Let’s talk about... Remote & Part-time

In our "5 questions with…" section, we introduce you to our PIABO colleagues and share their expertise in communication and PR strategies. Today: Marianne Schulz, Senior Communications Consultant and part of the PIABO Hamburg Hub. Marianne tells us all about her part-time work, the right work-life balance and remote work. 


1. Hello Marianne, you work remotely from our hub in Hamburg. Tell us a bit about how the Hamburg colleagues get together?

We exchange ideas via the WorkChat group and every person of the hub has the opportunity to work in a coworking space. This means that if I don’t want to work from home anymore, I can take the subway and be downtown in no time to work in a coworking space. There, we meet regularly to work together and also have lunch together. I'm always happy when other PIABOs visit us at the Hub.


2. There is an ongoing discussion about office vs. remote work. From your first-hand experience: What is your position on this topic? 

I think it's a question of habit and personal attitude. For me, this is the first job where I am "allowed" to work remotely. I'm positively surprised how well I'm getting along with it, how much life time I'm saving by not having to commute anymore, and how much I'm getting done in the home office. I am also grateful that I have this freedom at PIABO and that I enjoy such great trust. To keep the exchange remote, there are internal "jour fixes" and coffee dates. In our unit, we also meet regularly for virtual team lunches or other online events (e.g. Digital Escape Room). But let's cut to the chase: Of course it's a welcome change to see my colleagues "live" in the Hub or in Berlin. I try to visit the Berlin office once a month and have set myself the goal of working from the Hub once a week in 2022.


3. You're also the mother of a toddler, who certainly takes up a lot of your time. How do you organize your workday to have enough time for the really important things in life?

(Self-)organization, discipline and good communication are the keys for me to plan my working days optimally and to enjoy the time after work. I communicate my working hours clearly and appreciate the understanding of PIABO, my UD and my colleagues very much. The given understanding is sincere and so far there has always been a solution when I have been absent because of my child. At home, we plan the coming week on Sundays so that important dates are known and we divide up accordingly in case of illness. I practice self-discipline and only check e-mails after work in exceptional cases and finish work on time. 


4. What do you consider to make a good work-life balance? Are there any differences between the theory and practice of part-time work?

My workday is only two hours shorter than those of many other colleagues, but it often seems far too short. When PIABO Academies, internal meetings and customer calls all occur at the same time, sometimes I don't have time to complete tasks to the extent that I would like. This has to be communicated and organized within the team, which has always worked out well so far. A day with a good work-life balance is a day when I manage to let work be work after closing my laptop. This works better and better in practice.


5. Let's take a look ahead: Do you think remote work is the future? What are the arguments for it, what are the arguments against it?

Hybrid working models will be the golden mean. In other words, the way we already do it at PIABO. For me, it's the optimal work model for balancing my work and private life.

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