It's #goodtobeback...

... with trainee Jalal!

Trainee Jalal tells us today about his first glimpse back in the office:

How did you feel when you walked back into the office?

I'm overjoyed to be back in the office!

How many colleagues have you met so far?

I've already run into about seven colleagues.

What have you missed the most and what do you miss from WORKING FROM HOME?

I definitely missed my colleagues and the nice atmosphere here in the office. What I miss from WORKING FROM HOME is my couch!

How are the meetings going?

It works out quite well, even if not everyone always dares to turn on the camera.

Despite the changes, do you still have a sense of togetherness with your team and colleagues?

The feeling of togetherness has not changed in any way.

What do you think of the ESSZIMMER TO GO?

I really like the concept, especially the reusable packaging. The food still tastes super delicious!

Where does the coffee taste best?

Coffee in the office is simply the best way to start the day.

Are you Team Sweatpants or Team Business?

I am Team Business!

Thank you very much, Jalal!

... with Phil Emery!

This time with Phil Emery!

How did you feel when you entered the office again?

I noticed how quiet it was.  There weren't many PAYBACK colleagues around but it's good to be back!

How many colleagues have you met so far?

Maybe 10-15 but like I said, I haven't seen many PAYBACK colleagues. I am currently working with one more colleague. 

What have you missed the most and what do you miss from WORKING FROM HOME?

I missed the separation in my workday, and I miss the banter in the office and the conversations between door to door. Communication is so important. 

How are the meetings working out?

We've gotten used to a life of phone/video calls now. I still don't think they're as productive as face-to-face meetings, but we've gotten better. The upside is that people are more punctual to meetings because they're not far away. The downside is that you don't have as much time between meetings when you change rooms. This has always helped me clear my head for the next meeting. 

Was it or is it a challenge for you to separate your personal and professional life?

I don't think it is a challenge but it certainly wasn't good for my mental health. The first few days were not easy, being in the same place all the time with no physical interactions with other people. We used to joke about what day of the week it is, for example. Oh, today is garbage day. Then we knew it was Friday.

What do you think of the ESSZIMMER TO GO?

Great! I'm tired of cooking for myself. I'm so happy to have a cafeteria again.

Where does the coffee taste best?

It's certainly cheaper at the office. At home, I get rid of at least one pack of Dallmayr a week!

Are you Team Sweatpants or Team Business?

A mixture of both. Depending on where I am and what kind of meeting it is. 

Could you imagine doing an Instagram take-over one day?

When it's a bit more exciting again, I'd love to! Right now it would be a bit boring with just 25% in the office.

Thanks so much Phil!

... with Andrea Baumann!

Andrea told us about her first glimpses back at the office:

How did you feel when you walked back into the office?

For me, it felt like I was back home!

How many colleagues have you met so far?

Since I've only been back for two weeks, there have been about five colleagues so far.

What have you missed the most and what do you miss from WORKING FROM HOME?

The separation between work and personal life is something I miss a lot. I also miss having my own desk!

How are meetings working out for you?

So far I haven't had any problems, everything is going very well.  But it might get more difficult over time, since I work in an open-plan area.

Despite the changes, do you still have a sense of belonging in terms of your team and colleagues?

As far as a sense of togetherness, I have no worries. The cooperation with my team and other colleagues still works very well.

What do you think of the ESSZIMMER TO GO?

I think it's great! For me, it's even an advantage when there are only two dishes on offer, because I can decide more quickly.

Where does the coffee taste best?

I have to admit, I've already missed the coffee in the office!

Are you team sweatpants or team business?

Team jeans at the office and team sweatpants at home!

Could you imagine doing an Instagram take-over one day?


Thank you so much, Andrea!

... with the Mobile Team!

This time we did an in-depth interview with Manu Bogner, Michi Eichhorn and Mark Engelfried.

How do you get to the office?

Manu: I come to the office by bike as often as I can.

Michi: I usually go by car, but when the weather is nice and especially in the summer, I like to go by bike!

Mark: I always ride my bike in the summer. It only takes 15 minutes and I miss those minutes when I'm WORKING FROM HOME, because it always clears my head!

How does it feel for you to be back in the office?

Manu: Feels good to be able / allowed to go back to the office every now and then. And at the same time a bit like Saturday or Sunday - the corridors are quite empty then. But it's nice to meet familiar faces and exchange ideas.

Mark: Not yet like before, because the opportunities for informal exchange are unfortunately still very limited. Nevertheless, I'm always happy about every colleague I meet on site!

What advantages / disadvantages do you see in working in the office?

Michi: Working in the office is at least in parts less efficient: There is the daily commute. It's more difficult to withdraw and concentrate on a topic undisturbed for a longer period of time. And I notice that meetings in the office are much less disciplined than comparable video meetings (key words: punctuality, letting the other person finish). On the other hand, I miss exactly this hustle and bustle in the office, the personal contact with colleagues, informal conversations, the quick clarification of a question on demand, etc. - all this has a great value for me, which is lost in the WFH/WFO.

Mark: The advantage is clearly the very direct and personal exchange, even with colleagues with whom you don't have a regular appointment every day. This is precisely what is missing when working from home. The disadvantages of working in the office are, for example, the loss of time when you have to rush from one meeting room to another, and you also have to find a free meeting room in the first place for on-site meetings, which is not the case with digital meetings. ;)

Have you already found your optimal rhythm in WFH and WFO, any recommendations?  

Manu: I still work from home a lot, I'm in the office every two or three weeks. This works quite well for me - but in the end everyone has to decide for themselves, life situations are very different. Currently, it's more the 'variety' that draws me to the office - the projects / work I could just as well do from home.

Michi: I see it more as a dynamic process. For now, I have a rhythm that I feel comfortable with. 4 days WFH. 1 day in the office to then also consciously date colleagues.

Mark: No, I don't think so, I would still like to have a lot more exchange with colleagues in the office than is currently the case!

What would the optimal #newwork look like for you now in Corona times?

Manu: It's all in the mix. I think we should use the opportunity to incorporate a lot of what we are currently learning in daily operations into the new work: For me, the office of the future means above all 'collaborative work' and not sitting in front of a computer (I can do that at home). And then, in the medium term, offices will probably also have to change and will look different. In the long term, the company will probably also save space and money on rent. Of course, it is clear that productivity must not decline. But I wouldn't assume that - I rather believe that this motivates employees. And what exactly the right ratio between WFO and WFH looks like in percentage terms - that depends very much on the job in question and I think that should also be considered individually - the important thing is that it is lived.

Michi: I think we currently have a good model for the company. There is the possibility to go back to the office and to use the infrastructure - including our great canteen - that is really a great offer. But at the same time, there is no compulsion until the end of the year, so everyone can design their #newwork individually for themselves, according to their current situation and well-being. What's exciting for me is how we will shape our everyday working life in a post-Corona era - how we will merge the positive experiences from WFH/WFO with the benefits of working in the office. Finding a good balance there is my desire and I think an opportunity for all of us.

Mark: In this context, I was extremely impressed by the concrete announcement from Siemens, for example, who have already communicated that mobile working will be a core element in the "new normal" and that this means concretely that all employees will work mobile 2-3 days per week and that this will be supplemented by time in the office.

What are you doing in the team to keep your #PAYBACKSPIRIT even over Webex / at a distance?

Manu: We have a 'Monday Motivation Call' every Monday with the department to groove in towards the week. And every Tuesday / Thursday as a team (smaller group) stand-up calls. That works very well.

Michi: The regularity of our daily routines creates a certain closeness and transparency for everyone. In addition, we have also met privately for a virtual after-work drink - Webex also works quite well for this ;)

Mark: A daily, in which we also talk a lot about personal and non-technical topics! In addition, we've already been out together again in the evenings.

What do you think of the ESSZIMMER TO GO?

Manu: Great service. And top quality. Maybe I should bring my Tupperware, it's already a lot of garbage that you produce there.

Michi: This is really a great offer, which I appreciate very much. The food also tastes great "TO GO", the kitchen crew is always in a great mood and spreads good vibes - and then, of course, it's also a great opportunity to eat together with colleagues outdoors and to go for a spin around the block in the old habit - with the necessary distance, of course ;)

Mark: The process works great. But here, too, I miss the daily hustle and bustle and the controlled chaos that usually reigns in the dining room!

Where does the coffee taste best?

Manu: At the Onofrio! J Of course, the 'Hilde machine' in the dining room is also awesome - it's just totally out of my routine, I guess it's my own fault.

Michi: I'm not a big coffee expert - I like to drink everywhere, as long as I'm in nice company.

Mark: At Café Colombo on Ganghoferstraße.

Any ideas on how to make the WFO even better?

Manu: No, I think it's super organized.

Michi: You can hardly do anything better - I am very satisfied with the solution.

Mark: Under the current conditions I find it super organized! I wish that soon at least small meetings are possible again without major restrictions.

Thank you three for the interesting interview!

... with Laura Bauer!

This time we interviewed Laura Bauer, Junior Marketing Manager Print. Have fun reading! 

How do you get to the office?

I usually ride my bike, I still try to avoid the bus.

How does it feel to be back in the office?

It's a bit lonely sometimes. You really miss your colleagues - even if it's just a quick chat in the kitchen.

What advantages / disadvantages do you see in working in the office?

A big advantage for me is that I can print in the office, which I still have to do very often for my work. Disadvantages are of course that you have to think about the mask all the time.

Have you already found the optimal rhythm for you between WFH and WFO, any recommendations?  

I make sure I get to the office one day every week or two. I especially like to go on a Monday, that's a great way to get into the work week.

What would the optimal #newwork look like for you now in Corona times?

I'm actually a big fan of the WFA, of course I miss meeting people outside of the team, but I still find that I work even more productively in parts.

What have you missed the most, what do you miss in WORKING FROM OFFICE/ WORKING FROM HOME?

Definitely: the contact with colleagues, the coffee and lunch dates.

What do you do in the team to keep your #PAYBACKSPIRIT even over Webex / at a distance?

We have a short daily every morning where we talk about current topics and what's coming up that day. If time allows, we also have a short daily in the afternoon where we just chat a bit.

What do you think of the ESSZIMMER TO GO?

I think it works great. The food is great as usual, THANK YOU to the kitchen team!

Where does the coffee taste best?

Definitely at home, the coffee in the office can not so much 

What is your favorite place to store around the office? #supportyourlocals

I like to go to Onofrio... the coffee is great there and the short walk is good too

Ideas on how to make the WFO even better?

I think the arrangement as it currently is, i.e. WFO as an option and not a requirement is great!

Thanks a lot Laura!