Chief Wellbeing Officer: Shaping The Office of The Future

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At Macoscope, we put people first. Let’s be frank, without the amazing people making up the staff, we would never be where we are today. About a year ago, when we made the decision to expand the scope of our operations and hire new employees, we’ve already had over 20 people on board. To avoid problems brought on by such rapid growth, we decided that it would be a good idea to have someone on staff keeping an eye on the wellbeing of everyone else. That is why we created a dedicated position of Chief Wellbeing Officer: we needed someone to help us take good care of our team, to keep everything running smoothly behind the scenes, and to drive a culture that has made our team happy to work for us.

Today, over a year later, it turns out that appointing our fellow co-worker Agata to the position of Chief Wellbeing Officer was a great decision. Her hard work has paid off in ways we never anticipated and has made our team stronger and brought us closer than ever before.

Without further ado, here’s Agata herself talking about the position she currently holds at Macoscope, her daily routines and challenges.

Chief Wellbeing Officer: How It All Came About

Well, in my career I have already tried to be an UX designer. That particular role, however, did not fit me all that well. One day, I had to fill out this annual evaluation form that we have here at Macoscope. I put down very honest answers explaining at length what I really enjoy at work and what I totally don’t. At that moment, I admitted that what I really like the most is taking care of the people I am surrounded by, this is something that I want to do and what makes me satisfied. After couple of days, I had a conversation with the company co-founders. We went over my thoughts and the answers I put down, and I guess we all agreed that with the rate the team was growing at, it was getting increasingly difficult to monitor how everyone felt at the office, whether everyone’s needs were taken care of, whether there was anything that we as Macoscope could improve to make their working life better. So I prepared a list of the things I would like to try and take care of, submitted it for approval and that’s the story of how I became Macoscope’s Chief Wellbeing Officer.

A Day in The Life of Chief Wellbeing Officer

Truth be told, there is no daily routine in my position and I’m so very thankful for that. Every one of my days at work is unique. This, in turn, forces me to think outside the box and engage on multiple levels. Looking after a group of over thirty people can be quite the challenge, but frankly, I love it. I feel like my biggest strength is solving problems, finding solutions to real-life problems, so I am trying to harness these abilities to help my fellow employees on a daily basis. Each day, I have a short conversation with the board members, where we discuss what we’ve been doing for the past couple of days or weeks, analyze what went well and what backfired, what can be improved, and we conclude by planning out our next steps. Some days I spend on sorting out things that have been unclear, like, for example conflicting information about billings. If somebody has a problem with openness, I reach out to them and talk. I try to motivate, inspire, suggest solutions. Obviously, every effort of that nature takes place in complete confidence! I also participate in most of the meetings in the company as I want to create some kind of a connection with the people I work with and make them believe I’m here for them, whenever they need it.

I work with others on creating a specific culture, building trust, and effective relationships either between co-workers and co-founders or co-workers involved with the same project. Of course, I don’t consider myself a person who knows everything. Each person here, at Macoscope, is responsible for the final shape of this company, I’m more an ambassador, overseeing and safeguarding the process. Another important thing I’m involved with at Macoscope is onboarding new employees and helping them settle in. Apart from that I do what I can to ensure that everything that we do here bears the imprint of our Core Values #Community #Communication #Growth #Respect.

Additionally, I try to harness my observation skills to develop individual employees’ interpersonal sensitivity. I want to make each employee feel connected to Macoscope and be excited about the work they do here. I want them to focus on developing their strengths rather than weaknesses. Once in awhile I try to measure all these efforts to see whether everything’s going well and to check on the progress the employees feel they are making.

The Hardest Part of the Job

I believe that the hardest part of the job is balancing the need for transparency with the need for privacy. Often I can’t just publicly speak of the things I’m currently working on, because the matters I’m handling are confidential, not in an NDA way, but rather in a person-to-person way. Keeping things private is not the challenging part, naturally — it’s just hard to explain to others sometimes that I simply cannot talk about the things I’m currently involved with. There are some really tough moments, especially when I simply can’t find the right answer or the right solution to a problem and given that it’s my role to have one, that can be a little taxing. That’s why very often I just listen to others, to people who just know more than me. I must admit, however, that I refuse to give up the search for answers and solutions, even in the most trying of times, because the feeling you get afterwards, when the solution you offered worked, you improved the quality of someone’s worklife or even just made their day a little bit better, that feeling is just magnificent. Everyone should try that at least once in their lifetime, seriously.

What It Takes to Be a Chief Wellbeing Officer

My education−I majored in cultural studies−ingrained two really important things into my being: taking a broader view of things and a reluctance to put easy labels on everyone. Those two gifts turned out to be really valuable and, if I may say so, very useful when it comes to dealing with people hailing from completely different backgrounds spending time in the same open space.

The Best Parts of the Job

Definitely the people! Each person brings something special to the table. Our distinct skill sets complement each other, we share our knowledge, and inspire each other. On top of that, I also appreciate the idea of working for clients from around the globe as it opens up new perspectives and expands horizons. Last but not least−our cozy office space and the scent of the magnolias in the garden every spring.

The Requisite Skills for this position

It all depends on the company. In my opinion, however, a CWO needs to have a lot of empathy, has to be a good listener, be very open, and most importantly, has to be able to admit ignorance.

What the Macoscope staff has to say about the Chief Wellbeing Officer:

“She is the perfect team barometer!”

Daniel, Co-founder

“I’ve never met a better observer and negotiator. She often manages to react before a problem really occurs!”

Jarek, Developer

“The keeper of our company values, she also makes sure that communication inside the team stays smooth. Everything simply works well with Agata’s invisible hand”

Zuza, Scrum Master

Like what you read?

Do you like the idea of having a Chief Wellbeing Officer at the office? Would you like to join our team and work with Agata? Check our current openings and join us!

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