Senior Interaction Designer Liina Poropudas came to Barona Technologies in March 2019. It has definitely been a good employer-empolyee match, since work life as a bigger phenomena has fascinated Liina for years. Barona is a perfect place to see how worklife is evolving and changing – and on top of that, she gets to do meaningful things in a great team.
Wanting to learn has driven Liina Poropudas forward in her career. Nowadays at Barona she designs interfaces and workflows. She mostly works with Barona’s internal systems in different contexts. Liina has been in Barona six months now and says it has been super fun.
“This place really works for me. I don’t ever feel bad coming to work. I get to do something meaningful that really improves people’s lives, and I get to do it in an environment I really enjoy. It’s been great,” she says. “I guess I’m still in some kind of honeymoon phase”, she adds and laughs.
Liina says that at work she appreciates basic things like excellent team and good work culture – things that are quite fundamental, but not obvious in every workplace.
“You can talk, laugh and occasionally screw up if that’s what happens - sometimes people make mistakes and that's ok. And one of the things I love here: nothing is set in stone. If it doesn’t work, we’ll make it better. The environment is encouraging,” Liina tells.
Searching for meaningfulness from work
Liina started her career by doing usability tests and then moved into the field of design. What Liina likes about her profession is that she's able to use her skills in different contexts and environments. Before Barona Liina has been working for example in the media industry and in the other hand in big corporations like Nokia and Kone.
“These jobs have included interesting things, but I think that what I really have been looking for, is that sort of meaningfulness in what I do and how I do it. I do enjoy thinking that someone’s work life might be easier, because I’m doing my best to make sure that the systems we are building really help the users. Also, it’s nice to have an electric table”, she laughs.
Liina says she had heard about Barona from here and there. Couple friends of hers were also working at Barona. “There was something in the way they talked about Barona, which made this seem like a place where attitude is innovative: people are actually trying to make things in a new way and solve problems,” Liina says.
Liina has been interested about work as a larger concept for years – it’s the subject that she always ends up talking after couple of beers. Why is work so interesting topic for her? Without a wince, she starts to explain:
“What does work mean in our society? How is it evolving?”
In Barona she can see how it’s actually going to be in everyday life. For example, increasing of automation is a hot topic in media as it’s going to change the way people work. With Liina, it is easy to dive in a profound discussion about work:
“How we find a way to function as a society, where not all of us will work full time? Not to mention, that we have to get rid of the stigma of being unemployed. And what about micro-companies which are ignored by legal systems? We are living interesting times regarding all this,” Liina ponders.
“Of course, I don’t believe I can change everything but at least I have a nice view on work life and I can make some difference.”
It is easy to see that Liina is excited when she talks about work. She noticed her own excitement during recruitment process. She was in the state where she could take the next step on her career and happened to see the job ad regarding her current position.
“My hands were shaking, when I was filling the application. I just somehow knew that this was something I would really like to do. And during the recruitment process that feeling sort of grew. One of the recruiters called me and said that hey let’s chat around 10 minutes – and we ended up talking for one hour.”
First impression: friendly and fair
Liina describes the first impression of Barona Technologies in the following way:
“Slightly chaotic, as there were so many people. Everyone was really friendly. Easy to come along with. I guess our HR person, Emilia, gave me a hug after we signed the contract. She’s like that, I think it’s wonderful.”
Liina says it didn’t feel like coming to a corporation – although Barona is a big employer and recruits around 30 000 people every year
”There was something that felt very good, like having your ‘work home”
Liina has noticed one core idea of Barona’s way of doing things: We want to be fair to everyone. She thinks that people working at Barona, like recruiters and HR consultants, are themselves partly blind for that.
“They do extra stuff for their employees and make sure that they take care of their own employees. I’ve noticed it in many discussions – it’s those tiny details that actually tell you that they are on the side of the employees.”
Heated discussions and willingness to solve things
And then about Liina’s own team, how would she describe it? “I love my team. Team is a collection of wonderful individuals, who work together very well,” she sums it up. Liina tells that team has developed a culture, where they can joke around, have planking sessions and a coffee break every day two o'clock.
“Well, we have one guy who encourages everyone to take a break, and on those days that he is not at the office, we forget to have the coffee breaks.”
Sounds like the atmosphere is laidback and positive. “Yes. And even if there’s sometimes heated discussions or strict opinions, I think the respect towards each other stay as it is. There is this also willingness to go beyond also those heated discussions and solve things together.”
From the future colleagues she wishes professional confidence & willingness to listen to other people. There is something surprising in Liina’s wishes for her own job. Having enough to do has sometimes been a bit of a problem in her previous positions. She says it’s frustrating for her if there’s not enough to do. Liina prefers to keep herself busy.
“Not like hugely overworked but a bit busy. That pushes me to get things done. If there’s no hurry, I wouldn’t get that much done. Now I think I have a very good balance. I’m not stressed out at all and I have exactly the right amount of staff to do. And at the same time, I never find myself wondering what should I do next.”