packages.
Today the office works as usual with a small exception — during air raid alerts we go down to the bomb shelter, which is located in the basement of the building. It is practically a fully functional office with desks, computer equipment, internet and some supply of food and water. There is even a tradition that the specialists who do not have online meetings or urgent tasks at that time play cards.
Since the end of February, almost every day, our clients and partners have been asking how they can be helpful to our specialists and defenders of the country. For example, one of our customers sent us satellite phones in case there is no mobile connection. The unity and multiculturalism of society have increased. I truly believe that among our specialists, everyone does their best and volunteers as much as they can: someone with money, someone with connections and communication skills, and someone can physically buy, bring or deliver aid. By the way, in our office we have a warehouse with humanitarian aid, which we buy and transfer to the needs of the army. We support the mobilized specialists of the company who protect us on the frontline and close requests from the military who ask us for help.
We have a lot of CSR projects that our company does for the region. I do not want to sound immodest, but the office has no more space for letters of gratitude and awards. In October, we joined the initiative dedicated to World Animal Day. Our specialists have raised funds to renovate the building and feed the inhabitants of the “House of Rescued Animals” – a shelter for all furry stray animals: foxes, birds, horses, dogs, cats and others. Animals need not only food, but also some attention and care, so our initiative group delivered the food and played a little with the inhabitants of the shelter.
In addition, a Center for Mental Health was launched in Lviv in October. It was initiated by the Lviv IT Cluster, which invited companies to join. Our parent company Tietoevry supported the idea and joined its implementation, which turned out to be quite fast – in the summer the intention was born, and in the autumn the Center received its first patients. Primarily, the Center aims to help the military and their families, as well as citizens who can apply by referral to a family doctor or privately and get help for a nominal fee. The center incorporates the most modern approaches to psychoanalysis: from the classical room with a couch to group therapy and art therapy classes.
Every year we participate in the global initiative “Hour of Code”, when IT specialists conduct a lesson in computer science at school, demonstrating the basics of programming in a game format. Basically, a child assembles blocks on a special panel, and these changes appear on the screen: a character takes a step, or, based on the “Star Wars” movie, the character Rey shoots a criminal.
In addition, we are in the final stages of arrangements for uninterrupted Wi-Fi connection in the city shelters. Our company is responsible for providing uninterrupted connection in school bomb shelters so that children can contact their parents.
The trend in business today is globalization. Teams can be scattered across cities, countries and continents and work as efficiently as if they were in one office. We have no strict rules: anyone can come to the office, but it is not obligatory. The only requirement is a stable Internet connection and self-discipline. By the way, all vacancies open in the company are available for applicants from any location, the main thing is that they have the required competencies.
The main secret of our success and unity is sincerity. We took the basis from the city of Lviv – hospitality and openness, and combined it with the values of the company because people come first at Infopulse. Each of us can help another person. The role of a manager or leader ends at the end of the working day and you start being a colleague and a friend. We do everything together: work, organize holidays, and volunteer.
Every morning I ask myself: “What have I done for the victory and can I possibly do more?” I would like my colleagues to ask themselves the same question. At the same time, we must take our own resources into account. People on the frontline are protecting us from the invasion of the horde, and here, locally, we have to help them, provide them with the necessary things and cover the everyday needs of the military.
Despite all the challenges, we continue to develop, hire new specialists and create an atmosphere of comfort in our offices so that people can and want to grow with us. I wish all of us, Ukrainians, to stay united because it is this possibility to be together and to be stronger that gives us an advantage in these difficult times.”