Hi 👋 My name is Dror Wayne. I’m 21 years-old and this probably isn’t the first time you’ve read my writing, given that for about 6 months, every bit of text published by OneCoWork came through me, but it is the first time I’ll talk to you about me, personally, in the first person and in my own, natural voice.
I’ve been working at OneCoWork for almost a year now. What’s my role? Good question. I’ve done a lot of things here and I’ve learned a lot along the way – which is what I’d like to share with you today. But first, here’s a quick summary of how I got here, for context.
I’m studying International Relations and Spanish (BA) at the University of Leeds. All language students have to take a year abroad whilst most study in a partner university or teach English with the British Council, that's not really my style.
"...can only be described as a revolution of the workplace"
However, although I had plenty of short-term jobs, part-time jobs and work-experience, I didn’t have a full-time position over a long-period of time.
I set out looking for a job in Barcelona (why Barcelona is an entirely separate story), stumbled across OneCoWork and decided it would be a cool place to work. (Spoiler: I didn’t know how right I was).
I reached out to Ben (CEO), interviewed with him along with Pablo, Eva and Oscar and then I was off.
"To trust is to empower"
It's been incredible being a part of what can only be described as a revolution of the workplace. So without further ado, here they are:
In person, body language contextualises our speech. Be careful when using online chat tools, as you lose that advantage – emojis can help. Also, what one person says might not be what another person hears; make sure you're speaking the same language.
I'm surrounded by talented professionals who have chosen to move to Barcelona and work from OneCoWork, connecting remotely to their companies in other countries.
The amount of knowledge sharing that goes on in our buildings must surely match many universities. Not just in the workshops and masterclasses but also when people step out of their private offices, work in the communal areas and help one another
In the professional and innovation world, English is the language. Sometimes, we'd be a group of Spanish speakers but speaking English, only mid-way through the conversation realise we could switch - all of us assumed someone else couldn't and naturally spoke in English to accommodate them.
The more automations you invest in setting up, the more you can achieve in the areas only YOU can. Get the different apps and programs; integrate them all through API and retake control of your time.
Give them your full attention and show them you understand. Empathise. Try to understand people's point of view - both the intellectual and the emotional.
In many ways, I saw this in some aspects, but at OneCoWork I learned the value of a consistent end-to-end experience from the very first touch points, throughout the customer journey until after… well, forever. Give your customers the best experience from the moment they hear your name. Lock that experience directly into your brand.
When your people know you trust them to make decisions; when they know that even if you would make a different decision, you'll back them for theirs and accept that they had a different rationale; when they understand your comments are feeding for the future and not a criticism of them, they'll be far more willing to think independently, take decisions and make things happen - just like you do. Shoutout to Ben, for showing me this.
There's nothing wrong with working an 18-hour day occasionally - or with working a 110-hour week - as long as (A) you recognise your limits, getting rest so you can be more productive and (B) you balance it out with time off, time relaxing and time spent partying just as hard as you work.
At the end of the day, or the week, have a beer and recognise what you and your colleagues have achieved. Not least because it will set you up for the next round of work.
If you’ve signed up to an internship – anywhere in the world – jump right into it. Earn your place and prove not just to everyone around you, but to yourself, that you deserve to be there. Focus on how you can contribute to the company and as a by-product, you’ll end up learning and gaining the most.
Don’t be afraid to ask for things.
“Hey, supervisor, can we schedule 15 minutes next week to touch base? I’m halfway through my placement so I think it would be a good opportunity for feedback and plan my last 3 months”.
“Hey, supervisor, I’ve noticed this area of the business is interesting to me and had this idea. Can I develop and action it?”
“Hey, random colleague, I heard about this project which seems really interesting. Can you explain to me a bit about how it works?”
Hey, this doesn’t mean be arrogant. That’s important. But when you’re given an opportunity, take it and own it.
Make suggestions and ask questions. “Hey boss, why don’t we do this? I thought it would be a good idea because X, Y and Z”. The best bosses will either say, “sounds good, let’s do it” or “nice idea, but you’ve overlooked ___ which is the main reason”. Just remember to think about the format of the ideas – when and how you pitch them are particularly important.
Show you’re open to being supported.
“Thanks for the tip, colleague. I’ll definitely work on that in the future”. It’s hard to do sometimes – it’s in our nature to justify what we have done than simply accept advice. But you can accept the advice, mentally file it away and then evaluate for yourself what the best solution is. That way, people will remain more willing to give feedback and help you grow, because you accept it gracefully.
“Hey, colleague. I’m just about to send off this email, but before I do, could you take a look please?” This doesn’t even apply just to interns but to everyone, everywhere, ever. Second opinions are important. Even if 8 times out of 10 you get, “Yeah looks good” and 1/10 is advice you don’t agree with… the last single time out of ten will be a really useful, alternative perspective that helps you kill it.
Whilst you’re at it, identify the best people for advice at your company. Some people are excellent at taking a look at a situation or problem, understanding it and coming up with a strategy.
Don’t just take on interns for the sake of it – find someone who will really be able to contribute to your company.
Show them that if they put in, you’ll put in also. Show them you trust them and empower them to make decisions.
At first, let them explain those decisions to you for rubber-stamping or feedback (that’s important – explain why it might not be the best option) and eventually they’ll be able to achieve without waiting for your approval.
"They're motivated because they're positioning themselves for the rest of their lives".
If you think taking on an intern will take the work of menial tasks off your shoulders… it won’t. No intern will ever be as good an administrator as someone you’re paying minimum wage to – they have 0 motivation. On the other hand, interns can return more value than some of your most valuable members of staff, if you give them responsibility and a chance to achieve great things – their motivation is greater than living up to their contract. They’re motivated because they’re positioning themselves for the rest of their lives.
It’s pretty surreal to be writing this. It’s only just starting to hit me that I’m leaving OneCoWork to head back to London and to studying. My world of work for the last year really has been… joyful. Which leaves one thing…
Hiring is hard; trusting people to represent your company is harder. Thank you Ben, Scott and Uri for bringing me into your business. Watching and being a part of the growth has been an incredible educational experience.
Pablo for not only teaching me so much about digital marketing that I can now lecture about it, but for pushing me to take on new things and opening the door for me to progress from intern all the way to Content Manager. Fernanda, for being a great mentor and friend for the few months we worked together. You always “got it” and I really enjoyed working with you. Karina, for showing me that you can clash with someone for months, drive each other mad and argue about everything… but then turn around and make a killer team. Bahram, not just for the immense knowledge you’ve shared but also for being great fun to collaborate with.
Ray, before you joined in March I was mentally preparing myself for someone taking over my role, but my still being involved. It’s a recipe for disaster, but instead we achieved some incredible things these last few months; developed new, creative ideas and laid the groundwork for growth.
Patricia, Jesse and Eva, though I've principally been with the marketing team, we also worked closely on various projects. Thank you for showing me different areas of the business and allowing me to widen my experience. Patricia, you've always kept my standards up and have never been afraid to give me your full thoughts; a particular thank you goes to you.
Stacey and Lydia together with Ruby, Gonzalo, Mireia, Margaux and Carolina - you're not only the foundation of OneCoWork and the glue that keeps us together, but also always there for us with smiles and support.
Joan, Marc and Nestor, thank you for creating the most inspiring workspace, together with Carlos and Jose for keeping all the infrastructure running. It’s unbelievable how dependant on you we are! Mariona for the endless motivation to keep learning Catalan, also.
Oscar, Carolina, Alex and Samuel, for spending as much time helping me do my job as you do on Finance! From guidance through the accounting requirements to proofing my Spanish and Catalan writing, you guys were always willing to lend a hand and it's much appreciated!
Caio, Seb and Alexandra - it's for good reason they call you the Happiness team! Thanks for all the "quick opinions" that helped me make the best decisions day-to-day.
"When we teach, we learn" Clement, Charles, Yanny, Christy, Claire, Nicky, Bre, Enguerrand, Agathe, Jade, Hassan and Jort, you've helped me become a far better leader, guide and mentor, more than you can imagine.
Bridget, seeing the difference in your writing and processes when you started and finished at OneCoWork made me prouder than seeing my own work published; Dean, you continue to inspire me to be positive and work well with others (#DeanVibes) and Lisa, through your relentless questioning on different aspects on business and strategy, you forced me to dive deeper, think more logically and analyse more intellectually than ever before.
Natalia - you joined after I finished this article and I'm sitting opposite you adding this in. Welcome to the team, I'm already enjoying working with you and I'm sure you're going to achieve great things here.
I'm Dror Wayne; originally from London. I worked in Sales and Marketing at OneCoWork from July 2018 to June 2019. It would be a pleasure to connect with you on linkedin, here.
I'm now moving back to the UK, where I'll complete my degree in Leeds. I'll also be continuing to work on MAGNIV, the London-based business I co-founded and have been remote working on until now.
I'm available for public speaking; individual & group business coaching and short-term consultancy in strategy, business development, sales, marketing and events. I can be reached at email@example.com.