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Leading with Kindness: Meet Stockholm Office Manager Annie Jacob

Published By Ryan Walton
Leading with Kindness: Meet Stockholm Office Manager Annie Jacob

Incredibly talented and friendly workers from all over the world get their best work done at Planview, no matter where they log in from or what their job function is. From Austin, Texas, to Stockholm, Sweden, to Bangalore, India, our employees work together to get amazing results.

Meet Annie Jacob, Office Manager at Planview’s Stockholm, Sweden office. In 2024, she’ll hit an impressive benchmark as she begins her fifth year working at Planview. We asked her a series of questions about her day and what she loves about her job. Here’s what she had to say:

Explain your role as an Office Manager at Planview and a few of your responsibilities.

As the Office Manager, it is my job to take care of the office. This includes looking after the environment of the workplace in terms of security and safety, organizing team lunches and parties, and helping everyone in general. I also have the incredibly important task of maintaining the office Nespresso machine… the office would fall apart without it! 

I like to think of myself as a caregiver for the office and the people because my position allows me the opportunity to check in with colleagues. But I also have to do all the “boring” stuff, too — making sure all of our machines are working properly, keeping the office clean, receiving deliveries, managing bills and invoices, and communicating with remote workers from other countries in Europe. Many of these documents are in other languages, so Google Translate has become a close friend! 

As the Office Manager, what type of meetings do you prepare for, and who do you typically collaborate with?

My day-to-day tasks do not require a lot of meetings. However, I do hold a lot of responsibility when All Hands (company-wide) meetings occur. The Stockholm office is a “hub” for Europe, so I coordinate conference rooms & lunches for workshops and meeting held here. Our teams from Sweden, Germany, UK, and France all meet up here and it’s great to be able to work with teams from all over. It is my job to remind people in the office that it’s coming up and to prepare food and anything else needed for the meeting. There are also smaller meetings, like check-ins for Women of Planview and similar employee groups that need additional assistance.

I work very closely with our IT department because they set up everything for all of the meetings I help organize. Of course, I also work with my manager on office-related tasks and projects.

Tell us about your career journey to date.

Initially, I always wanted to be a teacher when I was in Singapore, where I grew up. I started with relief teaching and then transitioned into hotel work. This naturally moved into administrative work. Long story short, for 10 years in Sweden I’ve worked for embassies from three different continents — and I learned a lot in diplomatic administrative work. I’ve had a wide spectrum of experiences over the years, and I’m loving being at Planview now.

Are there any experiences in your life that you feel contributed to your professional success?

There were constant themes vs. specific experiences. I learned so much from my career journey, and at each place, the biggest things that contributed to my success were kindness, honesty, and empathy for others.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your career?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re stuck, and enjoy the journey as you learn how to get unstuck. Life is too precious to stress about things that you cannot control.

What motivates you while working?

Two things: my colleagues in the Stockholm office and my drive to give my best in all that I do.

Tell us what you love about the Stockholm team.

As an office manager, I don’t have a team — it’s just me and my manager. With that being said, in some ways, I have an extended team outside of my department because I can talk to and help so many Planview employees. 

My favorite is socializing with the Stockholm team during our fikas, or coffee breaks, with delicious treats and fresh fruits. It’s a great way to know what everyone else is doing at work and for fun in their personal lives. 

What makes your team so effective?

Our success and collaboration consist of two traits: flexibility and helpfulness. Since I’m the only person at our reception desk in addition to being an office manager, I’m away from the desk often. Doing many tasks by myself comes naturally and I only ask for help when necessary. I feel comfortable asking for assistance because the team here will jump in and help me and remain flexible. 

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Think before you speak!

How is Planview different from other companies you’ve worked for?

Planview is very generous with benefits and understands that the well-being of the employees contributes to the company’s success. For example, when we were in the middle of the pandemic and everyone was working from home, Planview supported an app to measure fitness and encourage employees to take breaks and prioritize their health. That app did such a great job at boosting my health and morale.

Plus, the senior leaders are quite transparent and easy to talk to. I come from a much stricter culture, so the transparency and casual atmosphere were surprising, but welcome. 

Planview has a set of Five “Core Values.” Do any of them particularly resonate with you?

My favorite core value is: “We do the right thing.” 

Growing up in Singapore and Asian culture, I was brought up with discipline and respect for authorities, which made me a very structured person. For me, doing the right thing and going the extra mile defines who I am.

From your perspective, why is Planview a great place to work?

The people here are so friendly and accepting. Management is accountable for their goals and tasks. Plus, the benefits like health care programs and fitness allowances are great and help me maintain my love for exercise.

How do you manage your work/life balance?

When I leave the office, I try to leave my work there, where it belongs. I always remember that I’m valuable to my family, and that comes first in my life. That helps me prioritize the right things. 

I also like to exercise as a way to maintain a routine and lower stress. Growing up, I used to be an athlete, and I love to help other people find ways to integrate even five to ten minutes of movement into their days — especially first-time moms.

For fun, how do you rewind when you are off the clock?

I love spending time with my daughter. It doesn’t matter how — going to the gym, walking outside together, binging Netflix, or watching movies!

Annie Jacob and her daughter.

Does Planview sound like a good fit?

Interested in joining a helpful, flexible team? Check out Planview’s current job openings across the globe here

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Written by Ryan Walton

Ryan is Planview’s Social Media Manager and has over 17 years of experience in communication and community building. He’s a huge San Francisco Giants fan, dad joke extraordinaire and loves 90's rom-coms. He lives in Northern California with his two children.