If you work in a company which provides information systems to its customer, it is possible that at some point in your career, your workstation may have been located at the customer’s office. This is a relatively general operating model in the software development services field. Often the programmers who work from customer premises are doing that for sales reasons, not because they have chosen to.
During the workweek, people spend the same amount of time at the office as their home. Naturally, it makes a difference where and with whom this time is spent. At the end of the project and when the customer changes, it might be stressful for the consultant involved. In addition to the upcoming new project, many other things can change; such as the customer, a branch, and colleagues. When the customer and the office change it may pose challenges for the commute. Although there are good reasons to refuse some of the assignments, few people, however, want to give an inflexible image of themselves. In situations like these, the idea of changing to a different employer may sneak one’s mind.
We at Zure have projects done at the office and at a distance. No one is always working at remote and others are always in the office, but no one is sitting at the customer’s premises as part of the customer’s team. The customer’s premises will be held at meetings and occasionally at workshops. Slack, Teams and Skype are mainly used for communication between the parties.
At the beginning of the year, we switched to a bigger office, and there’s still room for new colleagues. The former office was in Kamppi, Helsinki and we wanted to continue to be in a central, easy to find location. Eventually, new facilities were found opposite the Helsinki Central Railway Station. It’s easy to get there, and there are plenty of lunch restaurants around the office.
We have carried out projects in teams and team workstations places are changed regularly every six months. The teams are assigned the order in which the workplace locations are selected from the office. This ensures that the most desirable places are circulating, and the workers do not form siloes.
Personally, I have always greatly appreciated the fact that commuting is easy by public transportation and I can use the travel time for reading, listening to podcasts or education. As a parent of small children with little spare time, I am reluctant to spend my time traveling on business, like sitting at the back of the car during peak hours.
Business presentation texts often repeat the same things as high-level expertise, interesting tasks, comfortable colleagues, influence opportunities and competitive pay. It is difficult to verify these beforehand, before changing jobs. However, finding out the location of the office and how time-consuming the commute would be, is easy with map applications and public transport schedules.
Both home and workplace locations are important. More meaningful to me than the location is that moving between them happens smoothly and that either of these won’t change too often.