You can’t ensure office day outs are sunny, but they can be cloudy

How some social media experts with an international DNA are proving that networks aren’t everything

The network at the Copenhagen Post offices came down last Thursday. Combined with a jittery internet, it was the most unproductive day of the year as our staff – representing Denmark, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, the United States, England, Pakistan and Iceland – struggled to work together. There’s a metaphor there somewhere.

But just a few kilometres away, a similar concoction of nationalities were proving that you don’t need a network to gel as a team. Representing seven different nationalities, seven colleagues from the customer success team at social media experts Falcon Social were on their way to Malmø – but not to see the sights? No, this was a work day like any other, only the office was in transit. Using cloud-based digital tools that enable the team to store their content on the internet, the Falcon S club seven were able to enjoy a day of team-building while at the same time delivering service as normal to their customers.

Prior to going, Falcon had accepted an invitation from Konovalenko, a Malmö-based advertising agency that takes its name from a powerful Soviet hockey goalie from the 1960s, to use its office space during the afternoon. 

“We hope to start a trend where companies can inspire each other to gain new knowledge and input to their work by working with each other – without having a customer/supplier relationship, or another kind of professional relationship,” explained Konovalenko’s chief executive Mikael Signell. “We think it is rewarding that other companies share office space with us for an afternoon.” 

For Marcella (Netherlands), Ronja (Sweden), Anna (Ireland), Cristiano (Brazil), Frank (England), Laura (Latvia) and May (Denmark), it made a change from their usual office on Skindergade in Copenhagen, where 35 people work representing 16 different nationalities, although the work set-up is the same as all they need is a WiFi connection.

But this was the first time they had actually taken a field trip and maintained customer support. “It’s not unusual to take a day out of the office for team building or to develop concepts,” said Anna Tighe, a key account manager. “But it’s never been to continue with business as usual at another location.” 

Falcon are one of an increasing number of Copenhagen-based companies to deliberately employ internationals to enhance their ability to deal with non-Danish clients. 

“The advantage of such a broad background,” explains Ronja Gustavsson, the head of customer success. “Is when a customer from one of the team members’ countries comes onboard, – for example a Brazilian customer we recently acquired, – Cristiano was able to ensure that they did things o caminho brasileiro – the Brazilian way.”

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