Remote Work at QualityMinds: Home office in my garden

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An interview with Bettina. She is a Senior Tester, Test Manager and Scrum Master at QualityMinds

Bettina is officially still on parental leave, but she is taking advantage of the ‘part-time parental leave’ option and is currently working 20 hours a week remotely. All she needs for this working arrangement is a stable internet connection in her home office. She maintains personal contact with her team on the days she is in the office and via regular team calls.

She is mostly involved in customer projects, where she provides support in the areas of testing, test management and requirements elicitation, but also in her role as a scrum Master.

In her current project, she meets project colleagues who have a similar life situation to her, work part-time and are familiar with the challenge of balancing family and career. This helps when it comes to organizing appointments and availability.

Where do you see the advantages of your working model and remote working?

Bettina: I have better childcare here where I live in Baden-Württemberg than I would if I lived at our office location in Munich. My colleagues often have problems looking after their children, but fortunately the situation here is not as tense. My working hours are also organised according to the fixed childcare times, but it’s easy to arrange with my client projects.

The biggest advantage for me is that I can work on my tasks flexibly and focussed in my home office. On office days, on the other hand, social aspects such as team building, direct communication or simply chatting over coffee play a bigger role. I think my work efficiency and work quality is much higher in the home office than in the office, as I can work in a more focussed way.

The breaks are also different in the office and at home. In the office, you meet up at the coffee machine or in our large communal kitchen and chat with colleagues, whereas in the home office, the break is often used for a load of laundry or the dishwasher.

What I personally really appreciate is the flexibility of working from home. If I don’t manage my workload within my planned time frame due to external influences (e.g. if my child is ill), I can catch up on the work or split the workload into several work slots a day. This is a great benefit at QualityMinds and also for my client projects.

Due to my family situation, I can’t currently take advantage of the opportunity to work remotely from somewhere other than my home. However, I think it’s great that some of my team colleagues use it regularly, and it’s always exciting to find out where they are when we get together in the morning for our daily call (‘Daily’). The dailies are optional, but a great way for to stay in touch and coordinate joint tasks or knowledge transfer.

Remote Work at QualityMinds: Bettina is working in her garden

How does communication differ for you between working from home and the office?

Bettina: I try to stay in touch with my colleagues a lot, so I have a few regular meetings during the week and virtual coffee meetings from time to time. That’s great for exchanging necessary information, but also just to see each other again.

However, working remotely means a lot more effort for me in terms of communication. You have to proactively get information according to the pull principle. That may sound more dramatic than it is, but if you are rarely present in the office, you can easily be forgotten. In the office, on the other hand, you usually get the information you need through conversations, often in passing. In the home office, you have to make an effort yourself.

For company-wide information, my colleagues and I are provided with regular newsletters and internal company meetings once a month. I personally find these offers very important and try to take advantage of them as often as possible.

Sometimes it’s also not easy to catch certain colleagues, as many have different working models and are therefore all available at different times and days. What’s more, working as a consultant involves a lot of communication with customers, so it’s often challenging to find common appointments with colleagues.

That’s why I personally don’t like being called directly via Slack or Teams, for example. If I have time, I will of course take the call, but often I’m in a customer appointment and can’t take the call without further ado. I therefore prefer to make a brief enquiry via chat to see if a call is possible at the moment.

But it’s very individual, so I try to work out the best way to communicate with each colleague based on their preference. This individuality also makes communication exciting. In the office, one colleague is more open to communication than another; with some, you should wait until the first sip of coffee has been drunk in the morning. It’s similar in the virtual world; you have to find out what each person’s preferences are and then you can usually find a way to coordinate.

Where do you see the challenges with remote work?

Bettina: Working remotely requires more awareness and sensitivity when it comes to communication. Striking the right tone, paying attention to the other person’s facial expressions and gestures.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we learnt a lot more about this as a team. In the first phase of the pandemic, it was a big change to work completely remotely. Together with our customers, we had to learn how to use the tools for remote work in the best possible way. Overall, however, we had a lot of positive learning effects in the team and with our customers.

In addition to communication, I also consider discipline and reliability to be the most important aspects of remote work. If I promise that I will be available at certain times, then I also honor this promise to project colleagues and reliably deliver promised tasks. But this should also be the case with physical presence and is independent of remote work.

What do you value about the mindset and company culture at QualityMinds?

Bettina: We have a very strong willingness to help at QualityMinds. If you need help and ask for it, you get it and usually very quickly. We are also given a high level of trust by our superiors. This gives us a lot of freedom to organise our work and I really appreciate that. I would describe our corporate culture and mindset as modern, the process paths are short and the working conditions are in tune with the times.

Do you take advantage of the training programmes offered by QualityMinds?

Bettina: I use the agile learning coaching. Our agile learning coaches help us employees to learn and it’s fun to work on new topics. Sometimes it’s difficult to find time for this generous offer, but I think it’s great that we have it and can use it for both professional and personal learning goals.


Bettina appreciates remote working because of the great flexibility to combine work and family life and the opportunity to work from home. Her part-time model allows her to adapt her working hours to family needs. She can work efficiently and undisturbed at home, but also uses the office days for socialising with her colleagues to stay up-to-date. When communicating with colleagues when working remotely, she always tries to adapt to each individual.

You want to learn more about the flexible working models offered by QualityMinds? Read the interviews with our colleagues Klaus, Mario, Katja, Tobias, Richard und Lukas here.


Remote Work bei QualityMinds: Bettina im Home office im Garten

written by

Anika Lechner