It’s cold and dark, here we stand waiting. And then, finally at 8PM sharp, it lights up. The crowd ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ in a mixture of reverence and delight. Everybody has their phones out and are eagerly trying to get the perfect picture. We are standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. The seven people you can see in the picture are my colleagues and I. It’s our last night in Paris and almost the end of a wonderful trip, but let’s rewind for a second and see how we got here.
All of us work at Tyto, a borderless PR agency. That means in our day-to-day, we work from all over Europe. Not only because we are based in different countries within the region but also because we can choose where to work from at any time. One of the things I love about working at Tyto is the possibilities of flexible workplaces, to break-up the day-to-day and allow me to enjoy both being away and coming home. I can for example meet up with my colleagues in Frankfurt for a day, where we work together, or I can travel to see my family and work at their house for a week.
First-time Tyto Passport holders
At Tyto, I found people who share this appreciation for flexibility and who think beyond traditional barriers (and not only in a geographic sense!). Something that embodies this spirit even more, is the Tyto Passport Scheme, which was recently launched. With the Passport Scheme, Tyto aims to encourage mindful growth and foster borderless thinking through collaboration and inspiration. What does that mean you ask? The scheme allows and encourages team members to travel and see their colleagues and clients across the world. Under this scheme each employee is entitled to a separate travel budget. Separate because it is different from other work-related travel. Whether its used for working with a colleague in a new city, or attending an inspiring event – the choice on how to use it is up to us! The purpose of the scheme is to promote individual or collective and cultural exploration, team collaboration and fun! And boy, did we have fun!
So, for our first trip, we decided on Paris. Three of our colleagues (the wonderful Morad, Ghita and Donia) live and work in the metropolitan area of Paris, so we wanted to meet up with them. We, that is Bastian, Tea, Noëlle, and I, live in Germany so we could easily hop on the TGV and avoid tedious flights. During the day, we worked from our accommodation or cute cafes in the area. Our evenings were dedicated to exploring the city. Our local colleagues recommended restaurants that we could eat at, éclairs we needed to try and sights we had to see. Over wine and food, we had fun and loud conversations.
The bottom line is, it hardly felt like work. Even though we did in fact all come there to work together, the key aspects that I remember most are the conversations in between meetings or over a cup of coffee and a pain au chocolat. I remember strolling through the Louvre at night, hearing the tunes of a lonely saxophone player carry through the night and just feeling so lucky that this is my work. The trip certainly brought us closer together as a team because you get to know the full person, beyond the work-persona. About this our boss says, trust is the most important element of a successful team and I am beginning to think he might be onto something. In the words of Brendon, Tyto’s CEO, “trust is the most important element of a successful team”. I think he is quite right. I would also add “shared experiences”. These days in Paris with a number of my colleagues have shown me that trust and shared experiences support both great results and enjoyment at work.