Hundreds of new IT companies kicked off in Armenia in recent years. They differ by size, field of operation and work environment. Itel.am starts a new series to reveal specific features of Armenian IT companies.
Founded in 2009, Joomag is an all-in-one digital platform, which offers universal solutions to big and small businesses in the field of content marketing, digital publishing, sales engagement and corporate communications. Huffington Post, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Levi’s, Verizon, KFC, EY (Ernst & Young), Warner Brothers Brazil and a number of other industrial giants, prestigious universities are among Joomag’s clients.
Joomag is headquartered in Silicon Valley. The company’s offices started operation in Munich and Moscow from 2015. Opened in 2013, Joomag Armenia already has more than 50 employees.
David Aslanyan, Chief Customer Officer & Co-Founder
Usually I come to work at 9:00 AM, sometimes around 11:00 AM, depending on my gym schedule. I work 8-9 hours a day, sometimes longer. We used to work for 15-16 hours a few years ago, but reorganization and optimization helped us work more productively in 9 hours and deliver everything on time.
Every morning I check my email, which contains around 100 messages per day. Then I check the progress of employees’ ongoing tasks. I try to spend my free time on reading various articles, researches and case studies, which can help advancing our work.
We are live 18/5 at any corner of the world. Joomag works in accordance with B2B model, providing availability on working hours of businesses in different time zones.
We also developed a special bonus system for employees of Customer support department.
The company incorporated the idea of onboarding in September last year to facilitate the integration of new employees. All of them now pass 1-2-week onboarding period in the department where they are going to work. During that period new employees get acquainted with the values, atmosphere and nature of our work at the company. Very often they just follow experienced employees to understand how they work. Then new employees work, while mentors are around to give directions.
The company provides all the employees with benefit packages, which includes premium health insurance program, special conditions at one of the best gyms in Yerevan, day off policy and so on.
The break time depends on the department. For example, programmers and designers work from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, so their break time is 1:00-2:00 PM. Employees of Customer support department do not have a fixed time. The company always needs someone online, so they replace each other during the break.
We have Joomag Fridays at the end of each month. We order pizza and beer and have fun together. The company also organizes various team building events.
Karen Vardazaryan, Head of Design Department
Our design team of 5 people start the working day with daily stand-up to discuss the tasks of the day. We also hold various other meetings during the day.
Although there is no pressure at Joomag, no one turns the working process into fun, people are always productive and responsible. Office management has just started to form in Armenia, and Joomag is a perfect example of it.
Vahram Shamtsyan, Mobile App Development Team Lead
Additional work at Joomag is both encouraged and not. On the one hand, working more means you really care about the product. On the other hand, it is clear you may not be as productive on the next day. We try to balance it all.
I wasn’t comfortable working in an open space first, but now I’m fine. We try not to make noise. Open space allows communicating faster, which is an advantage. On Fridays we play videogames like Mortal Combat and Tekken on a big screen in the large room. We have strong gamers in the staff.
Tigran Petrosyan, Developer in Core Platform Team
Core Platform team has 3 staffers, managed directly by one of the company co-founders. We have daily stand-up in the morning to plan our work.
We gather as a team at least once a day. We set penalties for being late within the team. There’s a cash can for those who come to work late. Recently we opened it and bought a solar-powered keyboard (laughs).
Nana Mardoyan, Communications Manager
Joomag kind of works in two dimensions. You live in Armenia but you’re turned towards the outside markets in your work. That allows not limiting your knowledge to the small Armenian market and acquiring international experience.
Being online is a part of communication for us. We’re all always online on Slack.
There’s no gap between managers and the staff in our company.
We give paid internship for 1-2 months. Then we make a job offer.
We have a monthly newsletter, Joomag Times. We share news, upcoming or anticipated changes, and plans via a newsletter. Co-founders prepare reports sometimes to keep everyone updated on the company’s vision, let us know where we are and where we’re going.
Team’s flexibility is ensured both by the founders and the internal procedures.
We have rules in the open space and we put them onto the walls. No one can make noise between 10am to 7pm and the phones should be on silent. We respect each other and don’t disrupt anyone’s work. Of course, sometimes we get distracted, but that’s an integral part of Joomag environment.
Anna Zakoyan, Senior Scrum Master
Communication is very important in Joomag. We openly talk about our projects so everyone knows what everyone is working on.
The tasks are given so that we can finish them without a hurry between 10am to 7pm. The only exception is customer service, which is carried out in shifts.
Any staffer can enter the internal network and choose a day off 2 days beforehand, noting the reason. The department manager receives the request and makes the decision. We have a specific number of such days. It’s also possible, for instance, to work on holidays if you don’t have any plans and then take a different day off.
We have company meetings where we use games to talk what we do well, what our strong points are, what we need to work more on and what we’re failing to do. That helps improve our work.
Ani Margaryan, Talent Specialist
When we put out a vacancy, we do it with the understanding that we get chosen as much as we choose. Therefore, we list the candidate’s duties as clearly as possible.
Salary is negotiable; we don’t say, this is how much we’ll pay you, take it or leave it. We explain our decision and hear what the candidate has to say. We don’t have any set rates, it depends on the person.
What we have is a fixed procedure for salary review, which is done on schedule.
We give presents on our staffers’ work anniversaries, expressing our appreciation of their loyalty.
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan