The Inside Scoop At Infogrid

12th Aug 2021

With Infogrid's People & Talent Manager, Max Encke.

If you’re not familiar with it just yet, The Inside Scoop is our latest spotlight feature and a chance to get to know our Flexified partners a little better. During these sessions, we talk to employers about things such as their culture, working environment, approach to flexible working and company benefits (amongst a few other things)!

This week, our Co-founder, Molly Johnson-Jones caught up with Max Encke, People & Talent Manager at Infogrid.

You can read the written interview below or scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the full recorded session.

Tell us what Infogrid does in one sentence

One sentence is hard, but we use IoT (internet of Things) sensors to gather data about buildings, to help them become more sustainable. 

How would you summarise your working environment at Infogrid?

So, we work on what we call “grown up rules”, so we hire people who are great and we give them the space and the respect they need to do their job well, and give them the space to do it how and best they see fit. 

How would you describe Infogrid's culture?

The culture is quite heavily built on transparency; we try to be really open and honest with everyone and that starts at the top, where we’re told a lot more than you would be at most other companies.

We are remote-first as well, which is something we’re always trying to better and find ways to build on that, considering that most of our employees have never met anyone in person. 

But we're very open, honest and transparent. We’re trying to build a super collaborative environment but we’re definitely still on a journey with it, and need to be able to continue doing this while we grow quickly. 

Have Infogrid always been remote first, or did the pandemic influence your level of flexibility?

We have always been remote-first, we did have that benefit before covid.

We were quite small and our first technical team was based in Estonia and then we also had people in London whom we still had very flexible working for, and then over the last year we’ve been hiring all over the UK. So we’re remote first for most of our business, and very remote and flexible-friendly for the rest of the team who are more office-based. 

Could you ever return to an office-only 9-5 environment?

No, I would not!

What are your favourite benefits at Infogrid?

The best one, which is one I know I don’t use as much as I should; many companies give their employees money to spend on personal development, we give people time. So, you can take a day per month for personal development and there’s also “non-work work time” which our technical teams use quite heavily - our non-technical teams use it less but that’s part of our journey to try to figure out the best way for everybody to use that time.

What is your favourite thing about working at Infogrid?

I think a big part is our mission, we’re trying to save the planet! But, we’re also working with super smart people who are trying to drive towards the same goal, so it’s a conjunction of a great project, a great mission but also great people who want to work on the same thing. 

If you could tell prospective employees one thing, what would it be?

We are doing great things here and have a really ambitious mission, but it’s also a super-fast growth environment where there is so much to do. It is hard work, it is that fast-growth, startup environment and it’s not for everyone, but for a lot of people, it‘s super exciting and we’re doing something great.

What does Infogrid look for in new hires?

We certainly look to see if they have the right skills, but beyond the skills we look for ownership. Someone who is wanting to take that ownership, take responsibility for what they’re doing, be proud of what they're doing and not require any micromanagement or heavy guidance. We’re there to support but you’re there to do it yourself. It fits in with our “grown up rules”

How would you, personally, like to be working in 5 years time?

I like the way we’re working right now, which is being able to work in the office when you need to, having that flexibility but being able to work remotely as well. I imagine, when we’re able to travel again we could adapt our environment so that employees can also travel and work overseas for a little bit. 

My partner is from France and in an ideal world, we’d probably work a couple of months of the year from France.

I do, however, think a hybrid approach is important; the amount of time I’ve spent in the office over the last few months, you do get so much value from it. Although you do tend to get less work done and you have to commute, there is a lot of value in in-person interactions. 

Here is the full recorded session if you'd like to watch!
Don't forget to check out Infogrid on our website to find out more about their approach to flexible working!