#10 A day with Benjamin (Unicorn Workspaces)

November 3, 2021

Regarding the company, Unicorn’s CSMO Benjamin says: global changes in general and the impact of the Corona crisis on the office market are prompting a social rethinking of how we select our place of work. The office of the future will have to provide convenient flexibility and hybrid working solutions to respond to the changing strategies and needs of companies. That’s exactly what Unicorn Workspaces is here to do. 

By the way, everyone is welcome to stop by at any of our Unicorns and have a barista-style coffee on us. 

It’s 8 a.m. Are you already wide awake, or still in a deep sleep?

I really prefer waking up between 6 and 7 a.m., without an alarm clock. First off for my to do’s for the day is digging my airpods out of the gap in the mattress and then shuffling off to the shower. The bathroom radio is tuned into the nationwide broadcasting station, Deutschlandfunk, and I listen to the morning news. The broadcasters are often drowned out by the children’s laughter (or sometimes their crying) coming from the bedroom. Then it’s time to get properly dressed in the capital city’s corporate design outfit: black boxers, black pants, black shirt, black socks. Afterwards, I check my calendar to see which workspace I’ll be working from that day. At 8 o’clock I have my first coffee and a quick breakfast before getting off to a late start to the daycare center at 8:10. Then, at 9:15, once I’m at the office, I’ll have a second cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant. 

It’s 11:00 a.m. Your first meeting of the day is an interview with a potential new employee. What’s important for you while conducting an interview?

Being a chatterbox comes with the territory in my work, I really thrive on talking to people. That’s also why I love interviews, for me they are inspiring. They present me with a reflection of Unicorn Workspaces, I find out from our applicants how our brand is being perceived from the outside. During an interview I want to see that they understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. Professional experience is certainly important, but the will to make a difference and an aspiration for change are what I consider key aspects when hiring new employees. Ultimately, we’re all the calling card for what Unicorn, as a company with a start-up philosophy, stands for: we want to make the world a better place to live and work in. And I know we can only do this by working as a team. P.S.: We’re hiring.

It’s 1 p.m. and your stomach is growling. What do you do? Will you review the latest analytics with your business partners? Or have a muesli bar and go out for a jog? Are you rather a stay-in-at-the-office type, or do you need to get out and get some fresh air?

“Ohhh”…Benjamin smiles, switches to the Berlin dialect and says “Mahlzeit!” (German for “meal”, used as a greeting at lunchtime).  

Well, there’s actually three possible options here. Whenever I can, I like to go with my colleagues to the Aufbau Haus at Morizplatz which has some nice places to grab lunch, like Pacifico or Parker Bowles. Or sometimes we go to the Cantinerie in Wedding. The main thing is to just get out and get some fresh air, just talk about anything except work – and we usually manage that pretty well. Option number two is where I’m usually accompanied by the disparaging stares of my coworkers while mixing together my vanilla flavored emergency fuel ration, feeling proud of myself that I remembered to eat anything at all. And, well unfortunately, there’s also number three: I just totally skip lunch because I’ve forgotten about it. Then, in the evening, my stomach is growling just as loudly as my guilty conscience. So all in all, probably not highly recommendable lunch habits. #shame

It’s 4 p.m. and you’re meeting with the press to discuss the founding of your business. Who has particularly influenced you? Do you have a role model? 

A press event? I’d send our CEO Florian, but of course beforehand I would make sure he’s fully prepared for the topic, so I’d coach him like a benevolent Svengali. As for a role model, I have to admit that I can’t pinpoint one singular person, but I’ve certainly been strongly shaped by my studies in Social and Business Communications at the Berlin University of the Arts. However, I believe this had less to do with the content of the curriculum and rather more to do with my fellow students and professors at the university, who decisively influenced me. I mostly identify with role models who are visionaries with self-analytical, fact-based and humanistic character traits. So it probably won’t come as a surprise when I mention that one of my favorite books is Max Frisch’s Homo Faber. 

It’s 6 p.m., is the workday coming to an end or just getting started?

I nervously glance at my iPhone and see that it’s already 6. Once again I’m probably one of the last people in the office, once again at a crossroads and having to decide: should I wind things down and wage an attempt against all odds to make it home in time for dinner with my family? Or should I power on and start going through those 27 Slack messages that are still unread? My calendar also reminds me of an event that I’m signed up for. And I still haven’t had anything to eat for dinner. Then I write myself a little note: get up the courage to leave work at a decent hour. Later on I realize I wrote that note on a Monday evening at 10:06. 

It’s 10 p.m. and you finally take a break. Time to read, to listen, to think. Are there some interesting books, podcasts, series or music which you’ve recently enjoyed?

Oh yes.
The last 3 audio books I listened to: “Über Menschen” (About People) by Juli Zeh, “Achtsam morden” (Mindful Murder) by Karsten Dusse, “Fatherland” by Robert Harris.
The last 3 books I read, or read aloud, were: “Herr Krake räumt das Meer auf” (Mr. Octopus Cleans Up The Sea) by Barbara Rose & Katharina Sieg, “Kalle and Elsa” by Jenny Westin Verona and Jesús Verona and “Karlchen Geschichten” (Little Karl’s Stories) by Rotraut Susanne Berner.
The last 3 podcasts I listened to:ZEIT Verbrechen” (thrillers from the publisher ZEIT), “Geschichten aus der Geschichte” (Tales from History) and “Startup Insider”.
And the last 3 streams I watched were:Seinfeld” (Netflix), “Binging with Babish” (Youtube), “Sex Education” (Netflix).