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How Do You Switch Off?

     
By on April 29, 2016 - 14 Minutes

We take work/life balance very seriously at Mobile Jazz and we believe a happy team is a productive one. We often take company retreats (Cape Town, Thailand, Spanish Pyrenees and recently skiing in Austria and Switzerland) but we consider that true work/life balance begins at home in day to day life.

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As 99% of mobiles and tablets support email and have apps for everything, it can be tough to switch off after work with emails trickling in and notifications popping up. Other than email, we use HipChat for our team chat, Asana to manage internal tasks and use Trello boards to manage projects with clients.

We’ve rounded up the whole team to share a few lines each about their preferences and activities to help unwind.

Adam Smith (Marketing Lead and Frontend Developer)

I don’t mind staying late, helping out after hours or being called in for an emergency, but at the end of the day, I like to switch off. I prefer not to be reminded of work related tasks out of hours and for this reason, I don’t have HipChat, Asana or Trello installed on my phone. I have my work email setup on a different email client, so I can keep it separated from my personal emails and check it periodically.

To relax, I like to skate. I’ve been rolling ever since I can remember, broken both arms and a leg over the years, but I’ll never give it up. It clears my mind, is great exercise and gives me a rush like no other.

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Aldo Borrero González (Android Engineer)

I really like working hard and if I have to stay late, I will gladly do it to push things forward. At the end of the day, I enable Android’s Do Not Disturb option. I have it configured only to interrupt me if there’s anything urgent and strictly not related to work.

When I need to relax, I love to play videogames. I really love dueling with my friends from Madrid playing Super Smash Bros. I also enjoy going to the cinema, more precisely ‘Phenomena Cinema’ which is the best option to see fantastic old movies.

Aleix Ventayol (Backend Team Lead)

The best way for me to switch off is to be far away from any technology, so doing outdoor activities is one of the best ways to disconnect. Being in touch with nature helps you to feel better, clear your mind and forget anything related to work.

In winter, I ski whenever I can. Having a flexible schedule allows me to go to the mountains just as the snow falls and avoid the weekend crowds. You can definitely disconnect in the open snowy mountains and I don’t usually have cellular coverage to check emails.

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The craziest thing I do to relax is taking part in the Human Towers. This is a crazy Catalan tradition where we climb all over each other to build… human towers. It’s like having a second family where everyone works together two to three times per week, to reach a target that we all enjoy doing!

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Brian McGee (Full-Stack Engineer)

Reading for me is essential. The more stressed I become the more important it is that I read, whether it be a 20 min break, whilst eating my lunch or even when I’m walking to and from the office. The escapism which reading provides can be enough to pull me out of my own head and give me a renewed sense of perspective.

In addition to reading, I have also adopted a pretty brutal approach to notifications. I don’t mind having Asana or HipChat on my phone, in fact at times it’s pretty useful, but when it reaches 8pm at night my phone turns off all notifications except for phone calls until 8am the next morning.

David Rodríguez (UI Designer)

I love to spend time with my friends, drinking a cafe con leche in Plaza Mayor. I enjoy living in my little village outside of Barcelona. I love the city and would definitely live there again, but there are times I need a more relaxed pace and to be surrounded by beautiful, green landscapes.

I also have some friends doing an Erasmus through Europe which is a very good excuse to jump on a plane for a visit as I also love to travel. I always take my phone with me and as a wi-fi hunter, I’m always pretty reachable.

Diego Freniche Brito (iOS and Android Developer)

My kids always help me to switch off after work. They might need me to help with a homework assignment, to talk to or just to play Minecraft with! I tend to be unreachable until 18:00, but after that, I’m free to play with them.
Sometimes I run after work to help clear my mind and to stay reasonably fat. Whilst I love doing sports, I also love to sit down and read, watch movies or play video games (especially turn-based strategy games) and I looove eating too, which is not a good combo – hence sports: important for your body and mind!

I have both Asana and Gmail installed on my phone, but a strict do-not-disturb setting that turns off notifications from 21:00 – 9:00. I’m pretty good at not looking at anything work-related until I need to work, and having the phone muted most of the time helps too.

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Fran González (Web Team Lead)

Like most of our team, I don’t mind working at random hours, being flexible with my schedule or mixing personal and professional life. When it comes to stress, I’m not very good at dealing with it, so I try to keep my levels of stress as low as possible.

Over the years, I’ve understood how good is to do constant exercise and I’ve discovered that yoga and meditation help me a lot to reduce stress and disconnect. I love going out for challenging hikes in the mountains and at the end of a long and stressful day, a glass of good wine always helps me lay back and relax.

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Joan Martin (Mobile Team Lead)

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

That’s quite a statement, and in my case, it’s mostly true! I am the Mobile Team Lead at Mobile Jazz and I love what I do: code, manage new projects, help the team and so much more. Some days are long, others are short. Some weeks have a lot of stress, other are more relaxed. Overall, I love my day to day work and personal life.

There are days where so much happens and when arriving home, I need some time to myself. On these occasions, what I love to do is to play guitar or bass tracks to my favourite artists: Dire Straits, Jimmy Hendrix, and Pink Floyd to name a few. I plug my Yamaha electric bass into my 450W Behringer double speaker and play The Dark Side of the Moon from the beginning to the end. As I am living in an isolated house, I can do it until the walls shake and windows vibrate until their almost broken. It’s an amazing sensation that makes me unaware of anything else. The bad side is that my wife might have a different opinion of these loud-music sessions 🙂

Jordi Giménez (CTO and Co-Founder)

I don’t mind mixing work and personal life, I’m happy with working at odd hours and having free time when everybody is supposed to be working. That being said, I do have some unwinding routines after a long day of work.

I love reading books (currently Kingkiller’s chronicle is keeping me awake at nights) and watching a few TV series with my wife (Better Call Saul and House of Cards are our favorites). I also love cooking! Did you know they say engineers make great cooks?

I’m well known by the team for being totally lazy when it comes to physical activity. Lately, though, I’ve managed to go to a swimming pool next close to home and I must admit it’s done wonders to reduce stress.

Bunyols are a typical pastry made in Catalonia for Easter holidays, these are my little creations!
Bunyols are a typical pastry made in Catalonia for Easter holidays, these are my little creations!

Jose Luis Franconetti Olmedo (iOS and Android Engineer)

I love my job as a software engineer, but switching off completely can get complicated when you’re involved in several projects. You have to be prepared to fix any problem at any time.

I try to disconnect on my free days, doing what I like to do most: snowboarding! I try to go once a week, and once a year I like to travel to Austria or Switzerland for a full week snowboarding to improve my skills.

Another favourite activity of mine is to hike, getting a full day out in the open air is fantastic. And last but not least, it’s always good to enjoy a beer and a good meal with friends at the end of the day.

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Luciano Santana (Frontend and Backend Developer)

Though I should, I never switch off completely. My duty never usually calls at odd hours but I still quickly read emails and notifications when I’m off. That said, I do allow myself some breaks. After lunch, when working at home I enjoy playing an instrument from my collection. Music helps me to ease the mind, connect with emotions and find some balance before getting back to work.

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At least twice a week and after my shift, I practice rock climbing in a gym. At the weekend I enjoy being in touch with nature, be it hiking, climbing or just chilling on a beach.

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Marc Torruella (Frontend and Backend Developer)

I’m always connected 24/7. I’ve got all notifications enabled both on my computer and phone and I’m checking them all the time, yet I have so many ways to switch off that I have to be careful.

The first way I’m able to forget about my job responsibilities is enjoying my life responsibilities. Meet my two kids:

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I’m always doing at least one online course on any subject, although usually some sort of programming. I have some personal projects too: a bit of gaming, reading and also I’m on a personal quest to watch everything Netflix has to offer.

And after all that, the obvious way for me to switch off is to sleep.

Núria Sagarra (Content Manager)

Ever since I was a young girl, I have always liked jewellery; earrings, necklaces, rings, everything really! Two years ago I decided to take lessons in hand making jewellery. I now enjoy spending time after work creating and building my own customized creations. It really helps me to disconnect from my daily job!

Recently, I have started working with 3D modelling jewellery using RinoGold, an app that allows me to design customized jewellery at 0.5mm precision. It’s tough and the learning curve is steep, but the results are amazing!

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Now that the spring is here, my husband and I have signed up for swing dancing lessons. We are not dancers at all, so this is going to be quite a challenge for both of us!

Working at Mobile Jazz is fun and challenging, but being able to work here and still have the time to do the activities I love is just awesome. This is a good life!

Pablo García Roca (Design Team Lead)

I like to do house related tasks whenever I finish my work day, it helps switch from my work tasks and serves as a separator between working hours and leisure time. I usually tend to go to the supermarket or grocery store to buy things which get me out of the house!

I’m not a big fan of physical activities, although I do have a bike (electric, I cheat). I love to head out and do a few kilometers within the city, going to Montjüic, Forum and other great spots.

I’m a gamer, I’ve got two consoles and a PC and love to play. From the typical, easy minded, commercial shooter (such as performing some headshots at The Division), to the most advanced strategy games (like building a huge city on Cities Skylines) which make me think and keeps my mind fresh.

Paolo Tagliani (iOS Engineer)

For me, the best way of switch off is to walk away from my desk and get moving. As a fully remote worker, I really feel the need to get up and out of my house at the end of the day, do some sports or just hang out with some friends.

I practice many sports on a daily basis: depending on the season, I do kitesurfing, skiing and snowboarding, ski alpinism and running. Recently I discovered rock climbing and it really engages me and fills my life with a little adrenaline.

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I also have two separate mail clients for work and personal emails. I have email notifications turned on, so I won’t be tempted to look at the last email before going for a run and delaying my activity.

Pol Batlló Casadesús (Backend Developer)

I find the best way to switch off is by leaving technology behind and going outdoors. My favorite place to be when I’m not working is with my Human Towers. We like to climb on top of each other, and while you might think it’s a mess, it’s really not!

It is a very organized activity in which absolutely everyone has an assigned position, we need to train in huge amounts to achieve something like you can see in the picture below.

What I like most about it, is that it is the only sport/activity in the world that I have found where absolutely everyone in a family plays an active role. Children, adults and the elderly are all welcome and very useful to achieve our goal.

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Apart from Castells, I also really enjoy using our family boat to sail off, do some cliff jumping and spearfishing in my hometown of Tamariu.

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Stefan Klumpp (CEO and Co-Founder)

A few years ago, prior to running Mobile Jazz, I used to be a very stressed person. I always wanted to do great work, as this is what really drives me in life. But working with the wrong people made it very difficult to deliver the best results. It then ultimately all weighed down on my shoulders to fix everything up.

That’s why I started Mobile Jazz with the vision of being surrounded by smart people that share the same philosophy, values, and work culture. I can’t say that I’m completely relieved of stress today, but it has changed its form from previously keeping me worried all the time, to something that I’d call positive stress that challenges and pushes me to explore new frontiers.

switch-off-stefan

I believe what really removes the stress from my life is the freedom to have balance. I’m a big outdoor sports fan, but I also enjoy mental challenges to keep my mind engaged. So my typical day consists of a couple of intense work hours in the morning, followed by a two to three-hour break mid-day to go kitesurfing or skiing. And then fully relaxed back to work afterwards.

Stefano Driussi (Windows Engineer)

Working as a freelancer has one big advantage over other forms of work: I’m responsible for managing my time. Sometimes it’s harder, with pressuring requests, but when I really need to stop, I cut myself from working channels (but I always keep an internet connection at hand for other things 😃) and relax.

It could be a Dota 2 match with some random people online during a cold winter night or a ride on the hills with my bike followed by a dive in a freezing river during summer. But when I’m just tired and too lazy, I pop out my hammock, find two trees in a park and hang there for a couple hours, feeling the wind and the sun touching my face.

switch-off-stefano

Vito Valov (Android Engineer)

I usually work on own projects during the weekends, but I like to randomly go to parks, the beach or to the gym with my girlfriend. I also love to fly a drone which is my latest hobby, and it requires going out of the city and civilization, which is relaxing at the same time.

Whenever I have some free unplanned time, I try to fill it reading one of the thousands of articles I’ve saved in pocketApp or finish whatever book I’m reading.


So there you have it, that’s how our team unwinds! How do you switch off? Let us know.

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