Flexible working at QualityMinds: A breeze of fresh air on the balcony in the home office

QualityMinds | Blog | News | QMStories

QualityMinds from the Minds’ perspective? Today we are visiting our colleague Thorsten in his home office, where he likes to work on the balcony in summer and appreciates flexible working. He is a Senior Test Automation Specialist and an expert in test automation.

In his current project, he works in an agile team and carries out system tests using the Playwright application and the TypeScript programming language. He also focuses on manual testing, including mobile testing (testing mobile applications) and accessibility testing (testing accessibility).

He has a part-time model and works Monday to Thursday, with Friday off. He mainly works in the remote model, sometimes you can meet him in the Munich office.

Why do you like working at QualityMinds?

Thorsten: My part-time model gives me more free time and flexibility. The biggest advantage is that I can usually run errands or do household chores on Fridays and then enjoy two full days off at the weekend. It’s also very practical to have a day off on a weekday for visits to the authorities and doctor’s appointments and to be able to attend these appointments without time pressure. For example, I recently had to pick up my passport and that was only possible in the morning. Thanks to the flexible working hours at QualityMinds, however, I could also attend these appointments during the week and be absent at short notice by arrangement with my team.

What advantages do you appreciate about the remote working model and what excites you about working in the office?

Thorsten: I can be flexible about when I go into the office. I’m often in the Nuremberg office for varied team events, while I regularly work in our beautiful office in Munich for personal reasons. What I particularly appreciate about remote work is the undisturbed, quiet working environment in the home office. I notice that I can work more productively and with more concentration here. I also save about an hour’s commute every day, which allows me to sleep longer in the morning and get straight to work.

Thorsten is mainly working in the HomeOffice

Would you say that you can work better from home than in the office?

Thorsten: For my work in test automation or programming, I can definitely work through my to-dos at home in a more focussed and efficient way. Meetings are also easier to organise when working from home, as I can simply stay at my desk at home and don’t have to move to a meeting room.

I enjoy meeting my colleagues in the office, exchanging ideas with them and often gaining spontaneous, new perspectives on project challenges. I once got stuck with a programming problem and would probably have spent a long time looking for a solution in the home office. But I was in the office, a colleague looked over my shoulder and immediately recognised the solution to the problem. Regular dialogue in the office is also important for me because I pick up on emotional undertones in spontaneous conversations and receive important information thanks to the famous corridor radio.

Have you adapted your communication style to your remote work model?

Thorsten: In the office, it’s sometimes easier to ask colleagues for help or make an appointment because I can see immediately whether someone is free and can speak to them directly. However, thanks to tools such as our powerful internal communication tool Slack, I can also easily recognise who is available in a remote setting and make spontaneous calls.

In contrast to developers, who often work closely together within their agile team, as a tester it is common to be the only member from the testing area in the agile project team. This affects communication, as we don’t have an internal project channel and my current team only consists of myself and one other person.

Why did you come to QualityMinds?

Thorsten: During my training as an IT specialist for application development in the public sector, I learnt how to program, but not how to test software. One of my trainers, an experienced test automation engineer, opened the door to the world of software testing for me. It fascinated me and I immediately developed an affinity for it. This new knowledge and my curiosity motivated me to specialise in software testing after my training.

I then worked for eight years in a traditional office job as an internal employee at my former employer and our current client, a large public sector authority. For this employer, I tested software both manually and automatically. So, where I am now working on the project as an external employee, I was employed internally a few years ago. Thanks to this professional experience, I also have the internal perspective of our customer and am very familiar with their internal company structures. This helps me enormously in my current job and combines two exciting worlds for me.

What do you particularly appreciate about QualityMinds, including the work culture?

Thorsten: I actually appreciate everything at QualityMinds – we have lots of employee benefits and a very pleasant working culture. I particularly like the great flexibility and the opportunity to constantly develop or even reorient myself as an employee.

When I moved to QualityMinds, I took a job that was the complete opposite of what I had done before. I just wanted to try something new. In general, QualityMinds always gives me fresh perspectives when I want to try something new. I simply speak to one of my team leaders and say: “Hey, I’ve been in my project for another year and a half. I’m starting to feel like doing something new,” and then we look together to see what’s possible. I don’t have to fill out a lot of forms. The uncomplicated structures and the open mindset at QualityMinds are great.

I always attend the many team events and Christmas parties whenever possible. We also have summer events and team days in the testing team. Both the team events and the team days, where we work on content-related topics, offer a high fun factor and are a perfect opportunity to get to know my colleagues even better and exchange ideas.

How do you make use of the various training programmes offered by QualityMinds?

Thorsten: I can currently learn the Python programming language during my working hours via a course at the University of Helsinki, which is available online. I look for courses on my own for my learning topics and use them to further my education. Getting further training courses approved by my employer is always straightforward.

I also think it’s great that QualityMinds only allows me to work 80% on the project and at the same time have time for topics that interest me. I use this study time more or less, depending on the workload of the current project. I’m currently studying more intensively again and can actively do something for my further development.

What is the technical setup like in your home office?

Thorsten: QualityMinds provided me with a USB hub for my monitor, mouse and keyboard and subsidised my height-adjustable desk for my home office. I also received an ergonomic, upright mouse for my wrist. QualityMinds wants employees to be able to optimise and personalise their home office workstation.

Is there anything about the technical setup in the QualityMinds offices that you like?

Thorsten: I appreciate the USB-C ports in our offices, as I can connect my laptop with just one cable and all peripherals are connected directly to the monitor. That’s very practical, unlike at home. I also like the height-adjustable desks. I mostly use them at home during meetings and in the office for meetings in small rooms.

Do you have rituals in your home office to structure your working day?

Thorsten: I don’t have a set ritual, but I find it very helpful to start work as soon as I get up. In my home office, I prefer to wear jogging trousers instead of uncomfortable jeans, which is much more comfortable.

I also keep a classic to-do list, which I prioritise according to upcoming projects and in which I also schedule slots for meetings with colleagues. This structures my day and increases my productivity. I then cross completed tasks off the list, which gives me a good feeling.

I also really enjoy working from home on my balcony. Especially in the transitional seasons of spring and autumn, when the sun isn’t shining too brightly, it’s a pleasant change to my working environment and it’s good for my eyes to look out into the greenery from time to time.

Do you also work remotely when you’re travelling or on the road?

Thorsten: I would like to travel to the south during the cold winter months and work from there. Some of my colleagues at QualityMinds have already done this and it has inspired me. It’s a great change from everyday life!


Thorsten appreciates the flexibility and free time he has gained from his part-time model at QualityMinds, which allows him to relax and enjoy his weekends. Working from home allows him to work efficiently and undisturbed, especially on complex tasks such as test automation. He enjoys working on the balcony in spring and autumn. The opportunity to work from home and occasionally from the office supports his work-life balance. He finds the open and flexible working culture at QualityMinds, which promotes further training and professional development, particularly valuable.

You want to learn more about the flexible working models at QualityMinds? Read the interviews with our colleagues Max, Bettina, Klaus, Mario, Katja, Tobias, Richard and Lukas here.


Thorsten Prehn_Testautomatisierer_Softwareeffizienz

written by

Anika Lechner