Continuing our behind the scenes explorations of the people and teams that make Nomoko tick. Here we’re following our conversations with our drone team and 3D modeling team by introducing the team that keeps the company wheels turning.
Among the most varied and unpredictable roles in any growing startup are those that connect people together as a functioning business. The people who put the processes and strategies in place to make sure the company runs smoothly and teams have the resources they need to build our products and services. The people who inject connectivity, stability and humanity to daily working life. For that, Nomoko turns to its operations team.
Meet the Nomoko operations team
Monika Povilenaite is our head of operations, responsible for the smooth sailing of many aspects of the Nomoko business – no matter how choppy the waters! She describes “no day as typical,” and instead relishes the multi-faceted challenges her role inevitably entails.
Most days bring with them “a mix of admin, meetings, deep work, research, strategy and sometimes firefighting” and for Monika, therein lies the appeal. It means she needs to know a great deal not only about the business as a whole but also about the people who make it happen, the customers who we service and the partners who support us.
Working closely alongside her is Julia Zeidler, our human resource manager who “takes care of everything related to the humans that make Nomoko the company it is.” The first and last person every employee (or potential employee) at Nomoko speaks to, Julia works hard to give everyone “the smoothest possible journey in between.” By their very nature too then, Julia’s days are every bit as varied as Monika’s.
A snapshot of the operations team’s current workload, for example, includes reviewing the compensation for Nomoko employees (who Monika usually refers to affectionately as ‘Nomokians’). Then there’s the perpetual challenge of hiring the new Nomokians who will best support our product development teams and enable our go-to-market strategies. They’re working too in collaboration with multiple teams to ensure we meet our legal and compliance requirements. Oh, and last but not least, “we’re starting to prepare for the next fundraising process.” A few plates to spin, then.
In spite – or rather because of – this, both Monika and Julia take great pride in the success and achievements of Nomoko as a company. “Those moments when you emerge from extremely uncomfortable situations stronger, more aligned and overall improved are the ones that make me think that we’ve developed a lot of resilience as a company” explains Monika.
“Those moments when you emerge stronger, more aligned make me think we’ve developed a lot of resilience as a company.”
For Julia, “a typical day is one with at least one unpredictable turn.” As well as working alongside Monika on the various operations team projects, Julia works closely with all the Nomokians on a more human level. “Most days there’s at least one person with a question that needs an answer, be it related to internal processes, payroll, interpersonal challenges or almost anything else.” Happily, Julia too relishes the challenge of such a fast-changing, employee-centric role: “Since I joined Nomoko almost one year ago, there hasn’t been a single day when I’ve asked myself, ‘Why am I here?’.”
Typically team-focused, Julia’s greatest pride comes from something less tangible than a single standout achievement. Instead, it’s “a company-wide effort.”
“The people who work at Nomoko know that they contribute to our success as a company and that they’re playing an important role in the journey. They take on challenges and they’re committed – and besides all of those rather serious things, they never forget to laugh, tell a joke and don’t take themselves too seriously.”
How did you adapt your operations to deal with the impact of Covid?
Julia: “Digitalization became a must-have,” neatly reflecting the mantra behind the actual products and services Nomoko creates as a company in its efforts to digitize entire industries through the power of Digital Twins. “Nomoko went fully digital and we adapted our processes successfully to help keep everyone – and so the company as a whole – going.”
Monika: “The change happened on two levels. First, we needed to adapt as an organization. Specifically, clearer processes, more touch base meetings, more asynchronous communication and more company level updates.”
“Second, we needed to adapt as an operations team too. Nomokians had a lot of questions, concerns and personal issues that resulted from the pandemic. The first months in particular were hard because we needed to provide answers and help even though we were struggling in much the same way as everyone else. We managed this by embracing a ‘we don’t have all the answers but we’re doing our best’ mentality! We versioned policies, rolled out changes step by step and encouraged each other to seek out support wherever they needed it.”
“We didn’t want to impose a strict in-office rule – people work best when they can choose for themselves.”
This helped empower Nomokians and keep everyone connected, aligned and feeling like they were all still part of the same company. It also helped provide a sense of camaraderie and unity at a time where many team members suddenly found themselves more isolated. We’re an international team from countries around the world and very few of us are native to Switzerland and so have fewer family and friend support networks around us to fall back on.
And how have you adapted back from 18 months spent remote working?
Monika: “We’ve actually now embraced a hybrid model of working having spent more than a year working fully remote. We didn’t want to impose a strict in-office rule on anyone and so decided people work best when they can choose for themselves.”
It’s a model being more and more widely adopted around the world, from startups to multinationals, and reflects a positive attitude from businesses towards their employees. “A long time ago we transitioned to a ‘management by outcome’ mentality” explains Monika, “by which we make sure Nomokians know what they need to work on and understand why it matters in the bigger picture. Then they’re free to travel, visit loved ones or work from home. We introduced some basic rules to support all sorts of life situations and trust our teams to respect them.”
Of course, this approach needs careful management and a robust support structure in place. “All our communication processes and tools have helped develop a culture where people are naturally connected to their teams, daily work and of course Nomoko as a company.” But while the ops team is proud of the success this remote infrastructure has had, they also acknowledge that it means Nomokians can often go some time without seeing each other in person, so organize quarterly team events where “we all meet in person”.
“Our communication processes and tools have helped develop a culture where people are naturally connected to their teams.”
One event in particular stands out for both Monika and Julia – the Nomoko birthday party this last summer, which Julia describes simply as “epic!”
Monika: “It was particularly memorable as it was the first big gathering we’d had since the pandemic started. For many of us it was the first time in one and a half years we’d been in a big group of people.”
Julia: “In contrast to this loud and wild party, I also remember the painting event we had adapting the Nomoko brand colors on canvases into works of art from the team to decorate the walls of our office. The silence that took over really showed the calming, almost meditative effect painting can have. I love these team events as they always reveal the hidden talents of our fellow Nomokians – they might be great artists or even better dancers!”
If you’d like to speak to know more about Nomoko and what we do, or have questions about Digital Twins and our spatial services, just get in touch