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Elin is an AI-driven Culture Officer that helps leaders decode their corporate culture and keep track of engagement and happiness of distributed teams.
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Interview with ELIN - the AI-driven Culture Officer
We have been remote from the very beginning: the initial team of co-founders has been split between Lviv, Ukraine and San Francisco, US. Slowly as we became bigger, people joining the team were adding new locations to our map. Now we also have teammates from Kyiv, Ukraine and Valencia, Spain. Even if some of us live in the same city, we prefer to work remotely from a place of our choice. We walk our own talk, so to speak.
Our team is located in 3 time zones - one in the US and 2 in Europe which means we have only a few hours to overlap. When someone is travelling, it becomes even more challenging, but we’re trying to use it to our advantage.
For example, our regular meetings are scheduled for the early morning in States when our Europen colleagues are already wrapping up their working day. On one hand it makes it difficult to sync our tasks, on the other hand, the US gives feedback on the work while the European team is sleeping, so that by the morning they have input to continue and vice versa. We also try to keep most of the communication open for everyone, so there is no misunderstanding about priorities and decisions made.
We also adjust our work hours to have enough overlap between the teammates. The most important is commitment and we make it happen.
Our team is also using Miranda app in order to track time in multiple time zones both for the internal needs and for the meetings with international customers and partners.
We use the best in class online tools that help our global team to be in sync. For example, we use Slack for communication that allows us to have discussions across time zones and keep everyone up to date. We use Zoom for video conferencing - for our team, as well as for the calls with the customers. Often we share the recordings if someone couldn’t be in the important call, so everyone can understand where decisions came from. We also use Trello for project management, it’s very user-friendly.
15% of the American workforce are actively engaged in their work. What happens with the rest? Work doesn’t make them satisfied, or make them feel valuable. And since people spend most of their waking time at work, we wanted to do something about it. That’s why we created Elin. Elin is a culture officer, an “employee” at your company that is responsible for tracking a team’s health and wellbeing and suggesting the employees and leaders at the companies how the team these metrics could be improved.
Elin brings leaders their companies’ culture health snapshot with the help of AI. Absolutely effortless and disturb-free unlike pulsing surveys that can be distracting sometimes. Elin analyses communication in Slack public channels using over 140 metrics to measure a team’s culture. Data is accessible anytime through the admin dashboard. It’s beneficial when you want to track changes over time or identify trends and dependencies.
Elin provides coaching for leaders and employees to help them stay engaged, collaborative, happy, and healthy. For example, it suggests employee to take a walk after he/she was stirring for too long, or reach out to a new person at work, Elin check-ins with employee, and this ability to reflect on how the day is going and whether something’s wrong and can be fixed is invaluable. She is like a friend who has employee’s best interest in mind all the time.
The global trend is that more and more people will join the gig economy within the next 3-5 years, becoming freelancers, working on a project basis or working for a few employers at the same time. Remote work is on the rise as well. This brings several challenges.
For one, there will be less time to build relationships with employees, understand their needs and wants through multi-year career engagements, especially considering the remote nature of employment. Another challenge is multiplying your company culture across geographies and short engagements. And finally finding people that would match your company culture and for people to find companies that match their personal values and work style. This requires, first of all, understanding your own culture and then connecting people to it.
Elin takes the challenge of measuring the culture of remote companies, making sense of existing data and providing insights into potential improvement areas. We aim to connect employees and the companies, by bringing insights from existing data points, like online communication.