Analysis of the Merixstudio Company

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Introduction

The interviewed business leader is Adam Sledzikowski who is a Chief Executive Officer and owner of Merixstudio, an IT company with offices in New York (USA), London (IK), and Poznan (Poland). The company was founded in 1999 and since then has grown into a well-developed organization with expertise in creating digital products for businesses. The main areas in which the company develops products are mobile applications, web-based applications, software development consulting, and product design (Merixstudio, n. d.). Merixstudio utilizes advanced technologies and employees talented and skilled professionals to develop frontend products for multiple clients. The company cooperates with such international businesses as Volkswagen, The Independent, Toshiba, M&S, and others by providing software and website creating services. The company employs over staff members from different countries based on remote job opportunities and freelance cooperation. The company posits itself as a compatible firm in the market that expands its market presence and has gained sufficient experience to grow and expand its corporate strategies.

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Information from the Interview

The interview with Merixstudio’s CEO, Adam Sledzikowski, was conducted using an online video conference. The interviewee described the business characteristics of the IT industry, the specific features of designing a workplace, and the corporate code of conduct for employees in such a highly creative field. Mr. Sledzikowski reflected on the importance of flexibility in organizing workforce communications and corporate culture for the successful accomplishment of business goals, in general, and separate projects, in particular. In the course of the interview the question concerning Merixstudio’s corporate culture, communication’s impact on culture, pandemic effects, and possible recommendations for other business leaders as per the facilitation of corporate culture of a diverse company.

Corporate Culture

In general, the CEO of Merixstudio defines corporate culture as a set of rules and implied behavior and conduct expectations that fit the working atmosphere of the organization and comply with its business goals. As for Merixstudio, the corporate culture in this organization derives from the onset characteristics, which define the way the company functions. Being launched as an international team of frontend specialists, the IT company engaged diverse staff members whose level of expertise and talent would benefit the company. Therefore, Merixstudio’s corporate culture is based on the principles of teamwork, where the contribution of each member impacts the overall result. At the same time, despite a high priority of teamwork and collaborative performance, employees’ autonomy is respected and encouraged in terms of schedule and work conditions flexibility.

The interviewee described the company’s values as the building blocks of its corporate culture and communicational principles. The indicated values are the ones publically presented on Merixstudio’s official website and include atmosphere, partnership, trust, passion, growth, and creativity (Merixstudio, 2020b). Adam Sledzikowski stated that atmosphere is one of the most valuable determinants of organizational performance wince it allows for enhancing the collaborative spirit and producing the best results. As proof of the importance of atmosphere in Merixstudio’s corporate culture, the CEO described the company’s offices. The teamwork collaborative open space, comfortable zones for work and relaxing, as well as inspirational designs, constitute a favorable atmosphere consistent with the company’s vision of a perfect workplace.

Partnership and trust are also inherent in the company’s culture, which is evident from the organization of the workflow on the projects. The specialists work in teams, exchange experience, knowledge, and ideas, which provides space for mutually beneficial growth and creativity, which is another important aspect of Merixstudio’s culture. Thus, the CEO encourages freedom, transparency, creativity, and partnership on all levels of corporate performance among all employees to enhance business outcomes for the organization and make it an inspirational and comfortable place to work.

Communication’s Impact on Culture

According to Merixstudio’s CEO, communication is an essential element in the organization’s corporate culture since effective communication between the members of the team leads to effective relationships. The working relationships ultimately define the overall working conditions and the outcomes of the business from the perspective of compliance with clients and the perspective of competing with other entities in the same industry. Since the IT sphere is highly dependent on creativity and teamwork, transparent and effective communication between the staff members and with the clients is an essential building block for developing competitive advantage and overall success.

The atmosphere of a professional community where coworkers posit themselves as friends whose problems and achievements are subject to collective contemplation and support is created using high-quality communication. The organization continuously arranges workshops, meetings, conferences, and other collaborative opportunities to enhance the culture of communication within the company, which is vividly demonstrated on the company’s official website (Merixstudio, 2020a). Moreover, this helps the CEO and the company’s management in general, to facilitate the values of partnership and encourage employees to share their experiences to develop a common corporate mindset. From a more specific point of view, communication is crucial for the developers’ practical side of their work. Since the specialists involved in programming usually work collaboratively on the same projects, the timely, transparent, and comprehensive exchange of information is essential. Thus, human skills and communicational competencies are the elements that are highly appreciated in candidates and actively developed in the workforce.

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Pandemic Effects

Merixstudio’s CEO expressed his ambiguous feelings concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s culture and overall performance. On the one hand, like any other business in the world, Merixstudio has encountered the need to adjust its usual corporate procedures to the requirements of time by closing offices and transiting to remote work. On the other hand, this challenge provided the company with an opportunity to apply its creative decision-making and agility potential to manage the difficulties and rely on the employees in terms of maintaining sustainable development despite unstable economic and social conditions.

Several rapid decisions were made upon the moment when COVID-19 has announced a global health concern. The offices were closed, the employees were redirected to remote work, planned events were postponed, business travels were canceled, and recruiting campaigns were forwarded to the online realm. Under the influence of isolation, employees started working from home. To maintain interpersonal contact and the atmosphere of a shared environment, special meetings in Google Hangouts, Slack, and other platforms are initiated. Also, the company must put additional efforts to keep the staff informed about the company’s life and plans, as well as support collaborative spirits in the team. Therefore, the pandemic has set significant challenges to both corporate culture and interpersonal communications that now have to be managed by new technological means.

Leader’s Recommendations

As a CEO of a company that manages to create a compelling and attractive corporate culture capable of meeting the requirements of the market and facing the challenges of crises, Sledzikowski has several recommendations to share with other business leaders. Firstly, Merixstudio’s owner advises all businesses involved in software-related operations to cultivate effective communication among employees to ensure the exchange of experience and make the company a place for enhanced opportunities for all staff members. In such a manner, the workers will be loyal, productive, and competent. Secondly, talent management should be one of the essential aspects of corporate culture where skills and capabilities open the opportunities for career growth. Thirdly, transparency should be an immediate attribute of communication; this will allow for cultivating team spirit, unifying collaborative efforts in accomplishing the company mission, and eliminating conflict in the workplace. Finally, it is important to respect autonomy and flexibility in arranging employees’ work to prioritize the quality of performance over mere control.

Summary of the Implications of COVID-19 on Workplace Communications and Corporate Culture

The corporate culture implemented in Merixstudio has its positive and negative characteristics. The advantages of this culture include enhanced transparency, freedom, space for creativity, and networking when growing professionally. However, the lack of strictly defined standards and rules of conduct might be problematic for controlling the employees’ performance in the long run. Overall, as the report demonstrates, the developed corporate culture combined with effective interpersonal employee communication is the essential element of achieving performance excellence. However, in challenging times like COVID-19 and the crisis that accompanies it, companies must comply with the conditions and implement unconventional decision-making procedures to preserve their operations and adhere to safety standards. Therefore, there are some inevitable consequences of COVID-19-related restrictions that will cause significant shifts in corporate culture and workplace communications.

The changes that are observable at present reflect the scope of the issue and provide a framework for predicting the future implications of the pandemic on corporate cultures. For some industries, coronavirus is a disrupting condition that obstructs operations, while for others, it opens new opportunities for organizational shifts and growth. According to Kniffin et al. (2020), the emergence of the pandemic has induced “tighter cultural norms and practices, political conservatism and xenophobia, and more directive workplace leadership” (p. 3). People in isolation tend to behave differently and might be exposed to the difficulties of separating home and family issues from work. The application of virtual management and the concept of working from home impose challenges and might potentially lead to a decrease in efficiency and productivity.

It is expected that the implications of the pandemic on the communication and corporate culture will be manifested through stricter surveillance and controlling means to ensure employee compliance with the schedules and performance expectations (Kniffin et al., 2020). Also, enhanced methods of virtual teamwork will need to be developed to diversify the work-from-home mode of employment. For industries that are commonly executing remote employment, the impact of a pandemic on corporate culture and communications might be less evident (Shankar, 2020). However, it is essential to generate new ideas in terms of increasing the efficiency and productivity of employees by enhancing their wellbeing and supporting them. From this perspective, the concepts of virtual shared space and technologically boosted workplace are considered the spheres for further research and development to enhance the opportunities and minimize losses.

References

Kniffin, K. M., Narayanan, J., Anseel, F., Antonakis, J., Ashford, S. J., Bakker, A. B.,… & Creary, S. J. (2020). COVID-19 and the workplace: Implications, issues, and insights for future research and action. PsyArXiv. Web.

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Merixstudio. (n. d.). Services. Web.

Merixstudio. (2020a). How company culture influences cooperation with your IT partner. Web.

Merixstudio. (2020b). More than words: Brand values proved by actions. Web.

Shankar, K. (2020). The impact of COVID‐19 on IT services industry – Expected transformations. British Journal of Management, 31(3), 450-452.

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