She shifted her life temporarily to Vienna

Interview with Renate (58), human resources specialist in the HR department at EQOS Energie

Renate works in the Human Resources department of EQOS Energie in Biberach. Since August 2018, the centre of her work and life has temporarily shifted to Austria. An initially spontaneous idea turned into a half year at the Vienna location. The payroll accountant sees the relocation as an opportunity to gather new experiences.

Renate, what do you like about your responsibilities as a human resources specialist?

I worked for a few years in internal sales, where the concept of service was really big, but good service is also important in human resources. I enjoy helping people. It is particularly nice when the employees trust me enough to contact me with their questions and concerns. And it’s the same in reverse: If I need information about a construction site, I am just as happy when I have a friendly contact who helps me. I think that a good trust-based relationship is very important and not just for the work in human resources.

You are currently working at EQOS Energie in Vienna, but your original working location is Biberach. How did that come about?

The opportunity arose due to staff changes in the human resources department in Vienna and the earlier system conversion in accounting in Biberach. Initially, the idea of relocating was just that – an idea. Then, when I actually received the offer to go to Vienna for six months, I had to think about the whole thing. Even though I am not fond of big changes, I gladly accepted. However, this was only possible because there were no obstacles in my private life. Of course, in part, I can only provide supporting work in Vienna, since I had no previous knowledge of Austrian accounting processes. Nonetheless, the processes of recording work hours for payroll are very similar and I am pretty good at time management.

EQOS Energie has numerous locations in five countries. One challenge the company must face as a result is to strengthen the internal collaboration between the countries. Does your relocation make a contribution to the employees seeing themselves as one large joint workforce despite the distance?

The decentralised work is certainly not always easy, but a good exchange and personal contacts can make a great contribution to facilitating a harmonious cooperation. Training seminars and workshops where you meet your coworkers and see them in their working environment are tremendously helpful in this respect. Time will tell if my work in Austria was conducive to the “international cooperation” of EQOS Energie.

You broaden your horizon, get to know your coworkers there and experience your own company in a different way.

Renate, what can you tell your (future) coworkers who receive a similar opportunity?

If your personal circumstances allow it, I would always advise temporarily working at a different location. You broaden your horizon, get to know your coworkers there and experience your own company in a different way. For me, it was a predominantly positive experience – even though I do miss my apartment in Biberach now. However, I can reassure all those who fear they may fall out of contact with the people at home. After I told friends and family that I would be in Vienna for a few months, many of them immediately announced their plans to visit.