3149Portrait of Bright AboagyeInclusion

Building a Bright future: Why I became a Black Inclusion leader in Amsterdam

Bright shares how he balances his growth in his Sales career with being an advocate and leader for the Black Inclusion Group in Amsterdam.

portrait of Bright Aboagye

Bright Aboagye is a Senior Account Executive and a Regional Co-Chair for BIG in EMEA based in Amsterdam. He comes from a Sales background and runs his own community business when he’s not busy helping people get jobs! He has a love for football, a passion for board games, and loves to travel and watch movies to relax his mind! 

When I joined Indeed in September 2018, I started as an Account Executive but had my eyes on progressing to a Senior role from early on. I knew of people here who were busy making significant steps in their career and that was really appealing to me. I knew Indeed was the place for me.

September 2018

My first few weeks on my team were a huge surprise for me and I noticed quickly that I was cracking jokes, being the real me! I felt included, accepted, all emotions which gave me the drive to push my career forward.

The training here also played a significant role in my development and quick success. Because of the solution-driven, client-centric approach Indeed stimulates, it really helped me to understand the foundations for selling the Indeed way. When I naturally adopted this approach it became a battle with a victorious end. 

2019

2019 was a little different than I’d originally planned. I was still leaning on friends and family for support and encouragement to reach a Senior Account Executive position, but found myself listening to stories and getting to know the new employees joining our office in Amsterdam. Their stories saddened me as they were not having the same great Indeed experience I had in late 2018.

This sadness planted a seed in me to strive for change and my interest was sparked to learn more about other people’s experience in the office. Around the same time, my manager Ceagan Codrington introduced me to Francis Aremo who was leading an Inclusion Resource Group in London. These groups were and still continue to be employee-led business resources that are formed around traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups in tech and they support company-wide diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts.

Francis was serving as the first Regional Co-Chair for the Black Inclusion Group (BIG) in EMEA during this time and was actively recruiting for a second Co-Chair so that BIG could expand across the EMEA region. All of this really excited me and I knew discussing and sharing feedback with Francis was how I could start making change.

Black Inclusion Group Co-chairs pose in front of graffiti logo wallMine and Francis’s relationship grew quickly and I found myself feeling more passionate and driven about an IRG and the events and change it could support for our office. I wanted to see more black employees being hired into Indeed, and more being promoted into leadership positions.

A force for positive change

I remember attending a happy hour in our Amsterdam office, weeks after speaking with Francis. During this event, a racial joke and comment was made directly to my face by an employee. I remember how quickly the atmosphere turned tense, but also how nobody stood up and said anything. Anger and upset, nicely sum up the emotions I felt heading home that day.

Deep down, I knew these feelings were going to be my driving force to take the steps needed to see a change in our Amsterdam office.

Within a couple of months, I had used this negative experience to drive more action from my side. I met with our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team and flew to London to meet Francis as I wanted to understand more of the challenge I was facing and how I could set up a successful Black Inclusion Group in Amsterdam, a group not just for black employees, but a group for everyone, to learn and see what makes employees different and what ignites us!

B.I.G. (Black Inclusion Group) members pose with former SVP of Marketing, Paul D'ArcyBIG was born

In March 2019 BIG Amsterdam was born and I was appointed as Co-Chair for Amsterdam the Regional Co-Chair for EMEA  and I was co-managing the entire EMEA vision for BIG alongside Francis. I’ll admit, last year brought with it a whole host of new activities and emotions alongside my Sales job and target to reach the Senior position I really wanted.

While I was striving for growth in my Sales role, I was also so driven to bring my Inclusion vision to reality, a vision to build a future at Indeed where people were more understanding of cultural differences and where everyone celebrated each other!

Being one of the most pivotal years of my career so far, I not only reached my target for promotion, I knew deep down I was helping others to feel safe, supported, and included just like I was.

Zoom meeting attendeesWhat’s next

For BIG, the biggest change still needs to happen. My goal for 2020 has been to expand our Black Inclusion Group into different countries across EMEA and to utilize the support I’ve been getting from Indeed’s Leadership team.

One of the most special changes I’ve seen this year is how employees have grown into allies. They feel empowered to speak up, stand up for what’s right, and have the serious conversations needed with no judgments attached. The long term effect of this means we are all learning and are gaining a deeper understanding.

Advice on being an IRG Leader and advocate for change

Taking on the role of this kind takes more than a desire, you need to have a passion, a passion for change, and a passion for overcoming hurdles that come your way. I’ve honestly never done anything like this before and it’s a huge step forward for me. My involvement in this program so far has really helped me to connect with great people, learn more about relationship building all whilst developing new competencies that are valuable to my sales job. It’s been a win-win.

B.I.G. co-chairs If you are somebody who wants to make a change, learn more about people, and develop new skills I’d highly recommend joining an Employee Resource Group at your company.

See more about Bright’s story in this episode of Here to Help where we learn about the meaning of Black History Month in Europe, and how we recognised and celebrated at Indeed in 2020.

Learn more about Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed.

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3138Dana and her husband, TomInclusion

A common mission: Becoming a better ally to Veterans

Dana shares how going to college with Veterans (and marrying one) changed her perspective and helped her become a better ally to the community.
Dana Haymon, Analytical Lead at Indeed

Dana Haymon, Analytical Lead – NYC

Dana shares how going to college with Veterans (and marrying one) changed her perspective and helped her become a better ally to the community.

Dana Haymon is an Events Lead with Indeed’s employee-led Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group. She is an Analytical Lead in Client Strategy & Insights for Indeed’s Enterprise clients based in New York City. She received her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, where she met her fiance, Tom. She loves to cook, travel (pre-pandemic), and watch Great British Bake Off with her ginger cat, Sherlock.

Tom and Dana at their 1-Year Reunion in Pittsburgh

Tom and Dana at their 1-Year Reunion in Pittsburgh

If you are anything like me a few years ago, you may think you have a clear idea of what a Veteran looks like  — male, muscular, stoic, serious. For me, going to business school and meeting my now fiancé, Tom, a former U.S. Army Captain, as well as a fantastic group of friends who have also served in the military, completely changed that perception.

Tom and I met in Accounting. We had our lunch breaks between classes at the same time and formed a lunch crew composed of the two of us, as well as other former military members in our class. It was through listening to their stories and laughing a lot together, my perception of Veterans changed.  Since then, I’ve come to realize this is a group of smart, humble, funny, and introspective people. 

I realized being in the military isn’t all about push ups and physical strength, but rather embracing our differences to work toward a common mission.

Veterans & Allies month at Indeed

Indeed employees march in the 2019 Veterans Day parade in Austin

CEO, Chris Hyams marches with Indeedians in the 2019 Veterans Day parade in Austin

Since coming to Indeed a year ago, I have found a company that takes the mission-driven aspect of military culture to heart through our company mission of helping people get jobs. 

For the Vets & Allies Inclusion Resource Group, this mission is carried out through actions such as consulting on Indeed’s products to make them better for Veterans looking for civilian jobs, as well as holding coaching events specifically designed for life after service.

We have also had the chance to bring some fun for all Indeedians as we extended our celebrations of Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in many European countries throughout the whole month of November.

We kicked off the month with an amazing speaking event featuring Melissa Stockwell, a veteran, a Paralympian and a mom. We also held a panel discussion, moderated by our Chief Operating Officer, Dave O’Neill, featuring Indeedians who have served or are currently serving. 

To top it off, we mixed it up with our co-chairs in a virtual event called Cocktails & Mocktails where members shared their favorite drink recipes and we toasted the end of the month at an Afternoon Retreat DJ session hosted by Vets & Allies co-chair, Tim Kirk.

Delve into Tim’s story in the video below.

 

Tips for being a better ally

Through exposure to my fiancé and other military members, I have made it a mission of mine to become an ally. One of the best lessons I have learned is to leave preconceived ideas at the door. 

Being a Veteran or serving in the military is a dimension of diversity that is not obvious. Many of the service members that I know, including Tom, are very humble about their service and don’t mention time in the military unless it comes up in conversation. Other service members may be reluctant to talk about their time in the military as those stories may come with some painful memories. Respect their boundaries.

My dad always told me, “We all put our pants on the same way — one leg at a time,” and I try to take this into my everyday life. Military members and Veterans like movies and sports and comics and music in the same way we all have our interests. Relate to them as people first.

If you are curious about their military service, ask if they are open to talking about it and be respectful if the answer is no. If they do say yes, lead with asking about what they did in the military without jumping directly to questions about their combat experiences. 

There are so many different jobs in the military and not every service member saw combat. For example, my great uncle was an Army food scientist and served predominately from a lab.

More Veterans & Allies perspectives

Jacque Scaramazzo, Veterans & Allies site lead - Austin

Jacque Scaramazzo, Veterans & Allies Site Lead – Austin

“I grew up with two incredibly admirable grandfathers who had inspiring careers in the military. Of course, my brother joined the Navy once he graduated. It’s not surprising to see that I married an amazing man who followed his 3 brothers into the Navy. I, now and will always, view myself as a part of the military community.

Being a part of Indeed has allowed me the opportunity to support this community that I hold so near and dear to my heart. The passion of the Veterans & Allies Inclusion Group mission was so inspiring that I had to be a part of their story.” – Jacque, Technical Recruiter – Austin

James Colella, Veterans & Allies site lead - Stamford

James Colella, Veterans & Allies Site Lead – Stamford

“I joined the Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) at Indeed because it embodies values and focuses parallel to those in the military community I have been serving in for many years. The United States Navy values diversity, equality and inclusivity and its sailors accurately reflect the rich makeup of our country. Creating environments where people from various backgrounds and cultures can succeed personally and professionally is the greatest way to strengthen teams of all sizes.

Being able to represent the less than 1% of Americans who serve in the military, I truly have a sense of belonging in the Veterans & Allies IRG. This is a space where I can not only connect and relate, but also teach and share with coworkers, employers, and job seekers alike.” – James, Account Executive – Stamford

Mike Cuccaro, Veterans & Allies Site Lead - Austin

Mike Cuccaro, Veterans & Allies Site Lead – Austin

“I left the Active Military four years ago and learned so much during my transition to the civilian work force. Once I landed gracefully at Indeed, I really wanted a way to continue to serve, to be part of a community again, and to pay it forward to the veterans and military spouses that need our help. The Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) is one way I’m able to do that.

Witnessing such powerful voices for Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed welcomes authenticity every day. I see it instilled in management at all levels, and that support truly empowers me to bring my authentic self to work.” – Mike, Project Manager – Austin

 

Bringing a military mindset to helping people get jobs

Throughout my time learning and growing, I have come to realize being an ally is incredibly rewarding. My fiancé and I often talk about the differences between the military and civilian worlds and I find myself pulling tactics and ideas from the military into my day to day work at Indeed. 

Learn more: Job search tips for former military members

Furthermore, knowing more about the military and the difficult challenge of transitioning out allows me to better understand our job seekers. If even one person gets a job because of this extra knowledge, then I feel like I’m doing my part to help Indeed accomplish our mission.

For more about the work our Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group is doing, watch the video below.

Learn more about Indeed’s Inclusion Resource Groups and our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging initiatives here.

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3100A man meditatesIndeedian Stories

Thankful, Indeed

Indeedians around the world express their gratitude as we celebrate Indeed's 16th birthday...
A father and son walk hand in hand

Celebrating Indeed’s 16th birthday with gratitude

November 26th is Indeed’s birthday. It also happens to be Thanksgiving in the US this year. With that, Indeedians around the world express their gratitude as we celebrate our 16th year of helping people get jobs.

2020 has bought its share of ups and downs as the world continues to adjust to life in a global pandemic. Indeed is no different, but as trying of a year as this has been, we believe there is still so much to be thankful for. These are our stories of gratitude.

 

People first

Simon smiles

Simon Kelly, Director of Client Success – Sydney

“I am so grateful to Indeed for so many different things, but above all, the most important thing is that the company, Senior Leadership and Indeedians all live and breathe a culture of ensuring our employees are the number one priority,” says Simon Kelly, Client Services Director based in Sydney, Australia. 

“The benefits that Indeed provides are second to none, especially when I speak with friends about health insurance, paid time off, YOU days, working from home stipends, bonuses and parental leave. It leaves them in awe.” 

The relief our benefits provide came in handy earlier this year when Simon had to take medical leave to have surgery. 

“During the process, I needed flexibility to meet with my surgeon, get scans prior to surgery and I was provided this opportunity by management without any hesitation. It was a relief and made me feel very at ease to know I had that flexibility,” he tells us.

Simon also welcomed a new baby boy to the world recently and explains how much he appreciates Indeed’s paternity leave benefits. 

Simon poses in nature with a deer“We are so excited to have Ben join the family. He has made a couple of zoom meetings already! Parental leave at Indeed is one of the greatest benefits we have. From speaking to a lot of people at other companies, it is one of the most amazing perks provided.”

Explaining how leave works, Simon shares, “There are two options, 6 weeks leave in one chunk or broken up or if you are a primary caregiver, you can take 4 months paid paternity leave. The latter option is what I will be taking in March/April of 2021 as my wife goes back to work after 6 months.

I’ll be able to spend a solid 4 months with Ben. This is such an amazing benefit as being from Ireland, but living down in Australia thousands of miles away from family, allows Ben to be just that little bit older before he will have to go to daycare.” 

Read more about Simon’s move from Ireland to Sydney.

 

Unplugging to appreciate the important things

Chris and child dressed as characters from The Hangover

Chris and his mini-me

IT Senior Manager, Chris Powell, shares a similar sentiment about how Indeed has supported him as his family has grown during these complicated times.

“In the middle of everything going on throughout the world, my wife and I welcomed our first daughter, Waverly Love Powell,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. 

“I am incredibly thankful for the six weeks of parental leave and have entirely unplugged from work! While that is harder than I thought it would be, having my accounts turned off makes it easier as having a newborn keeps you plenty busy!”

Waverly Love Powell reaches for the stars

Waverly Love Powell reaching for the stars

He also appreciates the little gestures to congratulate him on welcoming Waverly to the family.

“We have received messages and gifts from coworkers and, most recently, an Indeed newborn box that had some great gifts for Waverly. I am very thankful and fortunate to be a part of a company that cares for its employees the way Indeed does!”

In May, Chris celebrated his fourth anniversary at Indeed and he says he’s never been more excited about the future here!

 

Supporting each other through good times and bad

Stephen poses in Indeed sweatshirt

Stephen Clair, Sales Director – Dublin

Sales Director, Stephen Clair in Dublin also  took the time to show his appreciation on social media as he celebrated his seventh year at Indeed, talked about the growth of the company and his career as he’s grown into a leadership position.

“A lot has changed since my start here back in 2013 when Indeed Dublin felt like a start-up with about 50 people! Since then we’ve built a high-performing culture together and helped build the foundations for the Indeed UK & the Ireland business,” he recalls.

“There have also been so many highlights, including the business supporting me on my journey into leadership!

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though as I was diagnosed with cancer in mid-2019. I am so thankful for the support Indeed has shown me in this time that has allowed me to fight this illness. 

I would like to give special thanks here to all my colleagues in the UK sales team for their support and I’ve learned that there are more important things in life than work and I am grateful to work for a company that also lives this!”

 

Reflecting on growth and hope for the future

Rick’s progression through Indeed

On his 6 year work anniversary, Sales Director in Amsterdam, Rick Peters adds perspective on our mission and those who live it every day.

“When I started in 2014, I could never imagine that we would grow from 4 people in the Amsterdam office to the 100+ nowadays. I learnt so much and got to manage the best team I’ve ever worked with. Together, we’ve built the foundation for inside sales in the Amsterdam office. So many memories and even more people (both colleagues & clients) to thank for where I’m at today,” he explains. 

“I’ve been blessed to work at such a great company with a powerful mission. And if it’s up to me, it’s not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end… yet the end of the beginning. On to the next 6 ;-)”

 

Staying Connected and Included with a Global Team

Domenique Onishi, Product Manager - Tokyo

Domenique Onishi, Project Manager – Tokyo

Domenique Onishi, Project Manager in our Tokyo Tech Tamachi office, says she is most grateful for the people she gets to work with across the globe. 

“Working in an organisation whereby the culture is very much people driven and supportive. In addition, the openness to help one another cross function and location is something I am thankful for.” 

Domenique is based in Japan and recently joined a team that is based in the United States. While working with teammates across the world obviously presents challenges, Domenique explains how Indeed helps the team stay functional and cohesive. 

“Understanding and flexibility are two words that come to mind. I have appreciated the support from my Manager amending times of meetings to ensure I felt included especially with a 12-13 hour time difference. With this flexibility, what I have found is that my colleagues will record meetings, take very detailed meeting notes to ensure a cohesive team environment.”

And while she continues to navigate working with a global team, she remains grateful to Indeed for always offering resources to help her continue growing. 

“As someone who has lived away from my home country for nearly 10 years, learning about different cultures, working styles and practices is something that Indeed has supported me on my learning journey.” 

Read more of Domenique’s story of moving from Sydney to Tokyo

 

Succeeding with Indeed

Hillal Julien Mostefaoui, National Account Manager

Hillal Julien Mostefaoui, National Account Manager – Paris

Hillal Julien Mostefaoui is a National Account Manager located in Paris, France. He was working for a competitor in Italy when he applied to Indeed through a referral. Getting the job allowed him to relocate to Dublin where his journey in sales began. He attributes the growth he’s seen in himself to his experiences at Indeed.

“Today, I have to say that Indeed gave me the opportunity to grow, I’m not the same Hillal that I was 3 years ago,” he says. “ I’m so grateful for the people I met. In Dublin HQ, more than a thousand people are part of your daily life, it’s such an amazing experience. 

Honestly, I feel safe at Indeed, I’m not afraid of losing my job, I’m not afraid of being in a bad situation. It helps me a lot and helps me to help other people (family, friends, customers, and many others).” 

Hillal's team

Hillal’s team

His hard work was rewarded with a trip to what is known at Indeed as Top Gun, a trip to a beautiful location for top performing sales reps around the world to celebrate their success. 

“Last year, I had the honor to be a regional winner for this prize. It means that I was one of the 10% best sales in EMEA,” he shares, “It was a real pleasure because a large part of my French team won this prize and we were so proud and happy to share that moment. We won a trip to Morocco, but sadly, COVID-19 decided that it wasn’t for us in 2020.

Instead, Indeed surprised us and decided to give us an extra bonus on our pay to replace the trip.”

 

The freedom to be you

Shannon Banks smiles

Shannon Banks, Americas co-chair for iPride Inclusion Resource Group

Shannon Banks appreciates how Indeed’s dedication to Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging helps him be his most fabulous self. 

“Indeed consistently goes above and beyond, top down from Senior Leadership, to make it explicitly known that Inclusion & Belonging are part of our core values. Learning the stories of our SLT and hearing how and why Inclusion Resource Groups (IRG) matter has empowered me to be the signal booster for my community,” he says.

“Where else could a 30 something, gay Black male from the South pull off the baddest Lizzo Halloween costume and be celebrated by the entire office?”

 

Lucky, Indeed

A man meditates while wearing I help people get jobs t-shirt in a beautiful beach setting

Finding gratitude

Through the trials and tribulations of 2020, Indeed has been committed to putting the physical and mental health of its employees first. From benefits such as open PTO and work from home stipends to spruce up our home office spaces to helping our careers and families grow, there is so much to be thankful for. We are lucky, Indeed!

For more Indeedian stories, visit our #insideindeed culture blog. Find more information about Indeed benefits in your area here.

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3122Dusseldorf

Seven Years of Indeed Düsseldorf: A Story of Success

Two Indeedians of the early days of Indeed Düsseldorf share their memories and funniest moments from the office.

Read our story about what it was like in the early days of Indeed in Düsseldorf and how our Managing Director Frank Hensgens used to order the drinks and snacks for the office.

🇩🇪 Klick hier, um den Artikel auf deutsch zu lesen.

The Indeed office in Düsseldorf was the one of the first offices in EMEA – it opened in July 2013, one year after the EMEA headquarters in Dublin. With 75 Indeedians joining the EMEA market from Dublin, it brought Indeed’s global employee count to 1,200. 

At the beginning, Indeed only had a few people working in the Düsseldorf office, as it was Indeed’s first step to expanding into the DACH market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). And they actually did it.

Meet the team!

Over the past seven years, there have been a lot of changes. Indeed has since become a more mature and further developed company, and now has more than 10,000 employees around the globe. 

In Germany, Indeed was almost unknown then. Nevertheless, Stephan Isdepski decided to apply when he came across the job advert by Indeed. His application landed on the plate of the recruiter Simon Nurek.

Simon Nurek

“Stephan was not only one of the first employees in Düsseldorf, but one of the first employees I hired for Indeed” Simon recalls. 

“In 2013, I was new to Indeed myself. I was the first recruiter in the Düsseldorf office and our goal was to build a team that focused on our key accounts and enterprise businesses.”

The job interviews in the early years were conducted by Frank Hensgens, the Managing Director of Indeed DACH, himself. Yes, back then, job interviews were done by the boss!

Stephan Isdepski

“When I first met Frank, he captivated my attention immediately and sparked my interest in working for Indeed,” Stephan says. “With his exciting character and infectious nature, Frank is very charismatic and has a talent to enthuse and inspire others. You can tell that Frank is a sales person at heart.”

Frank’s secret to securing a hire was to take interviewees to the big window in the small office that has a fantastic view over the harbor in Düsseldorf, a fancy area with many cool offices, bars and restaurants. He knew this made an impression on the candidates and would comment: “Look at this view, isn’t that an amazing view? Where would you rather be? We are maybe here now but Indeed has big plans for the future!”

Frank Hensgens

Stephan remembers:

“In the interview, it became clear to me that I wanted to work for Indeed, contribute to its success and make the company big in Germany and DACH.”

Recruiter Simon adds the expectations towards the team were high in the early days.

“However, the management was tolerant, gave them space to be themselves, try out new things, make mistakes, learn from it and move on,” he says. “To see the development of the employees was inspiring.”

In October 2013, Stephan finally started at Indeed as a National Account Manager (NAM). “What helped our business development effort in the early days was the fact that we had excellent and innovative products to offer. This is the best thing that can happen to you as a sales representative, selling something that you know is going to make a difference to people’s lives.”

At the beginning, Stephan was the seventh Indeedian in Germany. “There was a real start-up feeling amongst the team. The office was in a fancy location but we shared a room that only measured 20 square metres, approx 215 square foot.”

Team work makes the dream work 😀

“The office was not an actual Indeed office,” Simon explains. “At Indeed, we are famous for our cool office locations that are an expression of our culture. Since the team was tiny, we rented a Regus office, which was great because we could simply rent more office space when the team was growing. That made us flexible. We tried our best with delivering the Indeed culture in the form of little snack boxes and a limited selection of swag. In the beginning it was Frank who used to place our drinks orders!”

Portioned coffee specialties were a treat!

Today, Frank still likes to entertain people by sharing anecdotes from the past. In the early years, Indeed didn’t have company cars for their German employees, as opposed to today, where every NAM has his own company car to visit clients all over the DACH region. Once upon a time, a NAM had to visit a client in a rural area but didn’t have a car to get there. So Frank simply took his bike and his co-worker on the back carrier to ride to a cheap car rental place. 

Now in 2020, Indeed has roughly 300 employees and two offices in a new location in Düsseldorf. 

Furthermore, the brand awareness and the perception of Indeed has changed, particularly after Indeed launched the first TV spot in Germany in 2014. Stephan remembers that moment very well.

“Everybody on the team was so excited and could not believe that our little Indeed was flickering on the screens of Germany. It was a big milestone everyone was really proud of!” 

Stephan at an award ceremony with Frank and Senior Director Jürgen Bähr (left)

Not only did Stephan have goosebumps but it was a real push for the business and for his own career. Stephan was promoted to Director of Sales and today leads a team of nine great Indeedians. Meanwhile, Simon took over a team lead position as Senior Recruiter for the DACH region, supported by three more recruiters.

“When I first got in contact with Indeed in Dublin in 2013, I was impressed by the strong mission that hooked me immediately, especially since I am a recruiter. Even now, seven and a half years later our mission ‘We help people get jobs’ is what connects Indeedians all over the globe and motivates Indeedians in Düsseldorf from Day one.”

Check out how the new office looks today in this video.

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3051Perks & Benefits

How Indeed hacked remote working

In March 2020, Indeed announced it was moving its entire workforce to a work from home structure, including an option of remote working. But what did that mean for Indeed’s employees?

As we move through these challenging times and find new ways of working, three Indeedians across the globe share their experiences working remotely. They share what they love about it, their challenges and tips for those looking to work remotely in the long run.

In March 2020, Indeed announced it was moving its entire workforce – 10,000 employees globally – to a work from home structure. It has since announced the company will be working from home until at least July 2021, and recently announced new ways of working for employees, including the flexibility to go fully remote for certain roles with the organization

But what did that mean for Indeed’s employees?

Mikhail selfie

“Some people think that you can work remotely sitting by the beach with your laptop in one hand and a cocktail in the other. For me, remote work is still regular work, and to be efficient, you need to be well organized to separate work and personal time,” Mikhail Chernykh, a Staff Software Engineer based in Berlin says.

“I cannot imagine doing good engineering work without a desk and stable internet connection.”

He adds remote working has removed unnecessary boundaries and provides a lot of flexibility to organize his days better, and has found it has allowed him a “very special opportunity” to communicate and connect with colleagues from different Indeed offices all over the world.

“Sometimes, I start my day discussing a project with the team at the Tokyo office, moving slowly to various 1:1 meetings with Engineers in Hyderabad, and finishing my day in various team and guild meetings with a few locations in the US,” he shares. 

Formal headshot of EmilyFor Emily Everix, a National Account Manager based in Florida, it’s the ability to spend more time with her family that has been a great benefit to working remotely. 

“My absolute favourite thing is turning to my left and watching my son do whatever it is he is doing at that moment. Working remotely has given me this opportunity which has been invaluable to me.”

Although working remotely has its advantages, there are also challenges that come with this new way of working and living amidst the pandemic.

Emily and her son

Emily says one of the misconceptions about working remotely is that “we just sit around and have all of this free time”, and has found herself working harder to counter that misconception. 

“I almost feel like I have more to prove even though it is not the case at all.” 

Mikhail with Indeed Apply Team members at the Christmas Party, Tokyo 2019

Mikhail shares one of the biggest challenges for him was the recent switch to the “pandemic mode” a few months ago. “It was a very uncertain time… No one had a clear answer as to when it will be over, or when we will get back to our normal lives.”

“As a Technical Leader, I had to be more empathic and help the team adjust to our new reality, share tips on how to organize their home offices, and make remote meetings more efficient. I have been a remote worker even prior to the pandemic, and even so, I had to change a lot in my personal life.”

For him, finding new activities helped him restore work-life balance: long walks, different sports activities, books, and playing different musical instruments.

Emily also added that she had to find a way to have a ‘cut-off’ from her work day. “I had to learn to say, ‘I’m done today’… it took me a long time to just switch off from work. I love my job! I love Indeed and I love everything about what I do, but I had to find a balance,” she says. 

“This past summer, I’ve set the intention to be more present and focused on what I need to do by having a cut-off to my work day.”

Som Viswanath, a Senior Client Success Specialist based in Melbourne recalls his experience not just working remotely but also in lockdown during the pandemic in a podcast with Inside Indeed

“We were restricted to a 5km radius from where we lived and we had to work from home,” Som says. “The one thing that changed before the pandemic was that I used to travel for work; I used to travel to Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane to meet clients… I used to travel quite a bit and that got taken away from me. That was a real struggle for me.”

Having spent nearly most of the year working from home and remotely, Mikhail says his productivity hack is the separation of context.

“Having a dedicated quiet office room helps me focus and get deep work done. Also, we are humans after all, so it is crucial to take some breaks. I’m trying to achieve that by using the Pomodoro method and having a fixed lunch time in my calendar. I don’t consider myself a productivity ninja, but tools like ‘Things’, ‘Agenda’ and ‘Bear’ help me to organize my daily life,” Mikhail explains.

Som and his cat friend in his home office

Emily adds that schedules are key: “I schedule everything from an important meeting to walking my dog. It might sound silly but I find those simple steps helps me stay on task and I am able to shut it down at night.”

Som agrees, adding: “A dedicated workspace and having pets around helps too… In addition, being connected at all times with your team is really important.”

Tips for more successful virtual meetings

With remote working, many if not all meetings are done virtually. Mikhail shares while there are limitations to virtual meetings, he’s managed to make virtual meetings more effective and efficient by following these steps:

  • Ensure you have reliable internet connection. In case of technical difficulties, it’s always better to postpone the meeting
  • Use a high-quality headset. It helps others hear you better, thus creating better communication during conversations
  • Always come prepared. Ideally, share a document draft or a clear agenda prior to the meeting
  • Try to keep meetings as short as possible. Recent studies show that virtual meetings require more focus and energy
  • Find a person who can help write meeting notes. It will be very helpful to the rest of the group to reflect on agreements made during the meeting, and be better prepared for the next meeting
  • If possible, turn your video on. Modern video conferencing tools have a virtual background feature that helps you hide your surroundings
  • Many modern tools also provide a nice “reactions” feature. This is a very useful tool when running meetings with a lot of participants

To hear more about working remotely, listen in on this episode of our Culture Matters podcast.

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