Working at Monzo


(Adam) #1

Hello,

I’m interested to know more about the culture at Monzo.

Is it very much a strict environment or more relaxed in terms of being a start up / tech environment?

What makes it stand out?


(Naji Esiri) #2

Hey Adam,

It’s quite a big question and there are a few bits of content which I think would be really useful in giving you a taster of the Monzo working environment and the values which underpin it.

Check out this Q+A by Maria, our Head of People (who recently left us :disappointed_relieved:) as she answered some really interesting discussion points covering everything from progression frameworks for staff, to tips and advice on our application process.

@Rika wrote about what it’s like to be a new Monzonaut which is a great insight into our onboarding process and what new joiners can expect

@dillonvanauken has done the same on his experiences as a remote worker (all the way in LA). There are a fair few remote workers in the company now and this has presented its own unique set of challenges when it comes to supporting and making sure they feel connected.

For some insights into how speedy internal growth has shaped (and continues to shape) the company culture, check out this talk from our People Operations Manager Tara

There are also two videos coming up which you might find interesting on how we support and promote mindfulness and wellbeing at Monzo in the next month or so - I will post them in here as soon as they are up :slightly_smiling_face:


(Simon B) #3

Hey Adam!

Funnily enough I’m working on some (internal) presentations about Monzo Culture at the moment.

I’ll post up a pretty detailed reply later on tonight :grinning:


(Simon B) #4

OK, so as Naji said, it’s a huge question, therefore I’ll reply mostly to the questions you asked, but may diverge a little.

So I really don’t think anyone would describe Monzo as strict, but that doesn’t mean it’s relaxed either, because most people are under a lot of pressure. We are a rapidly growing company and we have to fight hard on every front - whether it’s product, growth, marketing, operations… everywhere!

So there is pressure, but it’s eased a lot by the fact that our hiring pipeline is very good and that means we know we have very good people here who are intelligent, compassionate and adaptable. It’s fairly key that you understand enough about different areas of the company and how everything works together to be able to have intelligent input outside of your main key area. When we know that you’re the right person, we trust you to do your job and we’ll aim to give you the autonomy to get things done, and you’ll have all the tools you need.

We aim to look after people, support them if there are issues and ensure people have a good work/life balance. Some of that stuff might fall into the stereotypical “tech startup” type of environment - we’ll have beers at the team meeting, we have video games in the office, you don’t have to work at a desk if you don’t want to, you can grab a beanbag or a sofa or hide away in a meeting room if it’s not booked up! Whatever makes you comfortable - the fridges will always have drinks and the environment should always be friendly and pleasant.

We have a huge culture of 1:1’s, which is when you book time with another employee in the company to just hang out and chat, get to know them, go for a coffee, go for a walk, whatever you want. Obviously be aware of everyone’s workload and find something that works for both, but there’s literally nothing to stop you getting in touch with anyone else at the company and suggesting a 1:1 - for example I ensured that I had a 1:1 with Tom, our CEO not long after I started (that might be a little bit more difficult these days and you’d probably have to plan a little bit more in advance since we have so many more staff but it is still very much encouraged).

We are a completely inclusive company where everybody should feel comfortable. To that end, we have both public and private channels for our LGBTQA+ community and we support events like Pride to ensure everyone knows Monzo is an inclusive company for all. This is one of things (at least to me) that makes us stand out - it is one thing to simply say you are inclusive, it is a whole other thing to actively ensure your marginalised people are looked after.

We support everyone’s social interests, we have Monzo sports teams, many staff go to gigs/plays/musicals/events together and we have active channels on Slack for all these things, discussion of TV and movies, gaming, etc

One thing we make clear - we aren’t a family. We’re more like a high functioning professional sports team. So every team member has to carry their weight but also everyone has to do all they can to make sure everyone is comfortable enough to perform. Just like we don’t want you working if you’re sick, we don’t want you to feel the pressure of having to work if you’re having personal problems, if you’re overly stressed, if you’re feeling burned out, or for pretty much any reason at all that makes you feel like you’re unable to do your job. Giving people that autonomy and knowing that we care about your wellbeing means that people don’t abuse the freedom that we give them. If you need to take time off to re-balance, we support that because we have a culture of people that really care about what we’re doing, and I think it’s fairly safe to say that most people here, if not all, go above and beyond the call of duty to help at all times.

It isn’t a clock in and clock out the minute you’re done kind of atmosphere (although if we notice someone is basically working all the time we’ll step in and address their work/life balance proactively). So the fact that we trust everyone to balance their workloads for the most part stops the pressure building up so much. We give our Customer Ops team (COps) something called Non-Interactive Time, which is allotted time that they don’t need to be on frontline support and can work on other projects. This can be time to learn, time to come up with project ideas, or many other things from helping out here on the forum, delving in to a specialist skill, helping the user testing team with testing new upcoming features and looking for bugs, or doing something like going through Confluence (our knowledge base) and updating out-dated procedures and making sure all information is helpful and accurate!

Does that help answer your question? :grinning:


#5

Thanks for this @simonb

Sounds like my idea of hell :slight_smile:


(Simon B) #6

For me - being here is the happiest I’ve ever been in any job.

Why doesn’t it sound good to you?


#7

I was thinking of the autistics and the antisocial…

You also mention the work/life balance.
Some friends of mine in startups basically make their work environment their life - friends, relationships, free time all become part of the job.

Even “work” holidays - yuck!

Diversity requires diverse environments, no?


#8

The autistics?

People on the autistic spectrum all have different needs and requirements. Some would want quiet space but some would be fine if surrounded by people with similar interests


(Simon B) #9

I don’t want to speak for anyone else but I believe we have people who consider themselves to be antisocial and/or on the spectrum in different ways, and we certainly don’t force anyone to participate in social activities - apologies if I made it seem otherwise!

Likewise, we definitely have people who like to socialise with each other outside of work, and others who don’t, whether that be down to not wanting the lines to be blurred, or it not being practical, or any other reason.


(Hugh Wells) #10

Me! :slight_smile:
I really didn’t want to join in the team conference calls before my shift, but now I really enjoy being a part of them.
I’ve not been on any socials yet, but I know that from my vague socialisations in the office with people there are loads of people I’d be more than happy to spend an evening with :blush:


#11

and some may like noise some times but other times find even a small bit of noise stressful. However from the comments on using meeting rooms, sitting on bean bags etc, it seems they are very flexible and look like they adaptable for those who require it.


#12

You are right, I was thinking of specific examples.


#13

It’s the way that a company can become the centre of life that I find so weird.

Is Monzo run by Quakers? Is it the new Saltaire?
Surely not


#14

The address alone would rule it out for quite a lot of people (types)


(Simon B) #15

I don’t think that’s unique to Monzo, or even startups.

I used to work at the BBC and it was common there especially in some areas and teams.

It is massively prevalent at companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft. I have family and friends at Google and have spent a lot of time in Mountain View at the Googleplex, you can even get haircuts and see doctors on the premises, some people rarely leave.

Not making a judgment call on that - for many people their work and social life is the same thing, and I don’t personally think there’s anything wrong with that - it’s their choice, after all.


(Adam) #16

Hiya! Thanks for the replies. I’ll reply to them soon.

In terms of adding to my post. My questions are around the culture of certain departments - I’ve worked in a Customer Ops type role in the past, and I’ve found that Customer Service teams seem to be less flexible in terms of time, more centric in the control of staff in terms of quality, efficiency and perfirmance etc.

Unless Monzo Cops are different as they’re not actually speaking over a phone?