Did someone say 'international'?
Hamburg, Berlin, Madrid - these are our codafish locations. Three global cities that automatically conjure up a variety of attributes in the mind. They are international, vibrant and in step with the times. Picture codafish in the hottest skyscraper offices, dominating IT.
Awesome idea, isn’t it? But before we daydream our way into a glazed high-rise in Madrid’s city center (because let’s face it, if we had a choice – we’d always opt to spend our time chasing the sun in Spain), the blinking of a router can be glimpsed from afar. Much like the green light in “The Great Gatsby,” it glows faintly, registering life in the distance. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Madrid to get there. There, in the village of Cercedilla, the source of this glow is to be found in Arturo’s internet signal, as he sits in front of the computer in his house. Where’s the connection here? It’s quite simple: Arturo Fernandez Knieling is part of the codafish team working as a web developer and shatters the notion of skyscraper offices. And that’s not a bad thing, because he doesn’t really need them anyway – he works according to the New Work model.
Work in 2023: the New Work model
For many people, the term “New Work” has yet to become part of the everyday workplace vernacular. That’s because, if anything, when pronounced, you first confidently say “Newark” before actually realizing that you’re not actually talking about New Jersey’s largest city! But speaking of getting mixed up… It can happen pretty quickly in the world of distance working, especially since the recent Corona pandemic. First home working, then remote work, now Newark – what next!? In fact, the road out of the definition jungle is not that complicated (so please feel free to drop the pen-machete!). The thing that differentiates home-based working from remote working is the location component. While home-based working – as the name suggests – takes place within one’s own walls, remote work opens up the possibility of location-dependent working. Put simply: where there’s a power socket and an internet connection, there’s an office! By and large, these ways of working can be categorized under the umbrella term of “New Work”. This is because it encompasses all the developments and measures that are relevant to the modern world of work of the 21st century and that focus on employee-oriented goal management: Meaningfulness, freedom and independence in everyday working life. 8am-5pm with time clock at a fixed office location? Scratch that. Overtime reduction for doctor’s appointments? Not in 2023. After all, if there’s one thing workers have come to realize in the past pandemic-ridden years, it’s this: there is another way. And how! Arturo can describe this best with his work model.
2020 or: when new paths in life emerge from a standstill
In 2020, when everything was supposed to be different and unexpectedly became so, the change in Arturo’s life also began. As a result of the lockdown in Madrid, he moved to the house in Cercedilla, which was owned by the family but had not been occupied until then. And if you type the village into Google Image Search, you can understand why he took this step. The picturesque surroundings full of forests, mountains and typical Spanish architecture – yes, if the opportunity had been within reach, we’d all have done the same as Arturo. But maybe for only 10-14 days. Well, OK. Maybe for a couple of weeks longer. After all, living here in the midst of nature, you can find yourself, maybe even finally bake a banana bread… Oh okay, maybe three, to four months here would do it. After that though, it would have been over. But not for Arturo. He decided to stay and take up the farming life. Why? Thanks to the lucky coincidence of having found a new job in the codafish team starting this summer. After all, you cannot live on country air and love alone!
Which came first – the egg or the video call?
Just imagine Cercedilla, penetrating deeper into the forest, moving away from the main road for about 1 km, and there you are, in la casa de Knieling. Together with chickens and cats (yeah, that’s really how it is!) Arturo has found his favorite place here surrounded by unspoiled nature – and with a very good internet connection. The combination of the two makes for an everyday life of unlimited possibilities. And it quickly also cleared the way of skeptics of remote working: sleeping late, doing the housework on the side, taking little breaks. That’s no way to work! This is where we like to get out our trusted cleaning mop and remove the inch-thick dust from these old clichés. Because you can hardly believe it: remote working is – as the name also suggests – work. And it’s not going to take care of itself. So Arturo doesn’t treat himself to five snoozes of his alarm clock but starts the day with a structured routine. First coffee, then feeding the chickens, and finally booting up his computer to get to his to do’s at 9am sharp, on assignment for codafish – team briefing, making client phone calls, developing. Though he can also work flexitime, a fixed working time is something that is important to him, so that he can devote himself to the sport or music he enjoys after the 6pm finish. A walk through the forest is often on his list of things to do. This is exactly what new work creates – the balance of work and life in one place. Letting the computer just be a computer and keeping moving, that’s the optimal combination. Being able to wander into a forest and play music so loudly that it doesn’t upset the neighbors – that’s the perfect symbiosis that Arturo has realized for himself.
New Work as a perfect solution for everyone – a critical look through rose-tinted glasses
Now, before you disconnect your office time clock chip from your keychain, throw it out the window, and loudly proclaim: ‘New Work? I want that too, I’ve SO arrived in the 21st century’ – stop and pause for a moment. For although it is digital and flexible, New Work is first and foremost another thing, that is, it’s different. And to find out how to evaluate the model for yourself, it is, as always, important to look at all aspects in order to make a decision in the end. One thing that plays a fundamental role in this is the process of self-discovery. Do I have to work that flexibly? Can I succeed in working in a focused manner at my preferred location? And above all: am I someone who can work without colleagues around me? Because let’s face it – while it can be stressful when someone barges into your office uninvited, somehow, exchanging ideas with colleagues, whether it’s over lunch or in the kitchen getting coffee, is part of the package. And it is not unusual for true friendships to develop from initial office banter. “So just working at home alone on the computer, I could never do that!” is a statement that is often heard when talking about this new development in the world of work. A point that Arturo also agrees with. His start with the New Work model was also a bit bumpy. “You have to get used to it, and quite often you run the risk of feeling lonely quickly, too,” he tells us during our chat. Unfortunately, he can’t elaborate any further because he is interrupted by the sound of an incoming call. And it is precisely this sound that makes it clear that the feeling of loneliness can quickly go away. After all, if an employer opts for the New Work model, then communicative synergies must be created. This is a matter of course at codafish.
The art of digital team building
The standard morning meetings, a brainstorming session here, a meeting with customers there. The keyword for all agencies, especially for codafish, is communication. The communication channels are very short, not only for customers, but also within the team. This is why everyone works together with the Zoho One Suite, which, among other things, makes phone calls and video calls possible at any time. Whether it’s for polling, approvals or a quick chat – at the click of a mouse, Arturo has the option of gathering the entire team together in a video call if necessary. Though there’s a risk that you won’t be able to get the Zoho Cliq ringtone out of your head and might even swing your hips to the melody while brushing your teeth in the evening, it’s fundamentally important to have these means of interaction. It was also the key reason why Arturo got acquainted with the New Work model relatively quickly and was able to get to know his team. So already at the first team meeting – something that is scheduled in everyone’s diary at codafish at least twice a year – it was as if we had been already been working together for years. Our colleagues in Germany, Spain and Greece pack their bags once at Christmas and once in the summer and travel to the big get-together. By the way, last year this took place on Furteventura – I think we agree when we say that it could be worse!
Meaningfulness, independence, freedom. As already mentioned, these are the goal guides that the New Work model of work proclaims. If you ask Arturo, he would agree 100%. The decision to move from the city to the country during the lockdown seemed at first to be just a temporary measure – one that turned out to be about coming home to a new way of life. For Arturo, this was a decisive factor in his decision to accept the job at codafish. He would not have agreed to work with the agency if it were not for the opportunity to work remotely, as he had found the perfect place for his work-life balance. Meaningfulness What he has gained is control of his daily life. He can determine his routine, stay focused on his job as a web developer while in the peace and quiet of nature, and schedule tasks. Independence And what he came to appreciate as a flexible way of working 3 years ago now makes him think in even bigger terms: discover new places in the world with your laptop under your arm. Holding true to this idea, a trip is on Arturo’s bucket list this year. Destination? Still unknown, but the choice is huge. All he needs is an internet connection and he can work from places he’s always dreamed of exploring. And for how long? That’s entirely up to him. Maybe 3 days or 4 weeks? Maybe even a year? Arturo will have to think about that. Or he decides spontaneously when he is there. Freedom.
As you have read, Arturo has big plans for this year. Maybe he will toss his laptop into the sea on an island or hang up the LAN cable for an extended period of time to experience his sense of purpose and freedom offline? We don’t know! Whatever the case – we are always looking for support for our team! So if our working model at codafish appeals to you, feel free to send us your application as a Web Developer at any time – we look forward to getting to know you!