When we at KAVAJ talk about our job, and especially about being able to work from our home office, we usually reap a disbelief. Because here, flexible and independent work actually means just that – it is flexible and independent.
Our new colleague Nicolas told me recently that even after he was interviewed by Kai and Jörg, he could not believe HOW flexible and independent working for us really is. He just had to call again to dig a bit deeper. And now Nicolas works for us. This brings the total number of KAVAJ employees that are also parents to five. Five of the eight KAVAJ employees have children.
What is it about working at KAVAJ that is so attractive to fathers and mothers?
I asked my fellow parent colleagues and also shared my own thoughts.
What are the benefits of working at KAVAJ?
“There are 2 main benefits of working at KAVAJ. First, the working hours are very flexible. Second, there is the opportunity to work from anywhere.
This allows for me to plan my day around important points in my schedule and change my work schedule as needed. It gives me the opportunity to do a lot more things during the week that I would previously have had to wait for the weekends to do, which in turn would make me have to sacrifice family time.
The other advantage is the ability to work from anywhere. I can always get my work done from anywhere as long as I have Internet. This definitely has its benefits. For example, I can sign on with my laptop in the evening for an hour in my living room because I had to leave work an hour early to pick my child up from daycare.
In addition, it is fun to work in your own office. You don‘t need to confirm to anyone and can do as you like:
– You determine your own dress code
– There is only the coffee you like
– There are only the cookies that you like to eat
– You can play the music you like to listen to
– And, I can take my dog to the office”
“The biggest advantage of working at KAVAJ is clearly the flexibility. Family life and work can be coordinated and are therefore 100% compatible. And independence from the workplace. My office is wherever I want. In our case, this can be anywhere there is internet.”
“I have been with KAVAJ for almost three years now. During that time, I had two children, which means I was on maternity leave twice. I started working again immediately after maternity leave because I wanted to. This was only possible because of the totally flexible hours and the personal responsibility and independence that KAVAJ provides me. I could work on something every time the children took naps, during the evenings, or even when the children were out for a walk with their grandparents.
Now my oldest is in kindergarten and my youngest is here in the office. She has her playpen here. She likes to sit on my lap. She plays, laughs, rolls around and sleeps while I work. She is still very close to me, even though I am working again. Of course, she is sometimes in a bad mood. When this is the case, I break away from everything and work another time. I am very flexible. The bosses have a great understanding of needing sick days or other appointments for the children. This is really unique. I am sure that this is not available elsewhere. This makes it possible for me to combine my child(ren) and work perfectly.”
“The biggest advantage is the flexibility. Family is very important to me and I try as much as possible to be there for my wife and daughter. And when something comes up (sickness, birthday, event later at kindergarten/school, etc.), I have no trouble making the time for it.
I also think it is great that I also have time to go skiing or swimming during the week, unlike other jobs.”
“I can work where and when I want. Therefore I can have the perfect combination of family, friends, sports, and work. And these freedoms are for all of our employees. These are not just privileges for us as Managing Directors. We offer everyone independence and personal responsibility, thereby creating flexibility in their working hours. We trust our employees 100%. And we believe that this is the only way to keep our employees motivated over time.”
What is different about KAVAJ?
“My office is exactly opposite of my kitchen.
I have no travel time going to work.
I can spend every meal with my family.
I can go kiting, if the wind is present, and work either before or after.”
“What is different is being able to work from a home office (in our case: office near our home). This indeed presents new challenges, but a different kind of life.
The compatibility of job and family aren’t just empty words promised by KAVAJ. It can actually be done. As an employee, I can set my work time freely.
My daughter is with us all day long and she is with us in the office. For us, this is natural. For others, it is unbelievable and hard for them to comprehend. “And what does your bosses say?” – “They always beckon her via Skype.”
Commuting or driving to the job is completely eliminated. This means that there is no stress related to getting to work. I don’t have to despise this time. I can now invest it in my family and can bring my son, for example, to kindergarten without added time pressure.
What is different about KAVAJ is the flexibility and the trust that our bosses place in us.
Those who do not know this form of work-leisure usually cannot understand. “But who is controlling you? Who tells you what you have to do? How can you participate in parent events at this time?” I am actually on the parents’ council of my son’s kindergarten… This commitment would probably not be possible for me if I was at another job. I am happy to have the time.”
“Working at KAVAJ, you carry a high level of personal responsibility and independence. We all work at our home office and are therefore spatially separated from each other. We rarely see or hear from other employees face-to-face. It can therefore be “lonely” during the work day. Naturally, you must be able to stand it. On the other hand, the distractions are not as strong as they would be, for example, in a large, open office, where it can be difficult to concentrate. There is also no one keeping an eye on you. Therefore, good self-organization is sought-after and desired.”
“For me, everything would be different at another job. Because of having 2 children under 3 years, I would not be able to return to work in the form of a different job. At least not without cutting back on family. I can carry out my work and have my daughter close to me. I have the flexibility to pick my son up from kindergarten. I can spend a lot of time with my children and am always there for them when they need me. I don’t have to organize anything when they are sick. I am simply here for them. I will work later when all is well again. This takes off a great deal of pressure. At the same time, I harvest a lot of recognition for the work I do at my job. A fact that is also very important to me.
Moreover, we can flexibly design all errands and trips. We don’t have to go to Ikea on Saturday when it is a zoo. We can all go together during the week and enjoy it. As well, I can go swimming with the kids, go to pekip courses, do sports and so on. Other mothers often are surprised to hear that I’m working despite all that I do. Yup, I am. And that´s exactely what I want.”
“First and foremost, our work distinguishes itself from other jobs through our flexibility and through the short way in which you come to work. I used to spend an hour in the car every day. Today, I just go down a floor. Above all, I can still be with my family for lunch and can take care of the child if my wife, for example, has a doctor’s appointment.
Naturally, it was different and took some time getting used to. You have no colleagues to help you get around. On one hand, it is of course a good thing to not have others around you, as you can be focused solely on your work and not easily distracted. On the other hand, however, you don’t have the ability to interact with your colleagues to clear your mind or get a second opinion.
You must therefore rely on the help of modern tools such as Slack and Skype. This at least can minimize the distance felt. And there is also enough time and space to share a few private things, similar to a discussion in the hallway in a normal office setting. Therefore, I think we’ve come along very well now and we’ve really grown overtime into such a great team, which I am very proud of.”
How do the families benefit?
“I have much more time to spend with my family, and can therefore be a part of family life. When one works from 8am to 7pm, you are only a spectator to everyday life.
I can support my family much better.
My wife also has the chance to have an active participation in a career.
Participation in, for example, kindergarten activities can be planned at any time.”
“I see my children every day and actively spend time with them. We also have a real family life during the week. Fortunately, I do not have to leave the house early in the morning and come home late in the evening, to which I’d only be able to see my kids when they are sleeping. In addition, the work doesn’t rest solely on my wife. We can divide things up, so that I can sometimes bring our youngest to the doctor. And my wife can be professionally active again.”
“Our children always have mom and dad whenever needed. Due to the fact that my husband and I both work at KAVAJ, we can support each other and have each other’s backs. Because behind every strong woman is a strong man, and vice versa. Neither of us has to decide between child and career. We both strive for both. And, I do not need cut back. But I’m also not that type ;-)”
“More “quality time” with the dad, and the dad can always be there when things come up or can babysit if needed. In addition, I, for example, don’t work Wednesdays between breakfast and lunch so that I can spend this time with my wife and daughter. A cherished practice that we three enjoy very much.”
“The dad is always there when the mom or daughter needs him. That is the biggest advantage for my family. At KAVAJ, we want the job to also bring advantages for the family of the employee – even above and beyond the aforementioned flexibility for all KAVAJ employees. Therefore, KAVAJ supports all parents with a kindergarten supplement and always includes family at our KAVAJ events, such as the Summer Fest and Christmas party. The result is a very wonderful atmosphere. You get to know each other better and grow well together.”
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