My learnings from the learning journey
Kirjoittanut: Marcos Homar Heinonen - tiimistä SYNTRE.
When thinking about the learning journey I had no expectations other than meeting new like-minded people from another teamwork-focused academy. I enjoyed previous visitors very much so this would not be any different. One of my main focuses from the beginning of Proakatemia was to meet new people and build a network. This learning journey was amongst other things a moment to reflect and observe myself. An observation that will become something to highlight from my studies at Proakatemia. Harsh wake-up calls are very valuable when they happen at the right time as they teach you a lot. If you accept them and move for the better, they enforce and push you forward.
The first week of the two-week learning journey was more focused on introducing our school to the Swiss students and taking them around the city to do typical Finnish things that all visitors must experience when visiting. The first week was mostly a repetition of things we did in our first study year. But as we say in Finland “repetition is the mother of learning” and that for sure was the case during the week. The first week was also more focused on team bonding and making us all feel comfortable for the rest of the learning journey. The second week of the learning journey was very interesting and taught me many useful things. The things that stuck with me the most from the learning journey were the company visits. The most memorable company visits for me were the ones to Gofore and Futurice. After visiting them I felt like I would love to have a working environment like that. In Gofore they had merged companies from all over Europe to establish similar companies under their name. This was something that attracted me as I would love to work for a Finnish company located in Spain. The working culture and ethics of Finland merged with all the benefits of the Spanish laid-back lifestyle and weather would be my ideal everyday life. The current labour market allows many possibilities for those who want to work the nomad lifestyle. Work no longer ties you to one place in the same way as before.
Being a digital nomad
Being a digital nomad means being a remote worker who travels to different counties regularly to do work. The work of a digital nomad can be made in coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or libraries. As long as there is a Wi-Fi connection being an online worker is possible. There are many types of digital nomads. There are people who travel around their own country in a camper van or RV, or you can do it from a sailboat while sailing from port to port. The more traditional nomad style is the one where you travel from one backpacking hostel/Airbnb to another. The main idea of working remotely is the freedom it gives. The global pandemic accelerated the transformation of remote work and made people realise that work doesn’t bind you to be at one stationary office to get work done.
There are many benefits surrounding the flexible nomadic lifestyle and here are some of them listed. Saving up money by living in low-cost-of-living areas. Having the flexibility to live wherever you want. Evading the regular office spaces. Experiencing new cultures and people from all over the world. You get to learn new languages while traveling which is very useful in today’s world. Traveling broadens the mind. You set your own time schedule and can take time off whenever you want. You can decide where and when you do your work as long as the job gets done. This type of work is suitable for many entrepreneurs as they have the possibility to run their businesses online without being tied to one place. Working for another company remotely or becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own online-based company are options suitable for digital nomads.
Like with everything in life, there are also bad sides to things. Here are some downsides of the nomadic lifestyle. The constant moving can get very exhausting for some. Productivity can suffer from the constant change of scenery. Digital nomads often battle loneliness from being always on the go. Finding stability may become very difficult. A general lack of private space is missing as you don’t have the feeling of being really at home. Traveling may also lose its wow factor after doing it all the time. The downsides of the nomadic lifestyle are to be expected when having a lifestyle like this. This lifestyle works best for people who are by themselves and don’t have to take care of anyone else.
Understanding your role inside the team is fundamental. No matter what type of role you have inside the team everyone is expected to engage and contribute as a vital member of the team. As a team member, it is important to join in decision-making and contribute new ideas. Giving more of oneself talent and energy affect the whole team’s dynamic. Effective communication is an important point that makes teamwork work. Gaining support when new ideas come up contributes to a psychologically safe environment and has a big impact on the team’s performance.
Team members have an enormous effect on team dynamics and performance. Individuals affect the whole team meaning that if one person is doing the minimum effort the whole team is dysfunctional. When people with different cultural backgrounds, approaches, ideas, and skills are brought together conflict is inevitable. Flexibility and collaboration are needed to contradict those problems. Effective team members are the ones who seek out and include others in making critical decisions and solving problems creatively. Having diverse opinions leads to optimal solutions. A team needs committed people. If issues inside the team are not addressed early enough the whole team is suffering. A working team is aware of possible issues and is ready to react if needed. Excellent team members take a strategic approach to their work and plan out the actions they can take to benefit the company. CMOE, 2023
To become a better team player which is ready, willing, and able to support the team it is important to remember emotional intelligence. By having emotional intelligence, a person can identify, understand, and influence emotions in themselves and others. According to this article from Inc. emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of professional success. It is a useful tool for fostering team bonds and team effectiveness. It is good to motivate the team to understand and respect each other’s working styles. Learning to give and receive feedback is key in teamwork environments. Helping a team provide feedback should be encouraged. According to Gallup research, team members are four times more likely to be engaged when they receive meaningful feedback.
This learning journey was something that I didn’t think about that much before it came. I was happy to meet new people from an academy that works on the same principle as Proakatemia. This learning journey was one fundamental turning point for my studies as it made me realize many things about myself and how my actions affect others without me even realizing it. The biggest learning from this learning journey was a personal one. Learning to know yourself is very valuable as you become a better team player when you are aware of your own capabilities.
Center of Management & Organization Effectiveness, The 7 characteristics of a great team player, 2023:https://cmoe.com/blog/characteristics-great-team-player/
Expert Vagabond, Digital nomad lifestyle, 2023:https://expertvagabond.com/digital-nomad-tips/
GALLUP, How Fast Feedback Fuel Performance, Denise McLain & Bailey Nelson, 2022: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/357764/fast-feedback-fuels-performance.aspx
Inc., Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed, Read 31.3.2023: https://www.inc.com/travis-bradberry/why-you-need-emotional-intelligence-to-succeed.html – :~:text=Emotional intelligence predicts performance.&text=TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside,in all types of jobs.