Mike Giannakopoulos

Working Together With Colleagues @ Athens

It was mid-June 2021 when we visited Athens, our main city where people are working from. This visit was very emotional and pivotal, as we had *just* left a couple of lockdowns behind us and we just managed to schedule a full week stay and work from Athens.

In this post, I’ll be sharing the experience of this week-long journey.

TL;DR: It’s nice to see and meet people up close and personal!! Our daily remote interaction had already broken the ice and it felt like starting from where we left things online – chat or video – last week!🤘

The Trigger

Setting this up started way back in mid-start of May, when we talked about getting together and getting to know each other! Due to lockdowns we couldn’t meet up close, despite working closely together in various setups for 9++ months already!

That feeling was weird, yet felt quite natural to talk and openly communicate in Transifex. After all, this free and open discussion brought this idea up! Going past the logistics was an easy one, after making the proper arrangements with our families. Another decision made was to avoid visiting the office due to pandemic related issues, and to avoid socializing in bigger cycles. So we ended up on a plan to work outdoors, in coffee shops.

We decided that June 22 to June 25 would be the week that we would finally meet! With that date set, we decided to let everyone know in the team with the intention of scheduling!

Slack announcement about visiting Athens

The Experience

Our week was great!! One big and unexpected-yet-expected setback was a heatwave striking Athens exactly that week! This meant that our outdoor work was rather warm-y! Despite that, we managed to work in smaller groups around Athens center on some awesome places 😎.

Mike and Klou at Minu Athens

On top of that, we set up some great hangouts with people after-work so that we can socialize further and get to know each other!! Since Transifex is a living-breathing company during the pandemic, we had some new people arriving to the company, but some people leaving the company for another position. Being a great culture we didn’t want to miss out on that too, so we took the extra mile of inviting more people that had recently left Transifex and were in the premises to join us.

Eating out with colleagues

The weirdest thing happening in our connections was how we introduced ourselves, using our @mentions from the company chat tool we’re using 😂 : “Hi! Nice to meet you! I’m @klou on Slack”.

Transifex colleagues selfie

The Conclusion

All in all, it was great seeing people and talking up close! If I were to summarize the experience – especially after such a long period of lockdowns – that would be:

  • How natural it felt interacting with each other! Either for the first time meeting up close or doing so after a long time! It was as the connection and relationship was already strong due to daily remote work. Everyone is openly themselves and the interactions are both productive and genuine with each individual.
  • How awesome it felt to talk about other stuff too! Having an open connection on work-related stuff and accepting each other, meant that we felt great sharing more of our personal life, worries, and activities. Again it all felt natural.
  • How eager people are to meet up close! Getting to know each other and seeing people who were once only behind the screen, now in real life, meant that we had incredible interactions even for shorter interactions. An anecdote here on how a friendly connection was established in 5 minutes between two seemingly unrelated people – one from the Design team and one from the Customer Success team – that rarely interacted.
  • How the heatwave affected us & had limited photo material! All in all our days were full of work and socializing and the heat was building up by the hour! So when the time came to get some photos we all felt exhausted!! That’s why there are no bigger group photos here!

A big thank you to Transifex for supporting a fully remote setup with the options to work close in a free setting that we collectively set up! 👏

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