One of the things that drew him to the role was the company’s culture of humanity, he said, which is especially important to him at time when companies like Basecamp have recently made policies about separating work and life. As that first month of remote work stretched into more than a year, that human-centered aspect has become even more important, he said.
“We spend a lot of time at work and with the pandemic, we all had the opportunity to see each other as humans,” he said. “I’m a CTO, but my 4-year-old joins me in most meetings. It’s been important to see each other as humans who do work.”
Gujral was coming to the role from the nonprofit space at Benefits Data Trust, and bringing with him experience from the startup world, as CTO of Sidecar. He said his current role at the small, product-oriented team is a nice mix and balance of past experiences.
When Gujral joined last year, the company was entering a period of growth. The engineering and design team was about 18 employees then, and now the team has grown to about 26 people, the CTO said. And that number will likely continue to grow as the year goes on, potentially to 30 or so employees, as the company builds out its engineering, design and product teams. Total the company stands at about 60 employees. (Check out its currently open roles.)
“We don’t want to lose all the goodness you have with a small team, but we do want to set up for a growth period,” he said.
While the company has nearly doubled in size in the last few years, leadership wants to maintain the culture they’ve crafted. That will include employees having a choice in their “heading back to the office” plans, maintaining the remote-friendly culture that existed before the pandemic and being selective about each new hire. It also means promoting trust and vulnerability at work, when other orgs might shy away from it.
“Any team is built on trust and trust is based in being vulnerable,” Gujral said. “And that can’t be achieved without bringing your whole self to work. How are you forming those meaningful relationships, whether it’s with customers or internally, without being vulnerable?”-30-