Cross-office network – a story

22 januari 2020

I have been an Arcadian now for almost 2 years. What a journey! As we  just approached 2020, we start to ponder about what went right or wrong in the past months, our accomplishments and what is left to start 2020 with a fresh start. In 2019, I have had a remarkable year in terms of professional growth. Being able to share publicly my involvement within Arcadis has been fulfilling. My most recent experience happened in September, when I visited an Arcadis office outside of North America.

Globalization and technology have dramatically improved the way companies do business worldwide. The ability to communicate remotely, work across offices, sometimes even across time zones, use resources and technical experts to deliver the highest quality of service breaks all geographical boundaries and helps promoting more integration within the company. Working from a different office that not your own also contributes to more integration, knowledge sharing and networking across Arcadis. The Lovinklaan Foundation sponsors the Quest program, a global transfer program with this goal. Additionally, the possibility of working from another office for a project or to accommodate personal demands is an added benefit of our People First value.

While I was in Brazil visiting my family, I worked from the Sao Paulo office for two weeks. One valid thing to note is that the first contact I made in the Sao Paulo office was through the Global Shapers Community Ambassadors network, then I was put in contact with the group working in my field of expertise. Here, I want to point out another advantage of being part of a global company — networking is possible even if you are sitting at your desk sipping your morning coffee in your local office.

Even though I kept on working on my local projects, we all could exchange knowledge and experiences, discuss our expertise and have more informal networking during lunchtime. I was able to share some of our current work in Virginia and some of my local office culture, especially regarding our early career professional development. Likewise, I could learn their office culture and ongoing projects.

The experience of being in a different office is quite interesting. One can’t help but notice the particularities of each office or group that may or may not be similar to one’s local office. Nonetheless, the visit is enriching both ways. What I enjoyed the most about being there was the welcoming environment and how friendly everyone was. I was happy to be invited to participate of a small surprise baby-shower that a small group in the office planned for a co-worker about 3 days after I arrived. That was the sense of belonging that we feel with Arcadians throughout the world no matter where we are.

Nowadays, making connections in different places is important for our business as much as for our personal and career growth. I had not been to another office before, but it is an experience I would like to repeat when I have the chance.

Downtown Sao Paulo historic buildings (left) and the Arcadis office building (right)

By Giovana Batista