January 5, 2022
From Ottensen with love
We are a digital agency with a team spread across the globe. Yet we feel a strong connection to our roots and birthplace Ottensen and are as much homebound as we are international. This we took as a motivation to highlight a couple of things that we love about Ottensen.
Not to mention that the majority of our local Hamburg team is not only working here but also lives so close to the office, they can roll out of bed and walk through the door. So, let’s get started with a virtual tour around our office.
Where we work
Our office is located in a calm side street, the Kirchentwiet, hidden behind a solid black gate only a couple of meters away from Altona city hall. As a colleague who enters this place for quite some time, I still have to say that going to the office feels like entering its very own realm. There is a cobblestone paved courtyard, a garden to unwind and relax and the office building itself with high wooden doors and a sun terrace on the first floor. Inside you can find stairs everywhere which lead to the different levels and winding areas hidden from sight. Raw wooden logs convey an impression of cohesiveness and rays of light enter from above and through the big windows in the walls and between the ceiling beams.
In pre-pandemic times, our team used to work at various desks and working spaces throughout the whole building. We prefer the open office style, no fancy private office rooms and no fixed seats. Everyone just grabs the one he or she feels comfortable with that day. Another work area can be found on the second floor. In case someone needs privacy for a client call we have two conference rooms ‘Aquarium’ and ‘Blackbox’ both of them spacious enough to host bigger meetings in person up to 8 people. If you make your way through our first floor and place of action, with just a turn around the corner, you’ll find yourself in our library. The charismatic chimney and cozy seating area are inviting to get some distance from the hustle.
Our Raum F in the basement offers space for around 20-80 people (depending if seated or not) as well as its own kitchen area. This is the place where we have lunch together, host events or get engaged in workshops and team activities. It’s also where the weekly yoga classes usually take place. And there’s more: You can actually book it for your own events, if you want! So far so good, our little virtual tour ends here. What’s next? Well in order to give you an impression about how we work, it might be useful to know, how we go about our day.
How to start the day
While some people enjoy a long and extensive breakfast, others might skip that meal by having just a cup of coffee and some small bites. At Factorial we value a sharing environment which is why we often tend to bring additional food to the office. Notifications in our Mattermost channel saying “Franzbrötchen in the kitchen, please help yourselves” happen a couple of times during the week. And due to the fact that our coffee ma- chine always grinds enough beans for a double espresso, you often see a colleague wandering around in the office with a full cup to find a buddy.
Additional note: Our office location is very close to the river Elbe. Needless to say, this offers a great place to go for a run. So, while some of us are still in bed or having breakfast at home, others are taking advantage of the boardwalk, normally inviting hundreds of people to wander around. It’s always a great way to clear your mind and revive your body. Afterwards, our colleagues can take a shower in the office facilities before jump- ing into their first calls and tasks.
If the weather allows it, first meetings often take place outside. There’s nothing better than enjoying the sun while having a coffee and starting into the day, well, at least in our European time zone. Because what might happen is that our team from Brazil hasn’t chimed in yet due to the time difference while our colleague from Singapore might be about to close his laptop soon already.
What to have for lunch
From our office location there is nothing too far when it comes to the hunt for food during lunch break. A couple of great places are a three minute walk away, apart from the variety Ottensen has to offer.
Let us highlight a few places where you might stumble upon us having our lunch, more than once a week.
Masala — The Indian Flavour
This little Indian restaurant caught our attention for two reasons. First: It has a shifting meal plan throughout the week only offering two meals every day, freshly made. One day there is a palak paneer on the menu and the next day a channa massala. You can always chose between a meat and vegetarian dish and we love it! And second: The owner likes to use our own reusable lunch boxes for his delicious meals, which we gladly accept.
Next up on our lunch plan is this restaurant, which offers a variety of authentic dishes (especially vietnam- ese). We can’t let a week pass without having some summer rolls or a Bun (noodle salad). During colder days, the selection of pho soups serves the purpose and always leaves us with happy faces.
Since this delicious restaurant is located in the same street as our office, our quest for food always starts here. It happened quite some time that we were initially planning to go somewhere else, but stopped while passing this place. It serves a couple of great dishes including several veggie and vegan options, which we love!
This Portuguese bodega has something in stall for everyone. Its lunch menu ranges from soups and vegetari- an dishes to saisonal meals, including their individual Portuguese flavor. We’d like to highlight their effort for organic ingredients and their amazing service!
Especially during the warmer months this is the place to go. Music is coming out of this little corner bistro and spreads the perfect lunch vibes. Meals include homemade ingredients and the chef ’s smile while prepar- ing the food is contagious.
What to do after work
When the last meetings are finished, our team members pack their stuff to call it a day. While some are still heavily focusing on their tasks taking advantage of our flexible working hours, others are catching up with the colleagues. There is time now to have a longer chat and while doing so, some are opening a cold bottle of beer or challenge their team mates with a round of table soccer (speaking of pre corona times, obviously). Others are already on the run to their individual evening activities. Here are some that our team likes to recommend:
Der Altonaer Balkon
If the weather allows it, there is nothing more relaxing than having a cold drink at the Altonaer Balkon (less than 5 minutes walk) to see the ships passing by on the river Elbe. Especially during the summer months there are quite a lot of people taking advantage of this green and relaxing place to meet up.
Weekly Yoga Sessions
It is a well known fact in the team that Seda’s sister Sema is a yogi-queen! Every Tuesday after work, she en- lightens the team with her energetic and warmhearted spirit in a 1 hour yoga-class which many of our col- leagues gladly join.
For almost three decades this place, located in the heart of Ottensen, is offering a variety of rather curious movies a bit off mainstream. This movie theatre doesn’t compete with Hollywood productions but is rather focusing on selected jewels of the industry. Since many of them are available with subtitles in English, Span- ish and other languages it is perfect to visit with an international team. During the warmer months they offer an open air cinema, which is even closer to our company.
Of course there are also a couple of bars that our team is likely to be seen in. After asking the team which are the preferred places, we were told that the Café Reisebar as well as the Reh Bar and Familien Eck serve as the perfect locations for an after work drink. After all, for many of our colleagues the family awaits their return to their homes. So, taking care of their loved ones, preparing dinner or having a reading session with the kids are also frequent activities that take place during the evenings, which is why opinions differ greatly here.
Summing up, talking to the team has revealed quite interesting things we didn’t know about the district we are working in. It is always refreshing to learn something new, isn’t it?
Digital Marketing Manager