Blog: Infigo sends UK team to Moldova HQ

Posted on

Meeting in Moldova: Why in-person collaboration will always trump a virtual meeting on Teams (even if you need a passport).

It’s perhaps stating the obvious that the internet has enabled companies of any size to establish a worldwide presence.

Of course, any global web-based technology company would say that.

But we’d also argue that while video conferencing is great for getting everyone ‘in the same room’, no matter where they are in the world, there really is no substitute for in-person human contact.

That’s one of the main reasons we physically get our team together, at least once a year, at one of our company events – flying them in from the US, Germany, Spain, India, Moldova and beyond.

At these events, we take the time to celebrate the previous year’s wins and plan for the year ahead. We look at some of the many different ways to can work better together, and provide only the best results for our customers.

One of the best ideas suggested during our 2023 event, by Infigo Head of HR & Legal, Julie Minn and Moldova Office & Project Manager, Viorica Jardan (the brains behind the scheme), was a UK/Moldova ‘exchange program’. This would obviously help us get a better understanding of what our different teams do and get to know the face at the other end of the screen.

So, this month, Infigo UK Quality Assurance Engineer, Harper Lester and Application Developer, John Vos (who both joined the team on the same day, a little over a year ago), became the inaugural participants of our new exchange program.

Harper and John became the inaugural participants of our new exchange program.

Upon arrival on the other side of the continent, John and Harper were warmly welcomed to the office with freshly home-baked cakes, from Infigo Moldova QA Engineer, Alina Ataman, who was central to welcoming her UK colleagues and making them feel at home.

Harper said: “I managed to work with three different developers in person today, who I would normally talk to over teams, which made an amazing change.”

After spending Monday largely settling in, Tuesday was the day that the real work began, with John aiming to expand his practical development skills, headed by Molova Software Engineer, Andreev Veaceslav.

This included Veaceslav teaching John some development shortcuts, which by mastering this process, would empower him to better assist with support debug issues, without the need for our development team becoming involved.

John said this approach helped demystify several issues which could sometimes appear more complicated when communicating on teams.

He said: “The workday was marked by fruitful teamwork and direct discussions” while Harper commented that it was “great to be able to walk up to the developers and ask, instead of discussing over messenger”.

Whilst most of Harper and John’s day was spent discussing shortcut tasks with developers and testing them, the evening was spent in a local brewery, tackling a tricky Moldovan pub quiz.

John said: “Attempting to participate in the quiz proved challenging due to the language barrier (and the influence of alcohol!). However, despite any struggles, the evening unfolded into a cascade of laughter and jokes, fuelled by refreshingly affordable £4 1-litre beers.”

The team enjoying one of Infigo Moldova’s ‘world famous’ mid-week office game nights

As Humpday quickly came around, the team spent the day improving their respective development skills, brainstorming and gaining a stronger understanding of development workflows. John and Harper were then introduced to the ‘world famous’ mid-week office games night.

It was here where the team building activities went into overdrive, largely thanks to an enthusiastic game of ‘Heads Up!’, (where a teammate writes a famous name on a post-it, it’s placed on your forehead and you have to guess who that person is by asking questions), followed by several heated card games.

Upon reflection of the exchange, Moldova Head of Development, and team lead, Roman Gherman said: “It was a great experience to have John and Harper here in our office working alongside our developers and QA professionals, they exchanged valuable insights, contributing to Infigo growth and success.

“Our QA Lead, Alina, planned the most of this exchange program so we could make the most of it, including pair programming, communication, brainstorming, 1-to-1 meetings, games evenings and more.

“Their visit outlines the significance of international exchange programs in fostering teamwork and diversity.”

After a busy Thursday in the office, networking with the team and absorbing their way of work, Friday soon arrived, which thanks to Infigo’s recently introduced 4-day working week, allowed John and Harper to fully immerse themselves in Moldovan culture.

Thanks to Alina’s amazing efforts as exchange host and chaperone, John and Harper were treated to a bumper weekend of sight-seeing, including a walking tour around the centre of Chisinau, a visit to the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History of Moldova, as well as visiting Trebujeni, to see the Old Orhei (Romanian: Orheiul Vechi), which is a natural and historical complex located on a narrow bend of the Nistru River.

The final stop of the tour was the world-renowned Cricova winery in Moldova, which boasts 120km of labyrinthine roadways.

John said, “Unfortunately, once the wine tasting was over, it was time to head back to the hotel, pack up and head home!”

Alina said: “It was an amazing experience to have the guys here from the UK. As different as we are by culture, when it comes to work, we are as one – and this is the key to productive results.

“My number one goal of this exchange trip was to improve communication and strengthen relationships between the UK and Moldovan team and it was definitely a success.”

More exchanges to come..

Following the success of John and Harper’s trip, which has already seen improvements with communication and processes across the company, we plan on welcoming members of the Moldovan team to the UK office, and then repeat the process again with new participants.

Julie Minn said: “It’s an amazing experience for all those involved, being able to not only share different cultures but to work alongside our colleagues in their own locations, it really widens their horizons and knowledge.

Infigo looks to offer these opportunities that not only expand the working culture but the personal experiences for our employees.

We look forwarding to welcoming some of our Moldovan colleagues later in the year and return the hospitality.”

Latest posts
Ready to get started?
Find out how to scale your business with web-to-print in a tailored 1-to-1 demo
Book a demo
book a demo