Company · 11 min read

Between code and comfort: The inside scoop on api.video’s WFH chronicles

Dive into api.video's work-from-home tales – where code meets comfort.

Arushi - Content Manager

Arushi Gupta

December 8, 2023

I was in Bordeaux last week for a quarterly meeting of api.video and just while sitting at the desk working on something important, I happened to overhear a conversation on a nearby table. It was about work-from-home (WFH) and what all my colleagues would do had they been at home at this time.

 

Intrigued, I went on to talk to them.

 

Little did I know that remote work was such a game-changer for them, not just for their daily grind but for the very fabric of their workplace happiness and productivity.

 

So, I tried to dig in a bit more and I got to know the highs, the lows, and everything in between of the work-from-home escapade at api.video.

1. The parent perspective

We’ll start with talking about new moms and dads that have been juggling work and their babies, like a boss.

 

It is not news that the impact of work from home on childhood education and parenting, as well as quality of life and happiness levels, is indescribable. If you’re a parent, every minute at the office is a minute spent not seeing your child grow, laugh, cry, dance, and smile. From attending a child’s school events to caring for family members, remote work gives you, as a parent, valuable time that you can spend with your loved ones.

 

Zoltan, Technical Writer at api.video and a newly turned dad shares how WFH has helped him,

 

"Async work allows me to give more time to my wife and kid. I'm able to take part in household chores and balance out the workload with my wife, which I wouldn't have been able to do had I had to be in the office."

 

From Margaux perspective, mom of a 2 year old and the Office Manager of api.video,

 

"As a mum, it’s refreshing to be able to handle my time as I please so I can take care of my kid and all health appointments or daycare topics. I know that as long as my tasks are handled, I have the flexibility to manage my day and it makes me more eager to be productive during my working hours."

 

Yohann, a Front-End Engineer whose daughter will be 7 months old soon, loves that he can be with his daughter in her nascent years.

 

"I love the fact that I never have to choose between witnessing my daughter’s firsts (her first steps, her first word, her first hiccup) and working. I love how WFH enables me to do the best I can for my daughter, during work hours and after."

2. Healthy, inexpensive home-cooked meals FTW

Do you remember eating a cold bagel to work? Or having your lunch spill in the car? Or maybe forgetting your afternoon snack? Grabbing (too much) coffee with (extra) sugar on the way to the office? These are things of the past with WFH.

 

Remote work means you get to eat affordable, delicious, home-cooked food every day. This can mean the world to people with a tight budget, dietary restrictions, ambitious fitness goals… and it sure does mean a lot for the average foodie!

 

Jean Baptiste, our Video Team Lead, would agree. He says,

"Working from home means I get to eat delicious home cooked food, because in the office you only eat fancy food (😉)."

 

Sebastian Marin, our Video Editor shares the same thought, more so because he feels what he eats reflects on the skin.

 

"Working from home has been a game-changer, especially when it comes to keeping things healthy. Being the face of the company for all those videos is no joke, right? Well, turns out, whipping up home-cooked meals daily has been my secret sauce. Having my office and kitchen in the same spot has also made life easier. I get to fuel up with meals that suit both my taste buds and the hectic work life. No strict diets or anything – just good, balanced stuff."

3. The most hated – daily office commute and undone laundry

The addition of office commute to your day's time gives you 30, 50, or 120 minutes more to enjoy your day. This means more time to sleep, less stress in the mornings, and more leisure time in the afternoon. All this time is yours — for you to make the best out of it!

 

Sébastien Girard, our SEO Manager, loves how he can easily manage household chores along with office responsibilities with WFH. He says,

 

"Being able to do the laundry during weekdays and not having a pile of clothes ready for the weekend is what I love about WFH! I also love the fact that I no longer need to waste time commuting (and eventually not catching a cold outside or on the bus) but I can just get up and be ready to work straight away! I can also catch a quick trip to the grocery store if needed, and I love that freedom."

 

Olivier Lando, the Head of Ecosystem at api.video, also loves the fact that he can manage home-related chores easily with WFH. He says,

 

"Working from home, I never need to miss any parcel deliveries haha. Plus I am able to have coffee breaks with my wife who also works from home, and that makes me love WFH even more."

4. Geographical boundaries cease to exist

One of the best things about working from home, something that everyone loves, is that you can enter exceptional workplaces, without moving an inch from your sofa. No need to worry about uprooting your family to the city, or losing your friend group to the suburb!

 

Additionally, once you start working, you do not need to be restricted to one single place only. You could be heading two towns over, escaping to a close friend’s AirBnB, or flying off to your favorite location. As long as you find and create a home where YOU feel comfortable, it is a win-win.

 

Alix Manté-Martini, the People Operations Specialist at api.video says,

 

"Remote working enabled me to overcome the geographical constraints arising from my husband's career path – his pursuit of becoming a winemaker in Corsica. Being fully remote, I get the choice to grow in my chosen field (International Human Resources) and develop my career path in a location (Corsica) where there are no such jobs. So with WFH, I've been able to bridge the gap between my career goals and the constraints of living on an island not particularly known for its openness to international professional opportunities. And that enables both my husband and I to follow our career aspirations without compromises and to craft careers that align with our passions."

5. Productivity at its best and the unsaid feeling of trust

As per a recent report by Harvard Business Review, employees working remotely reported much higher job satisfaction than office workers. This job satisfaction led to employee productivity of remote workers. Another report from Future Form states that workers with full schedule flexibility reported 29% higher productivity and 53% greater ability to focus than workers with no ability to shift their schedule.

 

Well, it is safe to say that probably, it is the elimination of long commutes and workplace distractions that improves energy levels and helps you focus on the job. It’s also partly because of the adoption of new technology to communicate and collaborate, as well as the reduction of pointless meetings and “face-time”.

 

Thomas Pellegatta, a Full-Stack Developer at api.video, finds himself most productive at home. He says,

 

"WFH is great because you can focus well on topics that need concentration and your undivided attention. Plus, you can dress however you like and being super comfy makes me more productive!"

 

Moreover, WFH also builds a sense of ownership and trust for a lot of people. They work with an implicit understanding that the work they have requested from other teams will be done and will be done on time.

 

On this note, Alexandra Demopoulos, Pricing Lead at api.video says,

 

"WFH for me represents freedom and trust. ‘Freedom’ that allows you to set your own working environment standards and ‘trust’ that your coworkers can count on you to deliver in time and find what they need when they need it! It also embraces transparency and proactive collaboration, making any get-together events exciting and even more meaningful."

6. An office space just the way you like!

Remote work means your office is truly yours, to make of it as you please.

 

What could be better than having picture collages all over the walls of your home office? Or have sober colours and fur carpets that scream ‘you’? What about a huge plant beside your work desk? Personalizing an office space means more than just furniture. With WFH, you get to do what makes you more productive – be it listening to your favourite music, using a scent diffuser, or playing with the lighting to suit your needs.

 

And if you’re bored of your desk? Just ditch it.

 

Relax on the sofa. Use your backyard. Turn your kitchen counter into a standing desk. Head to the park, the coffee shop,the cafe, the library, the co-working space— all you need is a comfortable seat and some wifi.

 

For Sebastian and Arushi who work at api.video from Italy and Germany respectively, office spaces look very different. While Sebastian, the video editor at api.video has set up his workstation at home and loves it to death, Arushi has made co-working places and cafes her workstation.

(Left) Arushi's workspace from a cafe. (Right) Sebastian's setup at home

Gokul Kailasam, the Product Marketing Manager at api.video also takes the help of music to make working from home less boring, and focus better.

 

"I listen to LoFi songs and do strategic work/write copy that requires my full attention. They really help me concentrate better."

A different perspective – Work from office

While a quick message on Slack or a visual meeting on Zoom can save you the time that an in-person meeting would take had you made a commute, often a quick message on Slack is not as quick. It gets tedious at times to explain things over a message and that may often cause miscommunication. More so, in a message, you often don’t know the tone, intent and urgency of the task which is clearer in a face-to-face conversation.

 

Our CEO and co-founder, Cédric Montet, agrees and personally, he finds it better to come to the office, wrap up work and leave for home.

 

"I prefer to work at the office to put a clear separation between work & life. I’m a father of 2 (4y and 1.5y) and I want to make sure I’m really « with them » so I try to not mix everything. My routine is to bring them to school, have a coffee at a bar to switch my mind before going to the office and have the same transition moment with a 20 min walk at the end of the day before going home to switch off as much as possible. I can read and reply to messages & emails at home but my phone is off between 7:30 and 8:30pm (bedtime for them). Otherwise, I deeply prefer to work with people in person rather than by Zoom."

 

However, from a CEO’s perspective where he has to interact with several people and teams in a day, he feels,

 

"As a CEO my views have evolved (and are still evolving). We raised our series A during Covid without a chance to meet people, so remote was the best way to be. Hiring remotely at that time helped us widen the reach across the globe – and that’s where the best talents thrive and live! But, sometimes I also feel that it takes more effort to communicate in a remote setup than it would take were we all in the same space."

 

Along similar lines, Gokul Kailasam mentions that although working from home enhances his concentration, there are moments when he feels a sense of loneliness. He says,

 

"I would love it if I could come to the office twice a week to see some colleagues and exchange banter with them. It would be fun."

 

Arushi Gupta (author of this blog) and a Content Manager for api.video shares similar feelings. She feels,

 

"Working from home gives me the chance to take my morning jog without rush, sip my coffee in the comfort of my pyjamas and spend the early hours of the day with myself. But I would love to come to the office 2-3 days a week because a lot of my work requires other teams’ involvement and it becomes easier to collaborate when we’re all present in the office. Also, interacting with my colleagues at the office gives me a chance to perceive their human side, distinct from their work, which I find to be crucial."

 

Despite completely working-from-home, the api.video team tries to come together at least once every quarter for some in-person laughs, beers (or wines) and sumptuous food together. Otherwise we see each other virtually on Zoom calls, Scribble game meetings and the bi-weekly Townhalls. Now, as the year ends and the curtain falls on our virtual workspaces, let us raise a toast to the coming year of remote endeavors—may your internet be swift, your coffee strong, and your virtual meetings glitch-free!

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