Billies at home – One year of working remotely

When asked how long fellow Billies initially expected the pandemic to last, answers ranged everywhere between six weeks to two years.

Now, it has been a year since we took the office to our homes – or wherever we spent the lockdown(s). We took the occasion to learn about what Billies miss most, what the perks of working from home are for them, and what they have been up to.

Bild: Simon Hrozian, Unsplash

We all have read many articles on how to best work remotely. So instead of providing you with another “Top 10 Tips…” article, we wanted to hear from our colleagues how they have experienced this past year of working remotely and share their stories with you.

It is safe to say that what people miss most are spontaneous encounters and chats over lunch or coffee. These are hard to recreate especially with people that are not in your team, and who you do not usually work with. 

“What I miss most when working from home is not being able to catch up with colleagues over lunch and missing out on the non-work-related chatter.” – Liv

But there are also perks to working from home. What most Billies enjoy is not having to commute for example, and it is quite impressive to hear how many invest the time saved into exercise.

What do you enjoy most when working from home?

Having my dog around and giving him a cuddle when things get stressful. – Vanaja

Having lunch with my wife. – Ahmed

Being able to live between two cities (Amsterdam and Berlin), and home is a more cosy place than the big office room. – Liv

The Billie fuel? Coffee and cosiness!

Bild: Tereza Rubá, Unsplash

Apart from hardware and software, what is something you personally need when working from home?

Coffee from “Chapter One Coffee”. – Ahmed

Coffee and music, a lot of coffee actually. And a blanket. – Susan

Warm comfy socks. No shoes inside our house and I am not a big fan of slippers, so socks it is. – Adriano

Lunch à la Billie

What is your favourite working from home lunch?

Gnocchi with a ridiculous amount of Grana Padano cheese. – Pablo

Either demi-cooked salmon on a salad or KWA Döner. – Christian

This one is tough, but I will go for homemade pizza. – Adriano

Beetroot pasta with feta and dill - it is delicious and quick to make. – Vanaja

“Made-up Frittata”. Fry any veggies at hand in a pan, once a bit soft, add eggs and feta cheese and put the whole thing in the oven. It takes 15 min and is delicious. – Liv

Morning routines…

What is your working from home routine?

Get up, exercise, take my son to Kita (thank God it is open), make the second coffee of the day and start working. – Aiga

Wake up early, walk the dog, come home, give him food, prepare a nice cappuccino and sit on the couch or the balcony for 10-20 minutes and then shower and get ready for work. – Adriano

What do these new “offices” actually look like?

Moving our offices out of the corporate building has given us the great freedom to choose our workplace ourselves, as well as our outfits. 

In these times when we do not get a lot of new experiences or views, a colleague’s new workplace and therefore Zoom background can already be exciting.

What is your favourite working from home location?

Bild: Isabel Maria Guner-Velasco, Unsplah

My dining table, so I can look out the window when thinking about how to formulate sentences or similar. And it gives me enough space for my creative chaos. – Susan

My living room – it is airy, sunny and full of plants. But I am still working at my dining table! – Vanaja

I recently started to work remotely from Cairo where I am staying with my family. That is especially nice while it is winter in Berlin. – Ahmed

For day to day work, my desk, but for meetings that do not require a second screen, definitely the balcony. – Adriano

What is your new work uniform?

Comfy sweater and leggings with a blanket wrapped around it – and slippers of course. – Susan

I really do not have one, and actually, I try to dress up as I would go to the office. It helps me to kill the slacker that lives inside all of us. – Adriano

I just stay in the exercise clothes and call it loungewear. – Aiga

And the rest of the team was with Aiga and Susan on this one: comfort first. By the way, brands around the globe saw increased sales in loungewear and athleisure in 2020, some of them in the four digits.

This is how Billies spend their pastime during the pandemic

If not before already, many Billies jumped on the sourdough train after one of our colleagues showed us all how to in one of our lunch talk sessions, during which Billies present a topic or skill of their choice. 

(Sourdough is not all that Billies have been up to, though.)

Did you learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby?

Bild: Debbie Widjaja, Unsplash

I went from being able to do 0 pull-ups to being able to do 8. My arms can now easily lift my whole weight. I'm so proud of that! – Pablo

I would not say "learn", but I tried a lot: watercolour painting, macramé, hand lettering. Not good at one of them, but still it was fun. – Susan

Solving the Rubik's Cube while cycling indoors in less than 2 minutes. – Ahmed

I took up investing and trading in stocks as well as options. – Marcell

Besides the obvious sourdough bread baking (which is very fun) I picked up sailing again (after doing it as a kid) and finally got the proper licence. – Liv

Feel inspired?

Maybe you found a new inspiration for your next remote lunch or on how to spend the next weekend – if not that, we hope you found it interesting to get to know some Billies a little. 

Are you interested in joining the Billie Team? Go check out our career’s page – we are hiring.

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Zoe Schirren

Based on her experience in international startups, Zoe understands the importance of liquidity and process optimization.

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