Christina Koivula is a co-founder and COO at Regtech. The idea to start a company together came when Christina and some of her colleagues noticed how well they complemented each other. They also had a clear vision of how to help customers in their digital development and not least; they have fun together.
“Everything turns out better when you have fun, – also at work”, says Christina, who has kept nurturing the notion that Regtech should be a great place to work. The cosy office with its relaxed atmosphere in the centre of Vaasa is inviting, and Christina is happy that her colleagues can once again spend time together at the office.
“After the pandemic, we haven’t really had to resort to any special measures to attract people back to the office, it just kind of happened.”
Christina only sees benefits with physical meetings, especially when it comes to including new colleagues into the work community. Regtech works actively and continuously with team building to integrate new colleagues, and to allow the team in Vaasa to get to know the different contacts within Svea, both in Finland and Sweden.
“A team-building activity is often outside someone’s comfort zone. Still, these are the very moments you become stronger together and get to know one another in a different way than when just sitting around chatting over a cup of coffee.”
Individual strengths are cultivated
By boosting the work community, Regtech also aspires to make each employee feel comfortable enough to test and push both their own and others’ boundaries. In an innovative workplace, it is important to make use of individual strengths, also from people outside the specific project team. A “why don’t you guys do it like this?” question from someone with a slightly different viewpoint may be just what is needed for an idea to fly.
“It’s only the imagination that sets the limits. Both here at Regtech and within Svea, I feel that everyone has the opportunity to shape their own role and project in the direction they want”.
Employee well-being is prioritised
Christina is passionate about the well-being of the staff and their development opportunities. Regtech, for example, has an annual training budget earmarked for each employee that may be used according to the wishes of the individual employee. “And it does not necessarily have to be Java programming or similar; it may just as well be a course in mental strength training”.
Even though Christina herself participates in both the project work and workshops, she does not always have the time to be as active as she would like to be, as she is also responsible for the administration. Still, as a true organiser with a preference for paperwork, she is aware that her strengths are being used in just the right way.
“In addition, over the years I have had the possibility to develop my competence within compliance, an area I find very interesting. In the finance sector, which is inherently international, it is a vital area; our customers often need help to verify that they comply with the right laws and regulations, especially if they operate outside the EU.”
Horses provide a healthy balance
Christina’s two daughters, Kine, 18, och Nova, 12, do not understand how their mother can find office work and flipping papers fun. “Luckily, I happen to like what many others find boring”, Christina says with a smile.
However, another part of Christina’s background can be detected in her older daughter’s study choice, as she is currently attending an equestrian gymnasium in Sweden. Christina comes from a true horse family: “My parents actually met at an equestrian competition, and the family has had horses all my life.”
Working at the stable in her spare time gives Christina the much-needed balance and counterweight to working life. When working with horses, Christina cannot let herself get distracted by thoughts about budgets and GDPR. The stable also takes up almost all of her free time, and with a husband who runs his own business, there is no room for many other leisure activities. Still, the family does try to travel every now and then.
“Preferably to exotic places where 4G doesn’t work – that’s what I call quality time”, Christina concludes with a laugh.