What is drive your life actually? We wanted to prove that Hybrid Work actually works – under the motto "it doesn't matter where you work, it matters how you work", we enabled 3 constellations of drivers to take a unique trip through Europe: including extraordinary encounters, technical highlights, exciting accommodations, office visits and, of course, lots of fun – without missing a single day of work. Over 1,000 applications, both external and internal, had to be screened. Deserving winners Lisa, Eric and Jennifer chronicled their experiences in our drive-your-life blog. Eight weeks of Hybrid Work in Europe, eight weeks of life-work balance. That was drive your life.
The first tour took our colleague Lisa and her sister through Southeastern Europe and back to Stuttgart. On this page you will find a summary of their experiences. Have fun reading!
...or check out straight away what Lisa & our company founder Daniel had to discuss on the beach on hybrid work:
drive your life: Lisa meets Daniel
Since May 8th now, the bus is accompanying our roadtrip and taking us loyally from place to place, putting up with our missing singing talent and the kilograms we encumber with our luggage.
One thing can be anticipated: The bus attracts attention and keeps raising questions like 'what is driving your life' and 'who or what is diconium' – at the end this is what makes everything even more exciting because often we get unintentionally into conversations with various people and exchange on the topic of hybrid working and the roadtrip we do – meeting foreign people and finding a common topic to exchange in most cases results in really great encounters ;-)
Our route update so far: Ljubljana (SLO), Trieste (IT), Venice (IT), Zagreb (HR), Budapest (HU), Oradea (RO), Bukarest (RO)
Last Friday, we had the chance to meet Daniel and Catalin, both Business Development Managers at the Impact Hub Bucharest, and exchange on various topics from hybrid working models, to Innovation potential in Romania and further.
The golden word here is flexibility. And this is exactly what hybrid working models embody and co-working hubs offer a great possibility to live this flexibility up. The other perspective on flexibility at workplace is as Daniel posted it in our conversation: 'Allowing flexibility means that employers invest trust in their employees' which from my point of view is a very valuable statement that needs to be acknowledged at this point.
Several other, specific aspects go hand in hand with flexible working models, or rather form the required fundament: Without a culture equipped with strongly anchored values, trust and the right, forward-thinking mindset, the establishment of flexible working is hardly possible. Agree?
Past week in Bucharest and departure to Greece!
Of course, Bucharest was not just working at Impact Hub but luckily we also had some time off with a long weekend because of German bank holiday, which we succesfully used for some sight-seeing in and around the city, here are our top 5 highlights:
1. Bukarest Rooftops: there are plenty of rooftops in Bucharest, but don't be disappointed in searching them in the highest buildings. Bucharest rooftops are mostly located either in high class hotels or on the top of historic buildings within the city center, which usually are not that high. However this doesn't mean you won't be rewarded with a great view - check out these three we can definitely recommend with great food and drinks at good prices:
Linea – Closer to the moon
2. Stroll through old city and city center along all Bucharest historic buildings and monuments highlights, here are the most known:Nation's Heroes Memorial
Saint John Chrysostom Church
Palace of the Parliament
National Museum of Romanian History
Macca – Vilacrosse Passage (Historic Passage with Cafes and Bars)
Lipscani (Old City Center)
Piata Universitatii (University Square)
Arcul de Triumf
3. Pizza at Buoni e Bravi: just a 10/10 – nothing to add
4. Therme Bucuresti: both for fun and relaxation, the biggest wellness and relaxation center in Europe offers plenty of possibilities for a day off just 10 minutes outside Bucharest: Relaxing in one of plenty saunas, swimming in one of 9 pools (outside and inside), diverse waterslides, an artificial beach and good food in one of the restaurants - Tip: Book the Elyseum Ticket for full experience (ca. 40 EUR/day) ;-). As we experienced 34 degrees Celsius that weekend in Bucharest this was asolutely welcomed for refreshment.
5. Trip to Bran (Transylvania): On Friday, before leaving Bucharest, we decided to follow the tracks of Dracula and therefore spent the last day in Romania in Bran, visiting the castle. Bran castle is often commonly known as Dracula's castle outside Transylvania, even if (sorry to disappoint you) in fact, there is no evidence that the castle served as role model for the Dracula stories. A great plus: the way to Bran let us along great landscapes, mountain slopes and picturesque villages – if you have more time: Feel free to drive further and visit Siebenbürgen as well!
After enjoying the rest of the evening back in Bucharest at a nice spot directly located at Lake Floreasca, the next morning we headed further to our next destination passing the south of Romania, crossing Bulgaria with a short coffee stop in Sofia to finally arrive in: GREECE! – Current stop: Thessaloniki.
By the way, on the way towards Greece we hit the 10 km mark with our travel companion😉, exactly halfway through our road trip – wow, can you tell that 4 weeks have past so quickly?
Thessaloniki? The majority of people speaks of Athens, Santorini and Crete when thinking about Greece – but have you thought about a weekend trip to Thessaloniki? It's the second largest Greek city with a thriving, young and modern city centre with fancy food and drink spots nearby the sea. Thessaloniki vibes cannot be expressed but one thing is for sure: In case you consider spending vacation close to Thessaloniki (e.g hiking on Mount Olympus, going for discovering cultural heritage as e.g. visiting Meteora or going to the beach at one of Chalkidikis three fingers, definitely do consider a weekend trip in Thessaloniki: enjoy the view from the castle wall over the entire city, stroll across the seaside along the White Tower and famous Umbrellas, have food and drinks at 'Ladadika' in the evening, a coffee nearby the water – and last but not least for me personally every time a MUST I am in Thessaloniki: a traditional, handmade bougatsa (greek traditional breakfast pastry filled with either custard, cheese or spinach) at Jianni's place (10/10 recommendation). Trust me – I've been going to and passing through Thessaloniki a couple times a year since childhood – I've never been to the city without having a bougatsa there – n e v e r! :D
Having finished the working week in Thessaloniki, one of diconium's values was about to be put into an activity for us: #courage. So we went canyoning on Mount Olympus, which was approximately one hour drive away from Thessaloniki. This was really fun, especially because we climbed, hiked and dived in the freezing cold water flowing directly down from the mountain peak – which was great considering that outside temperature at this day was 32°C. Our highlight was definitely the 8 meter jump into one of the natural mountain pools which indeed needed some courage. Also cool, after two years of social distancing: we were in a small group of 5 people from different countries plus two guides.
Lastly: the best thing now that we are in Greece: We do not need to make up or minds about going punctually out for food 'cause in Greece you'll easily get to eat in restaurants even after 11pm and as we are used to rather this schedule than to 'the kitchen closes at 9pm' we are luckily happy to now chill and enjoy eating out and having drinks whenever we like without hurrying up! #greecelove
Well, anticipated personally but also work-wise we have learned a lot. This trip was not only an adventure in terms of exploring, getting to know new people, places and absorbing impressions but it was also about growing and getting out of the comfort zone. #sharingiscaring – so here you go with my TOP5 learnings:
Time management is key because being on workation does not necessarily mean reduction of working time but rather efficient, flexible planning of work and free time in order to perform at work but likewise get the best out of your free time to explore, learn and grow. The definition of work-life balance is very individual. My balance might not be another person's understanding of balance, so there is no recipe employers could learn of and build the master plan. Life situations are different, implying that working models need also to be adaptable.
#keepsmiling: be positive and optimistic about things, making up your mind about whether things will work out or not is just a waste of time, just do it and you'll see. Be prepared for the unprepared and just take things as they come, whether on workation or not, unforeseen things can totally ruin your time plans – try to take it easy.
#hybridworkplace is the way to go – why hybrid? Taking me personally, I have learned that I am neither the 100% office type, nor the 100% home office type, so #hybridworkplace is the go to option for me because I need the flexibility to bring private and work life in balance as I wish to and secondly, I still love having the option to work from the offices, see my team and colleagues and exchange with them face-to-face.
I think there are definitely some preconditions making it easier for some than for others to adapt to changing environments and work from any place – some characteristics for sure help in easily handling #hybridworkplaces:
modern mindset, hands-on mentality
And for those feeling rather attracted by facts and numbers, here some random facts:
1 broken window shield and 1 exchanged
8 countries, 21 places in 10 weeks (Take a look at the polaroid collection to see all the places we've been to on this #driveyourlife trip while working)
10 times of charging and ~30 times of gas fueling
4 bottles of sun screen have been used up
15 different accomodations (of which 9 were AirBnb's, 4 hotels and 2 private accomodations)
3 times trouble with the police [not our fault :D]
Countless lovely, open-minded people met and exchanged inspirational, interesting stories