31 Mar 2020Blog

Remote work stories: Arto Santala

Remote work Santala

We started our company-wide remote working on Friday 13th of March. A #remotework channel was created on Slack, and since then our community has been sharing tips on staying sane and funny stories from their new remote working life. We asked a few of these people to share their stories and their “new normal”.

This is Arto’s story:

What is your role? Which team?

My name is Arto Santala and I am working as a Software Architect in the Development Unit. I also work as a pre-sales architect, helping our customers unleash all the potential that modern technologies can enable.

What are you working on?

Currently I share my time across customer work and internal development. Customer work at the moment includes reliability engineering, as well as raising monitoring and incident response to the next level. A big part of my internal work is making our Dev Blog bigger than ever. Check out @SolitaTech on Twitter too!

What do you love about your job? How long have you worked at Solita?

I love the possibility to dive into different domains every now and then, solve various business problems with tech excellency. I love to stay up to date with what are the best tools of the day. I love being able to apply those tools to solve problems as efficiently as possible. I love interaction with fellow Solitans, as well as, customer teams and other great IT vendors in Finland. There is a great feeling of satisfaction in solving impossible problems, as well as seeing great minds at their best.

I’ve been working in Solita for 5 years, with almost 25 years of experience from software development.

What’s your biggest passion(s)?

Well, work is one – these days, especially the problem-solving part. I enjoy immensely when I can be part of a solution for making the world just a bit better every day.

In my free time I have a family of four, plus two Romanian rescue dogs, Nemi and Kalevi, and plenty of beloved hobbies to keep me busy. I managed to build a little Crossfit gym in my home, so am fortunate to be able to work out while working from home.

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Our dogs are a bit confused but happy to see people around more. They have learned the new rhythm and relaxed enough to be able to sleep with us around.

What’s your most impactful experience at Solita so far?

Typically when I see the result after working on something for a few months, I’ve experienced that many times. I wrote a blog on one impactful experience, making our seas safer and cleaner in our Sea Traffic Management project.

Many of the projects we are working on will have concrete effects on people’s everyday life, including my own. I am very privileged to be part of that work, and it also allows me to make sure future systems and services are more robust, more pleasant to use, and wiser than ever before. A good test for anything I do is: Is it intuitive to use on Monday morning before the first cup of coffee? Is it fun?

What brightens your #remotework day?

I was already pretty well set up for remote working, I tend to try and work one day a week from home to spare the environment, and use the commuting hours for my hobbies. My man-cave is set up for gaming, movies, and work, ergonomics and utilities are already in place.

Now that I work from home full weeks, I don’t have to look far to find the upsides. Seeing and being able to spend more time with my family and our two dogs, while not compromising on the work I do that brightens my day all the time. Our two-and-half year-old daughter with endless supply of energy can be a bit of a challenge to manage right now, but she also brightens up the room every time.

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I also have started to experiment on the flexibility this allows. First week in this new mode I realised that I was moving too little, having too many meetings back-to-back, and days were very heavy and exhausting. Now I’m taking the breaks, using the flexibility, and starting to enjoy work life that wraps around personal rhythm and needs. For example, it’s possible now to go and have a walk with dogs, or workout in the middle of the day. It’s possible to take extended lunch break with family, and then work a bit longer. I still have to be a bit mindful of working too long days, or too long periods without any breaks.

Stay safe & sane people!
– Arto

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