Beyond technology and artificial intelligence, Pangeanic has a secret weapon to remain at the forefront when innovating in the industry. You may have guessed it – it's our unique team. We work in a multicultural, connected, environment and our team is the backbone of Pangeanic's state-of-the-art services. It's Pangeanic's essence and character.
María Bodí, from our Human Resources department, talks about Pangeanic's human side, how the team has overcome the ever-changing past two years, and what it's like being part of a work environment that's both rewarding and challenging.
What is day-to-day life like at Pangeanic? Since the Coronavirus outbreak, 2020 and 2021 have been two challenging years for most companies that have had to adapt and learn new ways of working and operating. How has Pangeanic faced these major structural challenges?
At Pangeanic, each day differs from the last. Working to constant deadlines is demanding, and you keep learning – most of all, it teaches you how to control and manage stress, as you're regularly taken out of your comfort zone.
It's been challenging to adapt to COVID, but at the same time, it's presented new opportunities. We have been able to incorporate people into the organization who don't live in Valencia. It has also allowed employees to improve their work-life balance by returning to their hometowns. Working from home was a trend we were already heading towards, and this online way of working has now become another work tool. A transition accelerated by the situation but in line with our mission and vision.
Half of the team is currently working from home, and the other half come into our offices. Sometimes we miss physical interactions, but technology keeps us connected in a different way. We've seen many positives come from this new way of working, and it's worked for us.
From how many places in the world does the Pangeanic team operate? How do you manage this international team?
Most of our employees are located in Spain (Valencia, Barcelona, Ciudad Real, Albacete...), although we have a subsidiary in Japan. We also have external consultants in the USA, who help us grow the company in that country.
Sometimes it's difficult to schedule meetings, but there is always a point where we all meet during working hours, so in the end with patience and adapting to different work cycles, we can find a time to get together.
In the meantime, written communication is quite fluid. Fortunately, all Pangeanic employees speak English to a high level, and this is the language with which we communicate between different countries.
One of Pangeanic's main attributes is its multiculturalism. What's it like to work in a multicultural team? Have you experienced any cultural clashes?
It is easy to hear "oh I can't remember how to say this word in Spanish", in our team because, although they are currently living in Spain, we have employees from France, UK, Germany, Belgium, Syria... who speak Spanish perfectly, so much so that until that happens, you forget that they're not native speakers.
it's incredibly important to familiarize yourself with another country's culture when dealing with different people in work scenarios, this is particularly relevant to us having a team in Japan. Their culture is very different from ours, for instance, bank holidays, they don't celebrate virgins or saints, they have the Emperor's Birthday Day, the Day of Respect for the Elders, the Day of the Mountains...
Getting to know Pangeanic better: We welcome our team in Japan.
Being culturally aware is not something we do among ourselves, we also try to understand our vendors and customers. Recently, we contacted some translators in Thailand for a project and they kept signing off emails with the year 2564. We thought this a little strange until we realized that in Thailand they go by the Buddhist Calendar, which is 543 years ahead of ours!
Ultimately, it's the mixture of cultures, anecdotes, and personal experiences that enrich our work experience.
Pangeanic has a technology department at the forefront in the development of innovative solutions for machine translation. Is this technological advancement also reflected in the team and human resources management?
Yes, of course, if one part of the company grows and advances, it does not do it alone, we always try to make sure that the rest of the departments do it in parallel, within their possibilities.
We have gone from managing a small team to managing a larger team, which is constantly expanding. In the last four months, we have welcomed 4 new team members, 4 new employees will join us in the next two weeks, and we're also interviewing for 3 more positions.
These are not only new roles within our technology department. As this area grows, it expands other departments, which in turn need to increase their resources to effectively deal with new projects.
We're restructuring our Tech department by creating watertight departments in other areas – all roles will have defined and valuable functions. The idea is not to place people in a single department, but rather, depending on their skills and strengths, they can work across several departments, contributing to several projects simultaneously.
This is the essence of Pangeanic: versatile workers who can not only perform one job but who are able to contribute to all levels of the company. We believe in people, we like to give them total autonomy from the first day they walk through the door, and we don't mind if they make mistakes. We want them to make decisions, to justify them, and to analyze the results. That's the only way to learn.
As for the best and the worst side to the way we work, I guess in both cases it's the same thing: different workplaces. Giving people the possibility to choose whether they want to work from home or in the office makes us happy. Being able to work with great professionals on the other side of the world, without them having to leave the life they have in their country, makes us very happy.
Having different personalities, cultures, characters, customs and ideologies makes us grow and adds up in all senses, but at the same time, technology sometimes does not go as far as a hug, a smile in the morning, or a beer at the end of a hard day!