I exactly know what my colleagues did at the weekend, what they are working on and when there is a treat at work. Unfortunately, I rarely can participate in these moments. Since I work from Argentina while my colleagues work at Nedap in Groenlo (The Netherlands). But despite the distance, I am involved in everything that happens. This is because you are not hired at Nedap just for a project, but to be part of the team, also when you work as a remote.
Tell the customers I said hi!
I visit the Nedap headquarters every five to six months. Last time was during our annual customer day. This is a day when all our customers and as many of our colleagues as possible are visiting Groenlo, including all colleagues who work remotely. It is awesome to meet the customers since eventually it is them you do the work for. During this annual customer day, an onboarding meeting was planned especially for us remotes. It was like a ‘soul session’; a session about the work culture in soft-and hardware. Very interesting and educational! Everything in English of course. Even though remotes at Nedap are a minority as English speakers, all our communication (meetings, e-mails or documentation) is in English if necessary. Fortunately so! Because a lot of my co-remotes don’t speak Dutch besides ‘borrel’ (drinks), ‘Groenlo’ (where Nedap is situated) and ‘groetjes’ (greetings).
’You are not hired at Nedap just for a project, but to be part of the team, even if you work as a remote.’
In my turn, I also feel responsible for a smooth collaboration. Therefore, I believe it is also important to be around physically instead of only digitally as the live-speaker on the table or the incoming e-mail in someone’s mailbox. I want my colleagues to know the face behind my calls and e-mails. I do not drive around Nedap every day like my colleague Patrick-on-a-stick, but I try to mainly socialize during my visits at Nedap. Instead of sitting in a corner coding, I’d rather discuss projects next to the coffee machine, exchange ideas at lunchtime, or have dinner with colleagues to chat about the ski holiday or someone’s recently born baby. Thanks to various online tools – for example, Facebook Workplace – I am updated on all the ins and outs in my team and within our business unit, that makes a conversation during our offline contact very easy. Often, coming back to the hotel is the first moment I am able to actually take place behind my laptop. Which does not matter, because I like to invest in that way. Whenever I am at Nedap, I especially want to get to know the people who I work with on a daily basis, but who do not see me every day. That really makes a difference for when an ocean lies between us.
At Nedap it is people first and then technology, whether you represent the company from Groenlo or from another place in the world. I already noticed this during my application process. After the first online meeting, I gladly took the plane for my further application. I felt impressed by the building right away. What a great place to work! I almost regretted it that I would not physically work there. During my application day, the second conversation followed. Then there was a joint lunch and a bit later we finished with a Friday afternoon drink. In this way, Nedap created a fun and easy way to find out from both sides whether I fit in with the team or not. This really made me see everything: how my colleagues work, how they make fun, and how they have meetings. Since I could see the human side of my future team besides the technical side, I was able to make a solid decision very quickly: where could I sign?!
‘When I am at Nedap, I want to get to know the people who I work with, but who do not see me every day.’
Nedapper Manuel Martiarena
‘As a remote at Nedap, I found the perfect combination of freedom and working for an interesting, innovative technology company with a very human approach. I work from home or from my co-workplace in Argentina. From the first contact, I knew it: I do not have to be a technology nerd to feel comfortable here! Nedap’s precondition for brand new employees is: you have to fit the team. If you do, only then they will consider your coding skills, or any other work-related skills. Next to this they assume that you are able to make independent and mature decisions that help the company and the product. That means a very high level of freedom and responsibility, which has to suit you. Well, it suits me perfectly!’