Calamari is a cloud-based human resources solution that offers two modules: leave management and clock in/out services. It allows you to plan and track all types of absences, including paid time off, sick leave, and remote work. The app boosts your employees’ productivity by simplifying attendance and leave management. In this interview we heard from Tomasz Majewski, Co-Founder & CTO of Calamari about the benefits they offer and the future of HR specifically with remote work and global teams.
Please describe the story behind Calamari: Where did it start and how has it evolved so far?
In the beginning, there were three of us, each experienced in various IT fields (and more). Today our team consists of 20 people. Our skills are focused on IT and Java but each person in the team is unique and brings value to our company. The development of Calamari is based on changing methods of software development which requires openness and honesty with our clients.
We wanted to create the solution for HR management which:
- is modern and designed to work better and more intuitive than the solutions we’ve known,
- will automate all possible processes to unburden the HR specialists,
- is easy to use for a corporate systems user and doesn’t require a long time to learn how to use it,
- makes all the HR management processes faster,
- is minimalistic, easy to use, and customizable,
- isn’t overloaded with functions, just doing what it should do,
- is leaving, constantly modernized and updated,
- is oriented on the client’s user and tailor-made based on their needs determined based on the conversation with the client.
What can Calamari offer organizations?
The numerous possibilities of the modern employee market bring problems with efficient team management. Especially in the case of a dispersed team (which happens often these days). Calamari helps not only with managing time and absences but can also be a huge help in project planning.
When it comes to periods when the availability of the appropriate staff is essential, Calamari allows them to manage and plan absences the way they won’t collide with planned projects. In times of hyper-competition, it’s a necessary part of a company’s work optimization. Entrepreneurs must be not only highly specialized in their field but also constantly open to new ways of increasing efficiency. Calamari can also help them optimize the time needed to create all the necessary HR documents.
Did you experience any business impacts caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic?
2020 was a hard year and we had to freeze the works on new software but we still can realize our goals. Lockdown was a stressful time with constant accompaniment of uncertainty. Covid-19 Pandemic stunted our growth and we noticed the decreased number of clients.
At the beginning of May, things changed and we slowly got to our feet. We went back to a stable number of clients and the module Calamari Clock In (focused on time tracking) began to gain new customers.
Our team has grown by 6 people and we cross the magical number of 100 countries where Calamari is used. In 2020 we made 56 new releases with new features of our product.
With remote work becoming more permanent, how can Calamari assist organizations in accurately managing their working time?
What is one of the strong sides of Calamari, is the fact that our solution can be useful for the whole organization. That means, it not only helps the HR department in documenting data and creating reports but can be used daily by all the employees to:
- better project planning
- manage their own time during the day based on the availability of coworkers,
- control their day-off limits without involving the HR team,
- control their worked hours, lateness, and overwork,
- record time spent on a given project.
Because of these and many more features that Calamari provides, it’s a great tool for work time management in companies where most of the employees don’t need sophisticated project management tools like Jira or Basecamp. Thanks to our simple project time tracking it’s easier for the managers to give their remote employees the freedom that is needed for them to feel trusted. It also resolves the issue of the employees working for hours, by letting them document the actual time they spent working under a given task.
Access to real-time attendance lists, the company’s vacation calendar, and timesheets allow controlling employees’ working time, detecting abnormalities and abuses which make them easier to define and eliminate.
There has been a massive change in the HR industry in the past decade with the advancements in technology and the rise of artificial intelligence. Are there any trends or technologies that you find particularly interesting?
What we find most interesting in the newest trends are definitely:
- remote work, remote hiring process, and hybrid work – which are interesting as a challenge and as an issue; finding the answers for those issues with the suited tools and processes optimize by today’s reality is what makes us excited;
- constant changes in the user interface to make interacting with the software the easiest, natural, and most efficient in the same tools, following their metamorphosis caused by the reality they exist in;
- connection of many tools and many places where employees data are stored and managing them is another interesting case for us;
- decisions based on data connected to the future, forecasting – also based on HR data and connected to the future of human resources management itself.
Where do you see the future of the HR industry heading?
We think the direction of the HR industry is heading to the point where small entrepreneurs will want to get the comprehensive HR management service remotely. That means they won’t necessarily want to have the HR specialist among their employees but would like to have this opportunity. Fast-growing start-ups will be choosing modern, easy-to-implement solutions.
In the case of a bigger enterprise, they will probably be heading to consolidate small systems into a fewer number of solutions that are easiest to use and the most advanced in the field of online data source systems.
What is more possible, is the disappearance of small accounting offices if they do not adapt with the times and head towards online management tools.