This article was written by Tania, our Head of New Business based in Copnehagen, as part of 24Slides’ Storyteller Program.
Visiting Malang with a mission to improve her connection with her colleagues, Tania discovered that the country offered her more than she expected.
“It is always a challenge when you have to navigate through different cultures and also different personalities,” as stated by Tania, Head of New Business at 24Slides. “But for me, to explore the differences between us and also figure out how we are all the same, that’s a rewarding process.”
At the beginning of 2023, Tania was chosen to become one of the few members of the 24Slides global team to visit Malang, Indonesia. It was an experience to keep the frame in her mind, as it became more than just a business trip.
Tania discovered that Indonesia is not only a warm country but also a warmhearted one. “What I really like is that everybody is busy living their lives doing their things, but at the same time, they are always ready to help and give a smile,” she said.
Tania almost immediately realized this fact when she arrived at Malang. The welcoming by her colleagues in the Malang branch of 24Slides made her feel warm and special. “[Colleagues in Malang] are very genuine, kind, and accepting. Everyone here has open arms for us.”
She came with the mission to get a better alignment between sales and operation divisions since, most of the time, they interacted online. Those two departments are basically the bread and butter of the company, so Tania brought the important mission to unite the two of them as one.
“[We] expected much deeper connections and collaboration, to understand and communicate with each other in a much better way,” she explained. In this case, it means she had to do a lot of meetings, as she indeed mentioned.
Used to online meetings only for the last two years, to meet in person was a completely different thing, Tania said. Not only is it much more effective, but also it has a different kind of ‘sparks’ needed to form better bonds between colleagues.
Being a member of the 24Slides family for two years, sure Tania has understood well what to expect from good colleagues in good company. And according to her 15 years of working experience, 24Slides is one of the most responsible and purpose-driven companies.
“24Slides always focuses on the people,” she said. One of her missions on her first visit to Malang was to build a closer relationship between colleagues, and 24Slides takes this matter very seriously.
“For me, at least a big part of wanting to come here is so I can start building up a closer relationship with my colleagues,” she said. The purpose is to form stronger bonds between them and make the team feel more comfortable sharing information and ideas in the future.
Having a good relationship with colleagues, especially for a multi-nation-scale company like 24Slides, is important not only for the company but also for the well-being of its members. “If the people behind the company are unified, there is nothing stopping the company.”
And as important as the mission she brought to Malang, her wellbeing while living in Malang for two weeks was also vital. Of course, the company takes these matters very seriously. Regarding this, Tania said: “I felt safe. As a woman, I never felt unsafe here, so I would say it’s been a very positive experience for me.”
Speaking of which, her first visit to Malang was more than just meetings and work, it was also chitchatting and hanging around the 24Slides team from the Malang branch. Without a positive working environment, it would be impossible to enjoy the visit.
According to Tania, various things made the two-week stay feel both too long and too short at the same time. Family was one of the reasons why the stay felt so long for her. “I have family back home. I have a husband, I have a cat, of course, I miss them.”
However, the warmth of her colleagues in Malang helped her overcome this. It went to the extent that Tania said: “Now I don’t miss my family back home so much because they made me feel like it is an extended family.”
Beyond just the family sphere, 24Slides also focuses on creating a positive impact on society in general. One thing that Tania mentioned is how the company has its own strategies to focus on its net zero commitment.
For example, the company made sure that her stay in Indonesia was carbon neutral. It shows the level of commitment a B-Corp company like 24Slides has as a part of society, part of the global environment, and part of this planet.
Even though it seems obvious that a company at the scale of 24Slides can contribute a lot to society and the environment, it cannot happen without the contribution of its members.
Talking about that, Tania said it is thanks to the members of 24Slides, who the company supports to keep growing. “People are constantly pushing themselves to do better. The colleagues that we have here are amazing with the ideas they come up with and how they want to run things.”
Finally, having spent two weeks in Malang, Tania said that it was an experience worth keeping framed in her mind. One thing that she highlighted was an open-air aerobics class, with blasting loud music, practiced by women from surrounding houses that she witnessed during one of the morning walks.
“Joining them was a nice experience. It was fun, people living and laughing,” Tania said. Another thing she discovered was numerous murals and graffiti in the city showing real talent and creativity, and people here have deep thoughts.
Also, from her experience as a person coming from one of the happiest countries in the world according to the World Happiness Report, Tania said Indonesian people have different ‘character of happiness’. “I would say people here are content.”
“Content is a very big part of life because otherwise, you can go through your life constantly unhappy. Being content is an internal feeling where you count your blessings, appreciate what you have, and try every day to become a better person.”
Therefore, her experience in the city may bring her back to the country in the future, for more than just a business purpose, of course. “Definitely (coming back),” Tania said.
“One of the first things I told my husband was that it is beautiful. I would like to come with him on a holiday to see Indonesia, travel around, and experience it.” The food in the city was one of the stronger reasons why, as she said: “The food [in Malang] is very good, is very diverse. I love sambal and tempeh for breakfast.”
There is one funny experience she had while exploring the diversity of food in Indonesia, when she tried durian for the first time. “I took a bite or two, and it was good at that moment. But when I took more, I couldn’t help to give up.”
She laughingly admitted that she even threw it up in the toilet, and this experience gave her an additional motivation to come back to Indonesia because… “I for SURE am going to make him (her husband) try durian!”