The last two years showed us that efficient work could be done outside our Palas office. The balcony, back yard, terrace, coffee shop, park, and other beautiful places in Romania became a potential workplace. Some of our colleagues shared the experience of working from anywhere in Romania and talked about what flexible working means for them. Damaris, an experienced Centric Team Leader, told us what flexible working looks like for her.
What does work from anywhere in Romania mean for a Centrician?
What does work from anywhere (in Romania) mean for you?
I imagined many times how it would feel to travel the country and work from different cities. It’s still a dream for me since not the entire family has the luxury of choosing where to work from every day. But the garden is not far away, and that’s a usable option until a bigger plan can be made.
What are for you the advantages of flexible working?
The most significant advantage is the feeling of freedom. If I want to meet colleagues and spend my day working with them, I go to the office. I'd instead work at home if I have a crowded day with many things that keep me a bit stressed. I get to decide where to work from, without worrying if I have worked for too many days in a row from home or another place.
What does a workday look like for you?
Every workday starts slow, with a bit of reading, then waking up the kid and taking him to kindergarten. Afterwards, the fun starts with either a fast breakfast when getting home, or a sandwich and live singing in the car through the daily traffic to the office. This is followed by meetings, talks, unplanned discussions with many colleagues, checking the to-do list and trying to check as many items as needed that day.
A day at the office comes with extra benefits: coffee with colleagues, meeting former teammates and having the possibility to get up from the chair and discussing with a colleague an idea that has just popped up. A day at home brings quiet time, and more things checked off my list. Most days end with traveling back home or straight to the back yard where I take care of my vegetables. Others end with outings with colleagues or friends and family.
Do you still go to the office sometimes?
Yes, I go to the office around twice a week. I enjoy doing it, because office life leads to conversations, relationships, experiences with an impact that the online work could not rise to. An online meeting will mostly stick to the main topic, but a face-to-face coffee break with colleagues will lead to various discussion topics and can end up in plans for a barbecue or an evening beer together.
What challenges did you face in working remotely, and how did you overcome them?
I believe that the biggest one is having genuine relationships. Getting to know each other better, having fun together, being able to recognize a bad day for a colleague, these imply much more effort when working remotely. But not all meetings need to be formal. So informal talks, even online, had a good result in overcoming remote work challenges. In addition, diversity in communication means was also a plus: a private talk, a group meeting to discuss plans, a face-to-face games night and a WhatsApp group, they all contribute to keeping a team united.
How do you keep "the human touch" in your team working remotely?
I try not to skip the activities we had the chance to do when being together: birthday presents can be sent to other cities, coffee breaks can happen online, weekend adventures can still be shared and online games can still make a games night fun.