Since March 2021 all of the Learnifier employees work fully remote until we find our new space. Every week we check in with one Learnifier, getting a glimpse into their remote work life and getting their best tips for wellbeing and productivity. This time we interviewed our energetic meeting queen and CCO Marie Forsberg.
Hi Marie, what do you do at Learnifier?
- I am the Chief Commercial Officer.
Exciting. What does it mean and what do you do on a daily basis?
- I usually say that it means I am in charge of creating seamlessness between all of the commercial departments: Sales, Customer Success and Marketing. We are a Scaleup so I am wearing "a lot of different hats right now" as you can say. In my role, most of my week consists of meetings: 1to1 meetings, team meetings, management meetings, partner meetings. All with the aim to bring our company forward and onwards.
Where do you work?
- I mostly work from my home in Hammarby sjöstad in Stockholm. Sometimes I work at a café near me and sometimes I work from different co-working spaces around the city. Learnifier does not have an office at the moment. We gave that up in March 2021 but we will have a new space again at the beginning of next year. Where is not yet decided but we are looking at different options. All I can say is that it will not be your traditional "office". Our working name is "Learnifier Studios" a great space for us to meet and work together and create magic.
"One thing that has been harder when you cannot see your employees physically is to read how they are feeling - mentally or physically. When a sales meeting has gone badly for example you can pick up on that and boost the person. In the digital landscape it is harder."
How did you end up doing what you do and working here at Learnifier?
- I guess I can say all roads have led me to Learnifier. :)
I have worked within SaaS since 2010. My first position was as a Sales representative at Mynewsdesk, a very successful Digital PR platform, where I progressed into account management and then into leading a team. After that, I started working as a Business Unit Manager at utbildning.se, one of the biggest professional training platforms in Sweden and during my time there I came into contact with Mattias Borg, Learnifier’s Co-Founder and CEO. When it was time for me to look for new opportunities our paths crossed and I started at Learnifier and have been here more than three years now.
You lead the commercial team of 15 people. Tell us about leading people who work remotely? Any challenges?
- I am by now an experienced and communicative leader and used to digital communication so in that aspect it was not a major challenge when the pandemic came. One thing though that has been harder when you cannot see your employees physically is to read how they are feeling - mentally or physically. When a sales meeting has gone badly for example you can pick up on that and boost the person. In the digital landscape, it is harder. That is why it is extra important to have regular
"I think the pandemic has really taught us that we are just humans with all its vulnerabilities and at the same time we have seen how all digital aids can work wonders."
What has been great from a leadership perspective?
- It has almost turned out that I feel more connected to the people I lead now which can sound strange. Let me try to explain. When you are physically distanced from each other every week you need to communicate more, give more of your personal self. We are all in the same boat and we need to have good relationships to stay afloat. In order to create those relationships in the digital, you need to be able to speak about more than just activities on the to-do list. You need to dare to be a bit vulnerable and personal. Talk about the challenges and if you need help with anything.
What have you learned that you want to share with other leaders?
- I would say these are my 5 top tips:
1. You need to communicate - a lot. Better to be too clear than unclear. In the remote setting, misunderstandings can easily happen and worry can start to grow.
2. Be available! Answer as fast as you can. Show your team you exist. Use Slack, email, SMS or any channels that work for you and them.
3. Be very clear on expectations and goals
4. Schedule your emails. For example, don’t send lots of emails at night if you work then, it may cause your team to think they may need to reply etc.
5. And last but not least, take care of yourself. Exercise, get outdoors etc.
What is your main Superpower and how has it helped you now during Covid?
- I would say my ability to have lots of projects going on at the same time. If I can add two they would be that I can create a structure where none exists and easily adapt to change.
Are there some personal work challenges you have faced during Corona, aside from leading, and have you overcome them, how?
- One thing I have noticed is that you can get very tired from many digital meetings. I try to have some internal meetings walking and talking sometimes to get outdoors and get some energy.
What good aspects have you found working remotely?
- One good thing as a mom - it is easier to have a work-life balance, puzzle together work and private life. I save time when I do not travel back and forward to an office everyday and it is less stressful to pick up and leave my daughter at preschool. I may start late or finish early and work some time again in the evenings.
What have you learned on a personal level? Advice for others.
- That a pandemic affects us all. Some things feel better than before, some very much worse. However, we have all been forced to learn not to take anything for granted. Anything can happen and it is important to take advantage of what matters most. I think the pandemic has really taught us that we are just humans with all its vulnerabilities and at the same time we have seen how all digital aids can work wonders. So a mix between becoming more primitive and turning inward while letting go of old habits and seeing new opportunities.
How will your dream work situation be in a few months?
- I love the feeling of being in an office together with great people. We left our offices in March 2021 and are now working on finding and decorating our new space which we call Learnifier Studios which will be an open, creative and fun place for everyone in our community. When we have that I will probably be there a lot but not every day.
Interview by: Rebecca Cannerfelt
Learnifier is the leading Learning Platform in the Nordics.
Since 2012 companies and organizations of all sizes use our platform to quickly and easily create and share courses for onboarding and training of employees, customers, partners, members and other groups they want to reach with their knowledge.
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