Work-Life Balance: VOKI Games Team on Work, Priorities, and Rest

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Productivity and the ability to rest are closely related. Some people know this, but they still try to set their lives at a frantic pace and replace rest with another cup of espresso. It is important to stop, rest, and replenish strength to avoid losing inspiration and interest in your favorite business. But when you work for pleasure, it can be difficult to stop in time 😉

Burn, but don’t burn out

We asked people from the VOKI Games team how they maintain their resource state, be productive, and not forget about breaks despite their passion for work. Today they will share their experience and talk about what helps them personally.

Work-Life Balance: VOKI Games Team on Work, Priorities, and Rest Image 1

Masha Zadorozhnaya, HR Director

My working day is full of communication, meetings, talking in chats, and the emotions of different people. Multitasking, quickly switching from topic to topic, and mental clarity is important here. It’s essential to maintain a balance and replenish internal resources.

I try to stick to the schedule and plan to distribute the load evenly throughout the week. And when I work in an intensive mode for a long time, I take a mini-vacation for 3-4 days. Then I disconnect from work chats, minimize phone use, and redirect attention to hobbies, my close people, and entertainment.

I noticed that after a weekend like that, complex tasks no longer seem so unsolvable, and it’s easier to prioritize and come up with non-standard solutions.

I also like to play games, meditate to calm down and refresh my perception, and cook something special to show love to myself and my family. A good book and an interesting film or music always fill my life with new emotions, refresh feelings, and make it possible to return to work full of energy.

Work-Life Balance: VOKI Games Team on Work, Priorities, and Rest Image 2Sasha Grinevich, Head of Feature, GUI & Community Department

Most of the time, I work with the team, set tasks, and give feedback. And it brings me great joy when it’s possible to help reveal the talent and help our people show better results. Their response and the joy of making another achievement is a great pleasure for me! I spend my energy surrounded by people, restoring it in a calm, solitary environment. In this way, I keep myself in a resourceful state to charge the team with positivity.

I try to keep my life harmonious and focus on other areas of life, too: contact with family, fitness, tennis, and my hobbies. For example, recently, I decided to collect art and bought a few small paintings from a promising artist. After all, only a harmoniously developed personality with a healthy blush on the face can be happy and competitive in our dynamic time.

And, of course, it’s important to stick to the schedule to stay fit in quarantine! This is the main thing that guides me, so my brain doesn’t blow up from the flow of tasks in Asana. You just need to sit down and make yourself a schedule for the next three months, in which you clearly set aside hours for work and rest. Although I don’t always plan weekends – I leave room for sudden parties or quiet sofa evenings – it all depends on my mood.

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Zhenya Chuvychin, Lead Game Designer

The first and probably the main rule is to love and appreciate your work. No matter what you do, you should do it honestly, with quality and love. Then the process itself will energize you. Work when you work, and rest when you rest. If you don’t like what you’re doing, look for ways to change it, and don’t expect the change to happen right away.

Of course, you can’t do without urgent tasks and deadlines, but if it all turns into a routine, I try to stop and reflect. Then I organize my processes and plans and update them to work best for the situation.

There are two types of life situations those we can change and those that we can’t. If I can change something, I do so. If I can’t (hello, coronavirus) I reconsider my attitude to this situation and try to make feasible changes in my life.

My personal way of resting is the road. It helps me slow down my thoughts and reflect. Traveling, walking, jogging, or simply entering that state of flow while listening to music. Well, yes, I also drink coffee.

I try to keep a balance, but so far, I’m a weak practitioner in distinguishing between work and life. I’m writing this post in the evening after work. But with music!

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Vera Boroday, Lead QA

I am a lark, but I envy owls. Sometimes I want to sleep for a very, very long time and not get up with the first rays of the sun. Now it’s comfortable for me to work from 8:00 to 17:00, taking small breaks of 5-10 minutes every hour. So I give a rest to my eyes, my head. After this mini-break, it’s easier for me to concentrate. I usually get out into the fresh air in the afternoon.

For me, recreation is time spent with my family and traveling. While resting, I try not to think about work, but of course, I keep in touch with my employees.

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Katya Pryadko, People Partner

I’m lucky. I love Mondays no less than Fridays, and I hope I can make everyone at VOKI feel this way. And the main component that helps me enjoy the beginning of a working day is a good ending to the previous one. It’s simple with weekends Saturday and Sunday are for yourself, family, and friends. When you have a good rest, you just can’t think about work.

Ending the working day after eight hours of work is more difficult. The main part of my work is communication with employees. Toward the end of the working day, there’s time for strategic tasks that eat up a lot of time and energy.

I know well the negative effects of overworking, and several tricks help me get rid of them:

  1. Task list. In the morning, I plan the tasks for the day with the time it takes to complete them, leaving some time for unplanned tasks. It’s much easier to end your work day by looking at checkboxes.
  2. Alarm. This technique helped me in the first month of quarantine. When the boundaries of home and work blurred and life happened in one room, it became more difficult to switch. I started setting my alarm for the end of the working day and 30 minutes after. This helped to draw attention to the fact that it was time to rest.
  3. Leisure planning. The best tool for me is planning for the evening. Most often, after work, I have some activities planned. Studying, sports, meeting friends or watching a movie. If I know I have to be on the other side of the city at 7 PM, I need to finish work at six.

Of course, it’s not always easy. The working day can be stretched out from the desire to sit on something for “another half hour.” Sometimes you just want to turn off the alarm clock to avoid losing inspiration. There were days I was late for evening activities because a meeting took much more time than we had planned. Those cases are rare exceptions, and each day, in addition to work, I manage to “prefix life.”

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Ira Kostrubina, Technical Designer

I like games. All my current life is connected with them. I play PC, mobile, desktop, urban, and polygon RPG games, and I even work for a company that makes games!

I’m not sure if I could work for a long time and with pleasure on a project not related to gaming because it’s a constant source of inspiration for me. 

I’m totally happy with my work and my department. It would seem that we simply put together the scenes according to the script. But, in fact, we are the first to see how the history of our characters comes to life.

I really care about the fate of the characters and the project as a whole. The story of Carl, Elizabeth, and the rest does not stand still, and I, as a player, wonder what will happen next. Maybe that is why there is no feeling of boredom, satiety, or monotony.

As for the daily routine, it hasn’t changed after the transition to remote during quarantine. But some clear planning is, alas, not about me. I rarely have breakfast and usually take a lunch break when I feel hungry. For the most part, I just do tasks one after another. If there’s nothing extra urgent, I can take an hour-long break, but I always try to finish the existing tasks by the evening.

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Mila Duchak, Community Manager

I separate work and personal time this is my number one rule! I try to devote a few hours before work to myself and the whole evening to my favorite rituals and activities. Those are yoga, running, cooking, reading, watching movies, and drawing a lot of stuff! It’s important to schedule an activity to avoid getting stuck on the couch with Netflix.

I like to have my breaks, 3-4 days off once a quarter. It’s a good idea to get out somewhere and change the environment it’s a nice way to relax without getting out of the working rhythm. This year, I had to cancel my flights to other countries three times, but even that didn’t stop me from arranging such escapes.

In quarantine, I stick to the same schedule every day, and when I feel like I’ve been sitting too long, I go out for a short walk in the park or move to another room. Fresh air, greenery, and silence calm me down, and I work faster when I get back to my tasks!

I’m happy that “work-life balance” is not just an empty phrase in our company but one of the important principles.

If you share our philosophy and views and dream of working on successful game development projects with fantastic people, then check out our Vacancies section.