How’s it like to work at a multicultural (and remote-first) company

Written by Tania Zúñiga, SRE | DevOps Engineer at Pipefy, working remotely from Mexico. 

Working remotely is surely something that changed the world as we know it. Not only regarding work itself but also how we commute through the city and our surroundings, how we communicate with each other, what we choose to do with our time, how we study and so forth. For myself, it’s especially a relevant discussion, because remote work is pretty much all I know.

So, here’s a bit of my story: Before joining Pipefy as Young Gun Tech (YGT), I worked at the university, advising freshmen. There, I met students from all over Mexico. The advising was done in person, before the pandemic, but when the pandemic hit, we did it remotely.

That means Pipefy was my first job, and I already started as a remote worker. My beginning was already marked by all the challenges and differences that people had to deal with when transitioning, but for me was more of a matter of getting used to, just as anyone has to do at their first job.
There is something that remotely working at Pipefy unexpectedly brought me from the start: Working with people from all around the world. And that raised a lot of questions in my head. See, ever since I heard about remote work, even before the pandemic, I was convinced that I wanted to work like that. But as soon as I got the remote job here at Pipefy, I asked myself: How will I connect with my colleagues?

Not only do we speak a different language, but we also have a different culture, time zone and even age gap, that can make it difficult to have a casual conversation and build a natural, easy work relation. To my surprise, I’ve learned that many jokes and phrases that were part of my culture also exist in other languages and don’t even change that much. Humor sure is helpful to bring people closer.

Little by little you get used to explaining your own culture and learn things from other cultures as well. And that is so enriching! Personally, I knew little about Brazil, but from what my colleagues at Pipefy told me and showed me, I have learned about many beautiful places – that I have to visit one day.

My worries with age or background were proven to be easily solved. Those differences actually make the work environment more interesting, because the ideas for new features and solutions for bugs become more diverse.

But not all of it is good. A disadvantage of remote work is that you might miss interacting with people and therefore forging friendships is a bit more difficult, but not impossible. It’s just a matter of seeking out to them and having good asynchronous communication skills.

In my opinion, there’s a lot more advantages to remote work than disadvantages, because you can meet people from other cultures, work from anywhere in the world, spend more time with your family and avoid the commute to get to the office. I truly recommend the experience, although it would be even more enriching if more people could also choose to go to nearby offices once in a while.

In the future, I would love to see Pipefy making an event to gather all the honey badgers around the world in one place, it would be really nice to meet them all in person! Also, It would be lovely to see Pipefy become a more diverse company every year, not only with people from other countries but also of other ages, genders and backgrounds. And I can see that happening, so it’s great to be a part of this ever changing story. I truly hope more people will share their experiences with remote work as their first experience ever in the workforce.

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