Working from across the globe: On what it's like to be in an international team

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7 min

At Interactio, people come from different cultures, countries, and languages. However, one universal thing that brings us together is loving what we do and working together towards connecting the world. And we do it from 11 countries around the globe!

How does it feel to be part of the international team and still feel connected? We asked Alex, our Sr. Technical Customer Success Manager from Mexico, about how he manages to work from across the world and what it's like to be a part of our team. 

The very beginning 

I am originally from Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, but throughout my life, I’ve traveled quite a lot: from Ukraine to Lithuania, to Albania, to Canada, and finally to Mexico, where I live, work, and build my family now. 

Interestingly enough, my story with Interactio didn't start in September 2019, when I joined as a Technical Customer Success Manager. It started around 8 years ago when I was still getting my bachelor's degree. 

I studied at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania, with Simona and Henrikas, Interactio Co-Founders. Henrikas and I often ran into each other in the same circles with different musicians of Klaipeda that organized different jams at LCC IU and Klaipeda. I was also working with video production at the time, shooting music videos for my friends. 

One time, Henrikas and Simona asked me to help them film a little presentation when they just had an idea for a startup. At the time, it wasn't even called Interactio, and it had a slightly different concept. They wanted to make a video showcasing the product and asking for their first-ever investments. 

That was the very beginning of their startup journey. I helped them film and edit the video, but I remember thinking, "That's a weird idea. I don't really understand how it works, and will anyone really give money for this?"

However, it picked up and went in its own direction, and the rest is history. The product changed, and it slowly became the Interactio we know today. 8-9 years later, I am working together with them! It was fantastic to see how it started on a very local level, even though I wasn't directly a part of it yet. 

Becoming part of the team

So, how did I become part of Interactio those years later, from across the world? At that point, I had already left Lithuania, worked in Albania, studied in Canada, and moved to build a family in Mexico. Right before the pandemic, my good friend Michail, who lives in the United States, started working at Interactio. He said to me, "They are opening another role. Do you want to join?" 

So I did! At the time, Interactio had a maximum of 20-25 people. It was a fun time when we started exploring RSI with European institutions, and the pandemic boom of online events had just happened. 

From my first day, Interactio felt like a tight-knit group of friends and like-minded people. I knew many people already, from Henrikas and Michail to many others who were there from the beginning. 

Knowing Henrikas, it was clear to me that it's crucial for him to have a good internal culture, maybe even more important than high revenue, market growth, and all those numbers. I think that's a critical point, especially for someone who joins from another part of the world like me. 

You want to feel part of the company, but in some fully remote organizations, the focus is not as big on the internal culture. Yet here, since day one, our formal meetings would often turn into informal hangouts. The team had a very friendly atmosphere. And it still is, even when we've grown 10x since I joined in 2020! 

Relationship-based culture

When you work remotely, it comes down to small things that make you part of the bigger team. For example, this last summer, it was a given that someone from the team would ask me, "Interfest is happening. How about we fly you out across the world to Lithuania so you can join the team and hang out?" 

Of course, there's a structure with team leads and managers, but at the same time, it feels really fluid. Everyone is approachable: during the meetings or regular Tuesday shows, an invitation to talk on Slack is not just empty words. You can text everyone, and I mean anyone, and strike an impactful conversation. Nobody is out of reach. 

For me, work is relationship-based. Some need strict deadlines and instructions to work well, but I need more than that. In simple words, I want to do an excellent job for the team's sake and make my manager happy and not disappoint, more as a friend than a subordinate. That's the culture Interactio created on purpose, and it thrives in the remote environment. 

On top of that, all the small things like mental health apps, Christmas presents that HR spends days putting together and delivering across the globe, receiving handwritten notes from your managers during the most important parts of your life…  It doesn't sound like a big deal, but for me, it indicates a crucial thing. It's a team of people, not numbers, no matter where you are. 

If someone would ask me what is the most important thing about working in a remote work environment, I would say relationships you build along the way, regardless of the distance between you. Different people need different approaches, but if you are all about building connections, this might be the team for you.

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Published on

Apr 7, 2022

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Alex Rubel

Senior Technical Customer Success Manager at Interactio

Alex is our Senior Technical Customer Success Manager who supports global events, giving training to clients and ensuring that all the meetings run smoothly and with no interruptions. After joining in 2020, he developed a passion for always pushing himself to look at our product from different angles and come up with new creative ways to present it.