January 2020

Teamwork - Hello to Uppsala!

Animation showing the terms Germany and Sweden alternately

Everyone is talking about it: New Work, Cowork, Remote ... But does it work for us? As a project office, we work in larger and smaller teams that are characterised by intensive collaboration. But how can we maintain this working atmosphere even over long distances? An experiment between Germany and Sweden.

No trust issues

After two years in our Kreuzberg office, our colleague Eva moved with her family to Uppsala in Sweden 🗺 and continues to work for and with us from there in a coworking space. In order for the collaboration to work as it has so far, we needed not only the necessary technical tools like Slack, Confluence and Google, but also a basis of trust and a common understanding of how things should work.

The team therefore sat down together in advance and considered which tasks were suitable and how to plan them well. 🤔💡🎈

Let's talk about it!

New routines, such as regular telephone appointments, were also needed so that we could develop a suitable way of working together on projects with Eva. Sure, we have all kinds of tools that allow direct exchange, but even there it quickly made a difference whether our colleg:in just sits on a different floor, works in a different neighbourhood in a home office or, as now, is about 856 km away from us. "The call across the desk, the short 'hello' at the coffee machine is missing and doesn't always offer the opportunity to pick up on moods and little things," Tobi notes. ✈️ 📢 🧠

»I would recommend continuing a good working relationship regardless of location to anyone who is willing to put in a little more effort. I think more flexible forms of cooperation, even with fixed employment relationships, are super good and important. When it works, it inspires.« - Eva

If this room could talk.

If we ask Eva about the advantages and disadvantages of working in the coworking space every day, she talks about productivity as well as interpersonal issues: she can concentrate better because there is hardly any talking in the room and conversations are rare. The vibe that used to occupy her more intensely in the office is gone. Nevertheless, everyday life can also become a bit monotonous as a result and the feeling of being "left out" with us does sometimes arise - despite all our efforts. 🚪 🚧 💬

Talk the walk.

For all sides, this means always actively engaging in joint exchange. We haven't mastered this perfectly yet, but we are working diligently on it. In order for her to keep track of things in addition to the small team discussions, we invite her to our inter-office Monday meetings. There we give each other updates on current projects and plan or announce changes to our internal processes. 🤷♀️ 📡 🗣

The editor is present.

Eva can't quite do without office life after all and is with us for a few days about once a month. Not least because this also increases the motivation to work together.

Coworking in Sweden? Eva answers our questions:

Is your workspace Swedish or international?

Space is both Swedish and international. But the Swedes are already in the majority. There have been two other Germans and one Austrian so far. Some from the UK and Dutch.

We attach a lot of importance to our lunch break. What does your Swedish lunch look like?

The Swedes' standard lunch is leftovers that they bring with them and heat up in the microwave, or ready-made meals or take-aways, which are then also eaten in the workspace kitchen. People only eat in restaurants on special lunch dates.

And for in between? Is there something like table football or table tennis?

There is a table football table, but it is very rarely used. There is also a chess set, but I haven't seen it in use yet.

Do you work according to German or Swedish holidays?

After Swedish public holidays, but there are exactly the same number of them. Swedes also don't work half the day before big public holidays, without it being officially considered a public holiday. I chose the Swedish holidays mainly because of the school closing times, so that I can then have time off together with the children.

Vi ses, Henkelhiedl!
Hejdå Uppsala.

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