Hey! my name is Agata Krzysztofik. I’m a startup mentor and a marketing leader with +10 years of experience developing and executing growth strategies at companies like Google, Groove, and Piktochart.
I’m passionate about empowering both people and businesses to reach their 10X goals with OKRs and agile performance management. In my free time, I enjoy discovering the world with my son, experimenting in the kitchen, and going for long walks.
Where can we follow you on the Internet?
Describe how you work in 10 words or less?
I have a dedicated office space to maintain the right balance between work and life.
Tell us a little bit about your background & how did you get started with remote work?
My first exposure to remote working was during my time at Google. I was based at the Mountain View office while living in San Francisco. Given the terrible traffic, this meant 2-3 hours of commuting each day. That’s why from time to time, I would work from home.
In 2015 I moved to Germany and joined SimScale. I remember this one conversation I had with SimScale’s investor. He told me that he is a big believer in remote working, and according to him, in ~ ten years from now, a large percentage of startups will become fully remote.
“I want to be part of this transformation,” I thought to myself back then. Who would have thought that this shift would happen even faster than this investor predicted?
Once I knew it was time for a job change, I decided to apply only for 100% remote companies. That’s how in 2018, I ended up at Groove as their Head of Growth. This was my first time leading a fully-distributed team. It made me realize that I can’t imagine myself going back to spending 7-days a week in a traditional office. Especially an open-space one.
When I joined Piktochart, the company was semi-remote. 40% of the team was distributed, while 60% was based at Penang's headquarter office. The pandemic became a push to reinvent ourselves at Piktochart. Mid 2020, we officially became a 100% remote company. From January 2021, we implemented a four-day workweek to improve our employees' work-life balance.
What job responsibilities do you have?
I’m leading a marketing and a sales team at Piktochart. Outside of people management tasks, I’m responsible for the revenue growth strategy and marketing-related projects.
My projects vary from quarter-to-quarter. For example, last quarter, I worked on redesigning the Piktochart website and launching our new video repurposing product, called Piktostory, on Product Hunt. This quarter I’m focusing on the launch of demo request pages and customer stories.
With the four day work week, I have Fridays off. I use this time to have a marketing consulting calls with Demodesk and sometimes mentoring calls through GrowthMentor. The rest of the day, I’m spending some quality time with my son.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I have an adjustable office desk from IKEA. I use it from time to time as a standing desk. It’s a good habit to incorporate 1 hour of standing into your workday. I use both my laptop as well as a second monitor.
Since I have many calls and, from time to time, I present at virtual conferences, I have invested in a ring light and a podcast microphone. I find the ring light especially helpful on gloomy days. It makes the output of your camera so much more professionally-looking.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without?
Slack and Zoom are essential for my work. This is where the communication between the team takes place. I also use the Piktochart presentation maker for any internal and external presentations. Outside of these, some standard tools like Gmail or Google Calendar. I also really like Miro for any brainstorming. We suggest a look at the best headphones for remote work to get some tunes going while working.
How do you keep track of what you need to prioritize?
We use OKRs at Piktochart. Each quarter we plan company, team, and individual objectives and key results. They help to keep us focused on the end goals. I start my week by checking the status of my individual and team OKRs. Based on this, I create a list of priorities for the upcoming week.
Whenever I can check off something from my list, I get a pleasant feeling of accomplishment. I highly recommend investing in Productivity Planner by Intelligent Change. It is a planner that is based on the Pomodoro Technique. It helps you focus your mental energy on the most meaningful tasks ahead and prevents you from getting slowed down by busywork.
Aside: We also recommend following a daily routine and maintaining a to-do list while working remotely. You can turn the productivity ship around by following simple tips.
What are you reading currently? What do you recommend?
I recently received “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant” from my friend Aazar Shad, a fellow growth marketer. It’s a consolidation of thoughts and learnings around wealth and happiness shared by Naval Ravikant on Twitter, podcasts, and in essays.
Advice for someone who is looking to switch to a remote job?
If you want to switch to remote work, now is the time! With the pandemic, more companies became open to giving remote working a try. You could start telecommuting even at a company that isn’t remote by default. Employers are keener to let you work from home during this challenging time.
This is your chance to test this setup and gain some experience. I recommend checking out DailyRemote for some interesting remote jobs. Piktochart is also hiring for remote positions. You can check our openings here.
What qualities would you recommend are a must-have for a person seeking a remote job?
You need to be self-disciplined and driven. I noticed that people who are well-organized, results-oriented, who communicate well, and have a proven track record of independent troubleshooting are a perfect fit for remote working. As a manager, this is what I’m looking for in candidates when hiring.
What, according to you, are the pros and cons of remote work?
- Save hours of commuting and use it for exercising, learning, or spending time with your loved ones.
- Increased flexibility which is especially important when you have a family.
- Increased productivity. Remote office reduces disruptions typical for an open-space office.
- Less sick days. When commuting to work or sitting in an open space, I was caught some cold or virus at least twice a year. Since I work from home, I rarely get sick.
- Healthier eating habits. Often office at lunch means unhealthy takeouts. At home, you can prep a healthy lunch instead.
- Socializing options and building lasting relationships at work are limited.
- Mentorship and growth are more challenging. That’s why remote isn’t the best setup for people who are just starting their careers.
- Finding a balance between work and life can be more difficult. It’s essential to set clear borders from the beginning.
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