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TBF + Partner

Open Talk

Léonie S. Mollet, Isabel Ammann, Marco Serraino

Three employees discuss work models for the future that are in place today.

It’s sometimes claimed, tongue in cheek, that ‘TBF has at least as many work models as employees.’ This claim is far from wrong... Léonie S. Mollet, Isabel Ammann and Marco Serraino discuss the advantages and challenges of this flexible working arrangement. They all agree that in this environment, trust and individual solutions reliably produce better results.

Léonie, what is unique about your personal work model?

Léonie S. Mollet

My hob­by­horse is most cer­tain­ly work­ing re­mote­ly from New Zealand. Work­ing re­mote­ly gives me in­sight into what I took for grant­ed, for ex­am­ple, be­ing re­spon­si­ble for or­gan­is­ing my dai­ly rou­tine, build­ing sus­tain­able re­la­tion­ships from afar and con­tribut­ing my strengths from a dis­tance. It’s in­ter­est­ing to see how these habits change when I’m work­ing in Switzer­land.

I no­tice time and again that I place more re­stric­tions on my­self than my work does. It can be the tini­est of things: a few weeks ago, I dis­cov­ered mak­ing phone calls while out for a walk. It is fas­ci­nat­ing how much is re­solved, par­tic­u­lar­ly in very tricky or per­son­al con­ver­sa­tions, when I am lit­er­al­ly on the move.

I like break­ing new ground by ex­plor­ing and push­ing bound­aries. This also means that I some­times fail spec­tac­u­lar­ly, whether it be due to the hur­dle of in­ter­na­tion­al bu­reau­cra­cy or against my own stan­dards. This is per­fect­ly OK, it pro­vides ma­te­r­i­al for great sto­ries and also en­sures that I nev­er take my­self too se­ri­ous­ly.

Marco, what is it like for you?

Marco Serraino

My work mod­el is, in it­self, not so spec­tac­u­lar. I work 0.8 FTE and, in do­ing so, try to bal­ance my ca­reer am­bi­tions with help­ing to look af­ter our son and my ‘side job’ as a gui­tarist in a post-met­al band. Be­cause of this, I great­ly ap­pre­ci­ate the flex­i­bil­i­ty TBF of­fers.

It’s hap­pened that in the mid­dle of the work­ing day, a tune has en­tered my head. A tune that (nat­u­ral­ly) had to be record­ed im­me­di­ate­ly. Two hours lat­er, af­ter my fin­gers had cooled down again, I car­ried on work­ing. The work­ing day might have been longer, but it was twice as pro­duc­tive. On more nor­mal days, I use the flex­i­bil­i­ty to go on planned and spon­ta­neous out­ings with the fam­i­ly.

Of course, things do not al­ways run smooth­ly. To use Léonie’s ex­pres­sion: I ‘failed spec­tac­u­lar­ly’, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the be­gin­ning. There were times when I spent a whole day in front of the com­put­er with­out achiev­ing a lot, be­cause I al­lowed my­self to be dis­tract­ed too much while work­ing from home or some­where out­doors. The pay­back fol­lowed im­me­di­ate­ly: adding a con­cen­trat­ed night shift onto the work­ing day. Les­son learned: fo­cus!

De­spite all of the flex­i­bil­i­ty, I am look­ing for­ward to more so­cial con­tact in Beck­en­hof, the TBF of­fice where I am based. Drink­ing an oc­ca­sion­al spon­ta­neous cof­fee with the team or go­ing for a walk around the of­fice for no rea­son... that is some­thing I have def­i­nite­ly missed in the last 1.5 years.

And how have you experienced this change, Isabel?

Isabel Ammann

Even though I have no chil­dren at home, I ap­pre­ci­ate the flex­i­bil­i­ty of the new work­ing arrange­ment. Since there is enough space for my whole of­fice in my ruck­sack, I can choose to work wher­ev­er I want. For ex­am­ple, I oc­ca­sion­al­ly go to Bern for a face-to-face meet­ing, work from home if I want to avoid dis­trac­tions (or lim­it them to my cat), or I go to the of­fice in Zurich if I am itch­ing to speak to my work col­leagues. This reg­u­lar change of scenery en­sures that every­day life is full of va­ri­ety while also pre­sent­ing un­ex­pect­ed chal­lenges, such as when doc­u­ments can only be made avail­able by the cus­tomer in phys­i­cal form, and I first need to find out when and where I can col­lect them.

I ap­pre­ci­ate the time flex­i­bil­i­ty, es­pe­cial­ly when I am dri­ving to the moun­tains with­out any traf­fic jams on a Fri­day af­ter­noon and then can sit in front of the lap­top again when I’m there. How­ev­er, I no­tice that in ad­di­tion to the frame­work set by my cal­en­dar in the form of ap­point­ments, I of­ten im­pose ‘rules’ on my­self that are ob­so­lete un­der the new work­ing arrange­ment.

My wish for the fu­ture is that I ques­tion these ‘rules’ more of­ten – and ig­nore them where ap­pro­pri­ate. I will then be able to choose where and when I work based on the needs that arise from the tasks ahead and my dai­ly sched­ule. I would like to use this flex­i­bil­i­ty for more of the small things; not just to hang out the wash­ing (which, for me, is a sur­pris­ing­ly good ac­tiv­i­ty for study­ing a com­plex prob­lem), but also in win­ter­time, to take in some air out­doors in the af­ter­noon while there is day­light and sun­shine, and then car­ry-on work­ing feel­ing re­freshed.

Locations Switzerland

TBF + Partner AG
Schwanengasse 12
3011 Bern
TBF + Partner AG
Rue de Saint-Jean 30
1203 Geneva
TBF + Partner AG
Via Besso 42
6900 Lugano
TBF + Partner AG
Beckenhofstrasse 35
Postfach
8042 Zurich

Locations Germany

TBF + Partner AG
Calwer Strasse 7
71034 Böblingen
TBF + Partner AG
Alsterarkaden 9
20354 Hamburg