The Worlkers Introducing Themselves
“Hi I am Katharina,
I am from Linz in Austria
I help companies to create softwares that users love which meets their users’ needs by being a temporary product owner or by conducting user research.”
“And I am Em,
Founder and director of iQuantis, a software development agency here in Bratislava-Slovakia.”
Why did you choose to try Worlk?
I’m always curious to try new things and I really like to explore new places and also to travel and that’s why it sounds perfect to me to try it.
Emmanuel, is remote working part of your company’s culture?
We actually started remote working when we created iQuantis in 2013 because back then Slovakia being an IT-hub, we had to differentiate ourselves from everyone else. So offering remote working possibilities to our employees was the only way to get them in the first place. If the team likes to travel and they like to work from the beach or from the mountains as long as connectivity is there and they’re available, that’s fine with us.
Katharina, what were your expectations for your worlking experience?
To come to a new city and get to know people there, like have a community in the office already and to have a well equipped office so not only the connectivity but also meeting rooms you need for call’s and so on.
Emmanuel, why did you choose to host an employee from another company?
First of all, the worlk idea fits very very well with our remote working strategy, it’s like an extension from what we have been doing from the start so who if not us to try Worlk and see how this can improve the opportunities for employees.
It really met my expectations, I really enjoyed my stay here.
Katharina, after trying Worlk, what would you say are some of the benefits?
It really met my expectations, I really enjoyed my stay here. It was a great opportunity to also get to know a city besides being a tourist and really get first-hand tips on what to see, where to go and so on. I also really enjoyed working in the office with Em and the iQuantis team, we also found some synergies and I was able to attend some of their meetings where they also shared the knowledge with me very generously so it was a benefit both for working and spending my leisure time here.
I think it was great first of all that we could virtually meet before making the decision to Worlk together because it gave us a sense of security to know who is coming.
Emmanuel, after trying Worlk, what would you say are some of the benefits?
If you’re talking about someone incoming, it definitely broadens the horizon of the existing team in a cross disciplinary sense, and maybe also in a cultural sense. I think it was great first of all that we could virtually meet before making the decision to Worlk together because it gave us a sense of security to know who is coming. I found that excellent. And then I think a third party like Worlk is organizing it also gives you a sense of doing it right and I think, I don’t know how you did it but I think it was a great match to have specifically you here instead of someone else. So I think that would be the third benefit of Worlk. To have that matching algorithm, doing a great job in bringing the right people together.
Katharina, how does Worlk compare to home office?
Working also works at home like just looking in your laptop, having calls with your clients, doing your work but the quality of the whole work environment of being inspired by others having some exchange is totally different when you have people around you and that’s something I really discovered I need to have a coffee break with somebody, have people to have lunch with or even discuss current challenges because it makes you more productive, more happy then just sitting there and looking into your laptop and doing your work remotely.
Katharina, did you face any cultural barriers during your Worlk experience?
Luckily everything in the office works in English so I could really get along and I didn’t feel lost or anything. Everyone was very helpful to show me everything I needed and to give advice.
Emmanuel, do you ever worry about team loyalty or productivity?
I think, if I think back 9 years when we started I did worry about that aspect of remote working but if I look at the evidence of what happened during the last 9 years I can’t complain about a lack of loyalty in the team in the contrary I think we have one of highest retention rates in the industry so I really can’t confirm that remote working is having a negative effect on loyalty and trust.
I didn’t see any negative effect on productivity we do time-logging by the minute so we have the comparison between people sitting in the office with us and people working remotely and I didn’t spot any differences there.
What about Productivity?
If you are developing ideas and you are sitting together in a room and there are sparks jumping from person to person, that cannot be replaced by video conference. I guess, I strongly believe in that creative potential of people sitting together in a space. Apart from that if tasks are clearly defined when it comes to software development where execution is the key and there I didn’t see any negative effect on productivity we do time-logging by the minute so we have the comparison between people sitting in the office with us and people working remotely and I didn’t spot any differences there.
Katharina, what advice would you give others regarding remote working?
My advice is just give it a try, it can really broaden your horizon and bring you new experiences and opportunities.
Get your processes right, get your processes in order and give people a structure that makes them feel to belong to the company.
Emmanuel, what advice would you give other companies on remote working?
Get your processes right, get your processes in order and give people a structure that makes them feel to belong to the company even if they work from somewhere else so that they have their daily habits when it comes to work for example could be a morning standup with the team, it could communications channels like on Slack for example you’re creating remote experiences instead of personal experiences and that is very very important and at the end of the day you should still have the one on one personal meetings there we do team building events for example before covid we did it three times a year a spring event, a summer event, and a christmas event where we met for 3 days up to a week in the mountains or at the seaside where people could gather informally but where we would also work together in a meeting room for a week to have that team collision and that teamwork also in the real world.
Katharina, as the world’s first worlker, any advice for future worlkers?
It’s also very exciting for me and I’m very happy that I had the opportunity to try Worlk in that early stage. What I can say or what I can recommend to other worlkers just try it out, just give it a try to broaden your horizon and get new experiences.
Emmanuel, as the world’s first wolking host, any final thoughts?
I think at the beginning it’s always interesting to try something new. I guess when AirBnB came to the market people were a bit skeptical until the first I don’t know 100 people, 1,000 people tried it out and gave their feedback and it became something normal. With remote working before the pandemic people always looking at us from a strange angle. How is it possible, how can you do that. It has become normal now after the pandemic/during the pandemic. And I guess that Worlk is creating a new normal for global nomads, new opportunities to work at different places in a more embedded way, because we were once with a big office provider that gave us a card where we could use offices all around the world, wherever we were for free, that is nice to have but it lacks the personal aspect, the personal aspect of AirBnB where you meet the host and where your trip becomes personal. And I think the comparison between a hotel and an AirBnB is great here because adding the personal aspect to it I think is future proof and it would be a great addition for global nomads to work and travel the world.
Katharina adds: ‘I totally agree with that as well where I think the people really make the difference, it’s not just you sitting at another place but you really have people around who know the place who welcome you and that’s in the end what really makes a difference and what makes a great experience. It’s not just you and your laptop in another city, but it’s much more.