Fostering a Productive and Innovative Work Environment: SciGen’s Approach to Teamwork

At SciGen, our team is like a vibrant mosaic, with each piece contributing to the unique and inclusive work culture we've cultivated. For this month’s SciGen Spotlight, we're thrilled to introduce you to Natasa, one of our dedicated Project Managers who has been on the SciGen team since 2017. 

Natasa has graciously taken the time to share her thoughts on what sets SciGen apart, her experiences in our work environment, and offer valuable insights for those working in the field of HR. 

Natasa Christoulaki


What sets SciGen apart from other software companies?

The friendly atmosphere that we have developed. Not only does this not set the tone for an unprofessional environment, as many would claim, but on the contrary: it brings us closer and makes us give more. There is no colleague who will be asked to do something extra for the job and refuse without some substantial reason. Everyone shares a spirit of willingness and truly wants to help. 

Another, equally important area in which SciGen stands out is the company’s support for employee development in every area. Our culture fully condones, for example, choosing to do a master's degree or seminary alongside work and having the space to adjust (in a balanced context, always) one's work schedule without the fear of being fired. You don't see this often at companies, where team members are given room to pursue career development alongside work in that way. We know the importance and long-term benefits of growth, so our company does not "punish" anyone who chooses to develop new skill sets.


What do you like about the work culture at SciGen?

I most like the fact that our culture prioritizes the human part without at all compromising on the importance of work. We have found and struck a balance such that everyone feels secure and pressure-free. At SciGen, we recognize that if we as a team, or anyone as an individual, isn’t happy with the work environment, it will not function well and we won’t be our most efficient selves. 

The concept of a “team” and the distribution of tasks is an important part of everyday life, due to the nature of work. But we prioritize one another, dividing the work in a way that everything gets done without anyone shouldering a load they can't handle.

In addition, our needs are always prioritized. The most beautiful thing is, we all do so from our hearts, with the understanding that the group is made up of other people. If, for example, I am away from the office for a period of time, for whatever reason (vacation, a conference or personal reasons), I am confident that my team will take care of what I leave behind, and they will do so with the same level of care that I would. If my day is too full of tasks to get done and someone on the team has time available, they will take over some of mine so I can decompress. The priority is always to be well and calm, no matter how great the pressure due the amount of work there is to be done.


How does SciGen foster a friendly and inclusive work environment?

Most important is our communication and how we strengthen it. We have carefully chosen the tools we use so that we can be in constant and direct contact at all times, even if working remotely. Furthermore, the roles of superiors within the company are not to supervise, punish, or judge, but to organize, coordinate, and listen. The result is that one doesn't feel judged or targeted for a mistake, but knows that there is someone to turn to for anything, even personal matters. The team will always make sure to cover for anything that happens, protecting each other and not pointing fingers.


What are three pieces of advice that you would give to the HR department of a company, given your experience at SciGen? 

  1. Listen and observe the person in front of you in order to learn about them. At SciGen, our mentality is not to universally and faithfully follow management rules without considering individual characteristics. On the contrary, we make sure, by learning each person's character, that they feel safe to express themselves and communicate in their own way. Only this way can a manager successfully bring out the best version of someone.
  2. Don't make room for "bad" competition. As much as a competitive environment can energize people, it also creates room for tension, bad attitudes, and lack of respect. In addition, it enhances individuality and distance between colleagues. At our company, competition makes no sense, since, on the one hand, teamwork is basically required, and on the other hand, everyone is pushed to do what they are best at, to speak to my previous point. Competition, then, has no place and when and if it appears, we always have a way to bring the mood back into balance. 
  3. Seek to communicate both the positive and the negative, with the aim of improving someone and not punishing them. It is a tremendous pleasure for someone to see that their work and effort are recognized by the team and management. It generates a desire to continue to deliver. Moreover, if there is any negative, people are given the space, time and attention to communicate it, and then analyze and propose solutions without worrying about unfair consequences.
    Ultimately, all of our approaches are about strengthening our solid cooperation and the positive climate we have cultivated.