Hans Guido on working in Germany and Brazil

Almost exactly one year ago, our developer Hans Guido Steffen Costa packed his bags and moved back to Brazil. But luckily we still see him regularly in our videoconferences, because he still works for Picalike – just not from Hamburg! Since we were mainly working remotely anyway at the time due to the pandemic (with the option to go to our office in Betahaus) and switched to agile working, the ground was set for working from another country.

This also led to the idea: shouldn’t we expand our team with colleagues in Brazil? After all, we already had some team members (our CEO, our Project Manager, me from Marketing and of course Hans Guido) who knew the culture and language of this country very well. So it was not only Hans Guido who experienced a big change.

But what are the differences when you work from Brazil? What is different there, different here? It’s time to take a closer look.

Dear Hans Guido, it's been almost a year since you moved back to Brazil and started working for Picalike from your old hometown Belém. A lot has happened in that time! How many developers were you when you flew back?

Yes, that’s right! When we started the Brazil project, we were only 5 developers in the whole company. And now we are already 12! This is a very fast growth, which brings some changes.

Are your tasks still the same?

Hans-Guido Profil

Not quite. We have started new projects and new employees have joined the team. There is more to be organized in order to do justice to all the tasks. The less experienced developers also have to be supervised and coached.

How has your daily life changed due to the time difference?

Not that much, really. I’ve always started to work very early in the morning in Germany, too, and that’s stayed the same here. What’s only really different is that I have little overlap time with the team from Germany – even though I get up very early. After all, we are 4 to 5 hours behind here.

You are our only developer who has worked for us from both countries. What was easier when you were working from here?

When I consider all the advantages of the two worlds, which are so different, I immediately think of the communication method in Germany. It is more direct and efficient. I like that a lot and it made a lot of things easier.

Belem landkarte

What's better when working from Brazil?

So the most important thing: The Internet in Brazil is much faster, even here in Belém. (laughs)

Until recently, all the members of your team were Brazilians, but not all of them live in Belém. So you also work totally remotely among yourselves. Does that allow you to get to know each other privately? Or is everything super anonymous?

No, it’s not anonymous. Whenever we have the opportunity, we also talk about things from everyday life, about life in general. We do our best to get to know each other better. By the way, this doesn’t only refer to the members of my team, but also to the communication with members from the other teams. We also do conversation sessions in English, so that those with less language skills can practice.

Do you miss anything from when you worked here?

I miss Hamburg and the good beers. Also my little home in Norderstedt and the well-defined seasons that don’t exist here in northern Brazil. But I don’t miss the Hamburg sun. (laughs)

That would surprise me too, after all, Belém is located directly on the equator in the rainforest and has an average of 30 degrees Celsius all year round. Sun and heat are definitely not lacking. But if we were to pack you a package, what should we put in it?

Beer from Ayinger, Mettbrot, proper oat milk, Döner, Gyros Pita… And these are only the first things that come to mind. Can I not get a whole suitcase instead of a small package?

Let's see what we can do about that. Many thanks in any case for the insight into your work!

If you’d also like to learn more about our new team members, check out our blog at Inside Picalike!

5 Questions for Otávio

5 Fragen Otavio

Since August 1st Luiz Otávio dos Santos Mascarenhas (what a name! For us simply Otávio) strengthens the developer team. With his enthusiasm and drive he fits perfectly into the Operations team with 2 German and 2 Brazilian colleagues. This team is responsible for making sure that all our products run smoothly. But this is only his first stop, after that he will directly join the other teams! We are very happy to get to know him a little better here and now with our 5 questions, even if there is an ocean between us!

Dear Otavio, tell us a little about yourself! Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies?

My name is Luiz Otávio dos Santos Mascarenhas and I am 20 years old. I’m Brazilian, born in the state of Rio de Janeiro, more precisely in an inland city called Itaocara. When I was 5 years old we moved to Cabo Frio, where I still live. I like to watch documentaries and series, play guitar and sometimes some games.

Which of your new tasks here at Picalike do you enjoy the most?

Currently, I’m setting up alerts to report bugs and helping with the documentation. Through this, I’m learning a lot about how the codes are structured and how my colleagues work in the company.

If you could take a glimpse at the future, what would you want to see in 6 months?

I hope to be supporting the team in everything and to be already fully adapted to all the details of the job. And I hope that this will help the company to grow and also my own growth.

Cabo Frio Brasilien

Video call… Do you change for it or come-as-you-are? Why?

A little bit of both. I don’t get dressed up to go out chic, but I don’t sit in front of the computer completely sloppy either. I think remote work gives us the incredible opportunity to work from the comfort of our own homes. But that doesn’t mean to me that working from home isn’t something serious. So in short, I work in a way that I could leave the house at any time the way I am.

What would you like to drink with your colleagues after work? And why that particular drink?

After work? Beer. I don’t drink very often. But I can’t deny that we Brazilians have an incredible fondness for beer and for the social power that this drink also exudes. And the togetherness it fosters.

That’s right, I always found that nice in Brazil. To sit in a botequinho with friends at the end of the day, to watch the hustle and bustle on the street and to have a relaxed drink (in my case, however, I prefer a coconut water, wine doesn’t really work in Brazil). Thank you, Otávio, for your answers!

Since Brazilian beer 🍻 is so different from German, you should try one of the most famous ones like Antárctica, Skoll or Brahma! In this store, for example, you can order one.

If you would like to read more about our other team members, check out our blog at Inside Picalike! Click here to go to the blog!

How does Multilingualism work at Picalike?

post inage multilingualism
Maik in front of the logo
For almost a year now, multilingualism has played a significant role at Picalike: a German-speaking team here in Germany, a Portuguese-speaking team in Brazil and, as common ground, the company language in the joint meetings is English. Three languages in one company – how does that work? I asked our project manager Maik Kade, the interface between the teams! Spoiler alert: He has worked in the intercultural field for years, as you can see immediately from his answers!

Dear Maik, you speak German as your native language and both English and Portuguese at a very high level. However, not everyone at Picalike does. Could you explain in more detail how the communication between the development teams works?

Communication currently occurs in three languages: German, English and Portuguese. However, different communication situations must be distinguished here:
  • Company-wide written documentation, for example, of tasks, technical details, problems and the like. In other words, everything that could be read now or in the future by any person and contains work-related information. This is all done in English.
  • Written communication in the chat channel, which in our case is Slack. As long as the course of the communication is only relevant to the people writing to each other, and as long as all the people present in the channel can also use this language at a high skill level (B2 or more), the people involved are allowed to decide on the language used. Otherwise it is English.
  • Meetings and real oral communication proceed in the same way as written chat communication. English is the default, unless everyone present speaks German or Portuguese at a high proficiency level.

What other moments are there when you have to choose a language? And how do you choose?

In addition to the communication examples already mentioned, there are also some special possibilities that I encourage the use of, if the situation allows it.
  • In certain situations (mostly oral communication), it is possible to work purely on the receptive competencies. Linguistically proven and I think easy to understand for every foreign language learner is that the comprehension competence (reading/listening) is always higher orally and in writing than when performant (writing/speaking). Therefore, there are sometimes situations where we allow people to perform in their strongest performing language, if the comprehension skills of the conversation partners are high enough to follow a “native speaker”. This can compensate for deficits in competencies. With the help of an example, it becomes clearer: Person A speaks German very well, understands English well and Portuguese well. Person B speaks Portuguese very well, understands German well and little English. The best possible communication would then be that A speaks German and B Portuguese. And not what is often found in reality: Both speak English with each other, but have enormous communication problems.
Multilingualism Picalike
  • Whenever it is particularly difficult to understand each other or a topic is very sensitive, we have several people in the company who have a high level of proficiency in all three languages and can be asked to act as mediators/translators at any time. I myself am one of them. This helps the team a lot.

Employees are proficient in English at a wide range of levels. How does that work?

In general, communicating with each other in a non-native language is a great challenge, which is too often underestimated, especially in the case of English. After all, everyone speaks English today… right? First of all, this is still a misconception, because especially in many non-European countries English does not automatically play an important role in education, or the quality of education can simply be insufficient. Brazil actually belongs to the latter case and “good” English is more the exception than the rule. And even in Europe, not everyone speaks English equally well. Now, if people speak a language at different levels of competence, then for me there are three stages in the ability to communicate.
  • The difference in language competence is so great that task- and problem-solving-oriented efficient communication is simply not possible.
  • The difference is small, so that tasks/problems can be worked on together. But it is still large enough that the more linguistically competent person can often argue better than the other person due to his/her linguistic competence and therefore has an advantage in asserting him/herself that is not based on expertise.
  • The difference is marginal and cases 1 and 2 do not occur. From now on, only pure personality and expertise count. And we all know that even that is not always easy.
In our company all 3 situations exist and we try to compensate for the competence discrepancies through the possibilities mentioned in the previous question. But it always means that communication takes more time and requires a more sensitive approach than when only situation 3 prevails. Unfortunately, I have to emphasize here again that especially situation 2 regarding global communication in English is far too often underestimated by companies in the world.

Language is also a part of a culture. Do you also notice this in the communication within the company? Does a bit of wit sometimes get lost?

If that means culture/language-specific humor, then that certainly happens sometimes, although everyone in our company really makes an effort to translate such things directly and try to convey the culturally specific nature of a situation, a pun or a joke to the others. I think that’s great, because it at least promotes some of the intercultural competence of our international team.
But it would indeed be bad if this mutual information exchange did not take place. This can very quickly lead to the formation of groups by language and, in the worst case, to the exclusion/discrimination of individuals or cultural groups. I think that every company, that relies on internationally mixed teams, must make sure that there are qualified employees who monitor and train the communication within the company.

What are the benefits for the company of having multilingualism within the team?

From the company’s point of view, the extra effort required for communication monitoring and training, as well as generally longer communication times in some cases, can act as a deterrent. But interculturality can also bring considerable advantages.
  • The first thing that always comes to mind is the concept of synergy. That is, the combination of individuals/teams that provides more than just additive value. This is made possible by people from different cultures working together. Because that always means: different ways of looking at tasks and problems, different working methods and, accordingly, a greater potential for solutions and progress in the company.
  • And then there is also the constant search for suitable specialists or for personnel in general. If I don’t have to limit myself to just one country, then I have more options, or in some cases even any options at all.
  • Last but not least, our employees feel at home in an international company precisely because they have the opportunity to work with people from other cultural backgrounds and also benefit personally from this exchange. This can bond a team and retain employees.

What advice would you give to a company that is in the process of implementing multilingualism?

The first is to deal with the challenges of multilingualism beforehand and also to admit your own lack of expertise and not just think, “It’ll work out, everyone knows English.” Unfortunately, when it comes to language, everyone thinks they have a say pretty quickly, but de facto, trained staff and preparation for the challenge are the keys to success. Second: Realize that multilingual communication with each other means more time and it will certainly reduce team productivity in the beginning before the desired synergies kick in. Thirdly, to be familiar with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in the European area, at least in the field of levels, as well as with the common examinations such as B2 for the professional, C1 etc. The still often used terms “business fluent, fluent, native speaker” are too vague and poorly measurable.
The levels according to the CEFR are that and describe very precisely what someone can do. They apply to all languages spoken in the EU. This helps with applicants and assessing the language compatibility of existing teams. Fourth, help employees develop foreign language skills. There are so many options: Company courses, financial support for language courses, encouraging language exchange (tandem concept) in the company. And there is so much more!

Thank you very much for the elaborate answers!

If you have any further questions for him, don’t hesitate to write to us. Or have a look at our blog – for example under “Inside Picalike“.

5 Questions for Sandra

Sandra Kade

Another new team member joined us last year! It is long overdue to introduce her to you. We want to do that right now. We’re happy to announce that Sandra Jurema Kade has been our Content Marketing Manager since September 1, filling in for Lea Schilling during her parental leave. She herself is also just coming out of parental leave. Before that, she worked in a completely different field. For the past 14 years, she has worked as a freelance final editor and translator. She used her parental leave after the birth of her twin girls to reorient herself and is now looking forward to combining what she has learned in years of experience with her newly acquired knowledge. Sounds exciting! What role Brazil and rhubarb spritzer play in her life and how long she has known Picalike, you can find out in the following 5 questions we asked her.

Sandra Kade

Tell us something about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies?

I’ll have to elaborate a bit: I was born in Germany, but grew up in Brazil in the Amazon region. When I was 17, I came back to Germany to finish high school at a boarding school in Lower Saxony before going to Rostock to study. Since graduating, I now live back in Hamburg, my birthplace.

I love DIY, yoga and baking/cooking. Unfortunately my hobbies are a bit short right now since the twins are born, but as soon as I have some more time I’ll bring over some cupcakes, I promise!

What about your new responsibilities are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to showing Picalike, its great products and how work is done here to others on a regular basis, to inform others about it and also about so much more. I have known the company since its inception and am very excited to be a part of it now.

When you look back in six months, what do you hope to see?

That I could reach and pick up the recipients with the choice of topics for newsletters, blog posts, etc. and with the elaboration of the topics. And maybe even got a few returns.

Are you more of a home office or office type?

Kind of both, although a bit more of a home office guy than an office guy. I like working from home, because I can sort laundry or clean out the dishwasher at the Writer’s Block, where I’m guaranteed to come up with another idea that I can then sit down to, fortified with a fresh cup of coffee. But I also like to work in the office with other people, because the exchange can also be very inspiring, and I then also feel closer to the action. (Yes, I know that through Slack etc. you are always fully involved, even from home, but I still find the personal presence at the scene of the action a tad closer 🙂 )

What would be your favorite drink when meeting with work colleagues after work and why?

Since the twins are still so small, definitely a rhubarb spritzer, which is very refreshing after all, or a decaffeinated latte macchiato with oat milk. But if I didn’t have little babies now, it would definitely be a wine spritzer, my absolute after-work drink: fresh, sparkling and very delicious taste. Then white or rosé, depending on the mood.

Then we’ll soon be down here at the Betahaus café for a quick decaffeinated latte macchiato with oat milk and hope you have some muffins with you, too.

A conversation about adSoul, automations and marketing in 2021


Today we would like to introduce you to Thomas Ziegler and adSoul, the automation solution for paid search marketing. It enables online stores, for example, to place more detailed ads more quickly. Because it’s time to take a look beyond Picalike and see what’s exciting around us. And what our partner company has to offer is definitely exciting!


Dear Thomas, thank you for letting me ask you these questions! Let's start right away with the first question about marketing: How do you think marketing in general has changed in the last year due to the special circumstances?

Like many other industries and disciplines, marketing has not been made any easier by the global pandemic. However, I believe that we in digital marketing are in a very privileged position because most of us can work from home, most jobs have been preserved (except for certain industries like travel, of course), and even though 2020 brought many challenges, we as marketeers have drawn a very bearable lot. Nevertheless, marketing also had to adapt in many places. Last year, for example, we wanted to visit 18 trade fairs and conferences in order to make adSoul even better known there and to give interested parties an insight into our solution. On-site events were cancelled by the dozen, and the digital counterparts, as well thought of as they were, unfortunately couldn’t even begin to compensate. We had to make up for that, and the channel of choice was, of course, digital. So the pressure on online marketing was once again increased significantly and the increased competition on Google, LinkedIn and Co. naturally caused prices to skyrocket.

But it wasn’t just direct contact with customers through events that was eliminated; the all-important training opportunities for our own employees also fell away for the time being. The very dynamic environment in the digital industry means that there is a lot of pressure to learn and adapt. Fancy events required a significant effort to not completely neglect the know-how update, but also the almost even more important networking.

Working itself has changed a lot in marketing, as it has in many other professional fields. Due to home offices, we had to internalize a new way of working. Increased need for coordination and more time in the organization of information flow are just two of the points that were added to the normal and the above-mentioned efforts. Nevertheless, we experienced a very good year economically and were able to grow strongly, especially through marketing.

After initial uncertainty, our potential customers also discovered the need for digitization and automation even more strongly for themselves, and in the second half of the year in particular we held very, very many digital appointments. That was hardly the case before. But I think it will remain an integral part of marketing in the future, and here especially also of CRM. Not only does this reduce costs, but the frequency of exchange can also be intensified and even smaller topics and issues can be clarified quickly and easily.

Before you came to marketing automation, you worked for many years in marketing for various large online stores (Witt Weiden, Peter Hahn). What is the most important lesson you learned there?


In my years working in digital marketing for large multichannel retailers, I’ve come to realize one thing: There’s always enough to do and never enough time to get everything done that you’d like to tackle. Planning, prioritization and fast, agile adaptation are among the most important soft skills needed.
The environment is highly dynamic and progresses extremely quickly. If you want to be in the game, you have to keep developing. And that in many different areas. Creativity, organizational and communication skills, data analytics and tech-savyness, and a high level of empathy for the target group are areas that don’t usually go hand in hand, but are nevertheless almost a basic requirement for good online marketing.

How did you actually get into marketing?

In 2008, I had dealt with the topic of e-commerce in the context of self-employment alongside my studies. Especially with the need to bring traffic to the site of an own online store. I taught myself the most important marketing channels. Search engine marketing excited me right away, because it generates direct measurability very quickly. Especially when you’re just starting out, this is incredibly helpful for learning quickly and developing yourself further. It’s also incredibly motivating to see what happens because you do this or that.


I also think that the mechanisms behind SEA show a very good general understanding of the respective business model in total. Due to the direct measurability, you are always quite quickly one step further in the metrics. The topic of customer lifetime value was in our minds from the very beginning when it came to management. Due to the enormous transparency, we also had to deal with tracking and the functioning of store systems early on and were able to put the knowledge on an even broader basis here as well.

13 years later: What do you think will change now in 2021 after the very special 2020?

As I mentioned earlier, it is not only in marketing that there has been a significant shift toward digitization. This has also made online marketing even more important, and in a market that is already characterized by a shortage of experts and talent, this increases the pressure on the efficiency of the working time used. Automation, and I am firmly convinced of this, helps us to achieve more. Because by automating time-consuming tasks, I have more time to take care of other things. Whether it’s defining new growth areas, optimizing existing measures, or even better coordinating measures with each other. Marketing automation will therefore continue to grow significantly in importance over the next few years and will continue to accelerate for the reasons mentioned (shortage of skilled workers and rapid growth in demand).
It remains exciting to see to what extent remote working will have an impact.

New Year's was a while ago, but still: What do you wish for 2021?

For adSoul, I wish that we continue to successfully follow the path we have chosen and further our mission of freeing people from tasks that add little value but are necessary. For all of us, I wish that we can overcome the pandemic as quickly as possible and minimize the tragic losses of loved ones by acting responsibly and in solidarity.

And what should every company pay special attention to in the coming year?

People First. 2020 has demanded a lot from the companies, but it’s mainly the employees who have managed it. I’m incredibly proud of what our team achieved last year, but I’m even more proud of the “how”. Our employees have taken the already high level of personal responsibility to another level. Despite the difficult circumstances for all of us, they have tirelessly given their best to the common goal, and without the people behind adSoul, we would not be where we are today.

Thank you for the detailed and interesting answers!

5 Questions for Timo

Timo Schulz

We would like to warmly welcome another new team member. Although, he is not completely new. Timo has been part of our team before, at the very beginning from 2013 to 2017. Now, at the beginning of this year, he joined us again for a few months as an external. He obviously enjoyed it: instead of accepting a new offer from a large company afterwards, he decided to rather support SMEs during this time and continue the ongoing project. Working with old acquaintances also had its appeal. So Picalike became an attractive employer for him again and he returned to the team – as a permanent member! It goes without saying that we are very happy about this.

Timo Schulz

Dear Timo, you are not a newcomer at Picalike, but a comebacker, which we are very happy about! Nevertheless, most of the team doesn’t know you from the “early days of Picalike”. Therefore we would like to ask you a few questions. Tell us something about you. Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies?

I was born and raised in a small town near Hamburg. I often spend my free time cycling or hiking. I also collect classic sci-fi literature and comics. If there’s still time left, I’m tinkling at the keyboard to further develop my AI recommendation system for movies, because movies are also one of my passions, and of course AI.

What has changed about your tasks at Picalike? What did you do before, what do you do now?

Even though I was hired with a focus on Machine Learning + Software Engineering back then, working in a young startup naturally means that the areas of responsibility are quite diverse. And since I was lucky enough to contribute knowledge from many different areas, I was able to help on many fronts. Almost everything probably sums it up quite well, there would be classic software development, building an AI environment, DevOps and also customer support. Today, my job is a bit more narrowly defined, but one thing I have in common is that I need knowledge from different areas, which is of benefit to me. In English, it’s probably “Jack of all Trades”, which is also what I put down as an activity in my LinkedIn profile.

When you look back in six months, what do you hope to see?

That we’ve come a long way, that the work is bearing fruit, the company is growing and thriving, and that our customers find the new products as fragrant and useful as we do.

Are you more of a home office or office type?

5 Fragen an Timo 3

At that time Timo was already part of the team: Christmas 2013

It depends. In the good old days, I already found it relaxing to pursue my work at home on Fridays in a concentrated manner and without many distractions. In general, I find home office useful when it comes to working on tasks that require little or no consultation with other colleagues. Otherwise, I appreciate the contact with the other picalingen, also because there are otherwise no “coffee kitchen synergies” and ideas in the home office can also be discussed less efficiently.

We’ve been told that you have an outstanding expertise in the art of brewing, you were even once a “beer commissioner” at Picalike. What would be your drink of choice when meeting with work colleagues after work and why?

It’s impossible to give a blanket answer here, because the appropriate drink depends on the person, the time and the place. Indeed, it is difficult to find the right beer for one person and for a group it is almost impossible, as tastes are very individual. An easy entry and best suited for a beer after work is a Helles, as it is mildly hopped, thus not very bitter and tremendously drinkable. But to be more specific, at a Christmas party, the Sweet Seduction worked well because the beer is comparable to an aperitif, so smaller glasses can be used, which lowers the barrier to tasting, and thanks to the honey, the complexity of the beer becomes a bit more manageable for the novice palate due to the sweetness.

Who knows, maybe there will be an opportunity to do a little beer tasting sometime. I, for example, would definitely like to try the Sweet Seduction. Who knows, maybe one or two of the team will find a new favorite drink there!

Great to have you back!

It´s still running? A status update after 6 months in the home office

6 Monate im Home-Office
6 Monate im Home-Office

6 month home office

Who would have thought that in March of this year? Back then, everything was still fresh, everything new (as reported here). It felt good to work from home. Finally in comfortable clothes, without long commutes, just throwing the laundry in the washing machine during my lunch break. A whole new attitude to life.

But how are we doing today? What has become of this supposed fulfillment of work-life balance? After more than 6 months in the home office, do we still feel as good as we did at the beginning of the Corona crisis? What has changed? How much do we miss the office routine and why do we suddenly no longer hoard toilet paper, but completely different things?

After half a year of “working from home”, we asked a few selected Picalike employees questions about their well-being and their work situation in the home office, and these are their answers:

Franziska is our Customer Success Manager and looks after existing customers at Picalike

Franziska Weiß
Franzi im Home Office

Franzi in the Home Office


If you don’t hoard toilet paper anymore, what do you have in abundance in the house now?

Phew, nothing really. We go shopping once or twice a week and get what we need. I don’t have the space at home to hoard anything.

Best book/audiobook/series/movie/video game/board game/podcast you discovered in the last months?

Series I could list many here now, but my favorites include:

The Handmaid’s Tale and Dark. Board games and community games I’m a fan of Wizard, but you need 3 people for that, which was of course difficult at the beginning of Corona. I could go on forever, but I think that’s enough.

It’s been a good 6 months now that we all don’t see each other every day in the office, but only every 2 weeks in a joint meeting. How do you feel today? Has your emotional state changed since the beginning of March?

I still feel very comfortable, as I have also gotten used to the situation and I like working in the home office.

Has anything changed in your workplace?

Yes, actually. Since working in the kitchen was not a long-term solution, I have created a small work corner in the living room. I can leave everything there at the end of the day and don’t have to put it away for dinner.

Which piece of clothing has become particularly dear to you during this time?

I’ll be honest – the sweatpants. When you sit at your desk all day it’s more comfortable than wearing jeans or something like that. 😄

Any new acquisitions in the household? (Pet, fitness equipment, balcony or garden remodel?).

We did purchase a food processor. Other than that, as I mentioned before, my new desk 😉

Have you discovered new leisure activities for you and/ or discontinued others?

Unfortunately, I do much less sports, at home I can motivate myself less well to do so. However, I still don’t like going to gyms at the moment.

What do you miss most in the home office?

Riding my bike to work every day and direct contact with colleagues, but fortunately we’ve found a pretty good solution internally so that it’s only half as bad 😉 (Editor’s note: We’ve introduced a daily chatroulette via Slack. Every day, you chat with a random team member for about 15 minutes about random topics or something completely different).

What do you not miss so much?

The time it takes to drive to work – yes, I miss riding my bike, but this way I have one hour more a day for private things.

Hand on heart: How often do you cook yourself pasta during the week or conveniently order food to eat at home?

In the beginning I ate a lot of convenience food, but now we cook a lot more thanks to our new food processor.

Hi Julius, how do you feel after 6 months in the home office? Has your emotional situation changed since the beginning of March?

I think we have made the situation as comfortable as possible for everyone. I am one of the people who spends most of my time in the home office (a team meeting in the office every 14 days). This is still more than in the early days, but not much. I realize that especially when I then see the team on site, then I notice that the contact with colleagues is already a bit lacking.

Has anything changed in your workplace?

Hardly at all, the main changes took place in the first few weeks. Although, a curtain was still important – in the mornings you are otherwise strongly blinded here.

Which piece of clothing has become particularly dear to you during this time?

Let’s be honest: shorts / sweatpants.

Any new acquisitions in the household? (Pet, fitness equipment, balcony or garden remodel?).


Have you discovered any new leisure activities for yourself and/ or stopped doing others?

Too little exercise… Other than that, app development.

Hallo Julius, wie fühlst du dich nach nunmehr 6 Monaten im Home Office? Hat sich deine Gefühlslage zum Anfang März verändert?

Ich denke wir haben die Situation für alle so angenehm wie möglich gemacht. Ich gehöre zu den Leuten, die die meiste Zeit im Homeoffice verbringen (alle 14 Tage ein Team-Meeting im Büro). Das ist zwar immer noch mehr als in der Anfangszeit, aber nicht viel. Das wird mir vor allem bewusst, wenn ich dann das Team vor Ort sehe, dann bemerke ich, dass der Kontakt mit den Kollegen schon ein wenig fehlt.

Hat sich etwas an deinem Arbeitsplatz geändert?

Kaum noch, die wesentlichen Veränderungen fanden in den ersten Wochen statt. Obwohl, ein Vorhang war noch wichtig – morgens wird man hier sonst stark geblendet.

Welches Kleidungsstück ist dir in dieser Zeit besonders ans Herz gewachsen?

Seien wir doch ehrlich: kurze Hose / Jogginghose.

Irgendwelche Neu-Anschaffungen im Haushalt? (Haustier, Fitnessgerät, Balkon oder Garten umgestaltet?)


Hast du neue Freizeitaktivitäten für dich entdeckt und/ oder andere eingestellt?

Zu wenig Sport… Abgesehen davon: App-Entwicklung.

Julius im Home Office

Julius im Home Office

Julius at home office

Julius is a machine learning engineer and programmer at Picalike

Julius Lange

What do you miss most about the home office?

Probably no one can hear this anymore: the colleagues (talking and actually sitting across from each other are very different things).

What do you not miss at all?

100 minutes of commuting per day.

Hand on heart: how many times a week do you cook yourself pasta or conveniently order food home?

On average 1x per week I think. Not living alone is very helpful there.

If you don’t hoard toilet paper anymore, what do you have in abundance in the house now?

Honestly… nothing. The fridge is still empty at least once a week.

Best book/audiobook/series/movie/video game/board game/podcast you’ve discovered in the last few months?

The Switch. Overall. At home alone or as a couple and online with friends. It just fits. Besides, there have been days when I wouldn’t have moved at all without “Just Dance”.

Maik is project manager of the Picalike dev team and leads our big team meeting every 2 weeks at Betahaus

Maik Kade

Maik im Home Office

Maik at the Home Office


What do you miss most about the home office?

Working together with the marketing/sales team in one office. But since we moved with the company, this is no longer possible anyway. Otherwise sports, as already mentioned, especially the way there and back by bike. And going to the movies.

What do you not miss at all?

The train rides to work.

Hand on heart: How often do you cook yourself pasta during the week or conveniently order food home?

Because of the kids, we have ready-to-eat pizza once a week or food that is generally quick to prepare – for us adults, that is. The children feast on the best we can prepare for them. You have to take a back seat, or sometimes you don’t even have time to eat properly. Delivery service is only once every 3-4 weeks.

If you no longer hoard toilet paper, what do you now have in abundance in the house?

Toilet paper! No, seriously. We didn’t really start hoarding things more than we did before. And we weren’t hoarding then either.

And what about you, Maik? How do you feel after 6 months in the home office? Have your feelings changed since the beginning of March?

Overall, I’m actually doing just as well as I was in March, although I have to say that I mostly like the many home offices quite a lot and they fit in quite well with my private everyday life – especially my two very agile twin girls. Regarding the pandemic, I’m not so much in panic mode anymore, but I’m still not completely relaxed about it and probably won’t be until the issue is finally over.

Has anything changed at your workplace?

I have moved my work desk to another place in the room and am more meticulous about keeping the space and room tidy, as I have noticed that having to work in an untidy room really affects me.

What piece of clothing have you grown particularly fond of during this time?

In the hot summer it was definitely my two new cargo shorts. With them, you can work comfortably without feeling like you’re sitting in a ski suit in the sauna. And on long walks with the stroller, they have enough pockets for everything.

Any new acquisitions in the household? (Pet, fitness equipment, balcony or garden remodel?).

We purchased a mini swimming pool for the balcony, which the kids have used plenty to splash around in, and I’ve been cooling my feet in it. Apart from that, I now have a knee stool in the study and can regularly switch between it and my Petzi bouncy ball. That does my back a lot of good in the home office. And well, my kettlebell collection is now complete, since I still like to use lunch breaks for a short sports program.

Have you discovered any new recreational activities for you and/ or discontinued others?

I don’t teach Capoeira at the moment and train this only alone. That is surely also Corona-conditioned, however it would have come there anyway by the two small children at home to restrictions. Even if that’s complaining on a high level, it’s putting a lot of pressure on me, since I’ve been practicing this sport very intensively for over 20 years and have a lot of my friends there.

On the other hand, I now have more time in the evenings to listen to audio books and to watch/listen to a series via tablet and headphones with a sleeping child in my arms. That is really something special!

Best book/audiobook/series/movie/video game/board game/podcast you’ve discovered in the last few months?

Best TV series – Cobra Kai (formerly MTV) now on Netflix. The series surprised me beyond belief, as I never thought a sequel to the Karate Kid trilogy from the 80s could be so exciting, emotional and funny.

In terms of audiobooks, I’m currently delving into the “Gray Man” tech crime series about a solo operative (assassin) from the hand of Mark Greaney, who has also co-written with Tom Clancy. And I’m looking forward to the 200 million Netflix film adaptation of these books.

Finally, I want to finally read Frank Herbert’s Dune (The Desert Planet) in the original, and thus prepare myself for the film adaptation by Denis Villeneuve (here’s the trailer).

And how do you feel after the long time in the home office? Or are you already back-to-normal and back in the office?
Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

5 Questions for Theresa

5 Questions for Theresa

We are happy to welcome another new team member. Since August 3, Theresa Schmucker has been our Quality Assurance Manager and checks for us that our products and, above all, our data are of impeccable quality. Especially her fashion know-how is of great benefit to us. She studied fashion design at HAW Hamburg, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She also worked part-time as a store controller in the stores for 6 years for various brands of H&M (Weekday, &Other Stories). As if that wasn’t enough, she is also self-employed on the side and has a studio at Koppel 66 where she makes handbags from vegetable tanned leather and sells them locally and in her own online store. It all sounds super exciting, doesn’t it? No wonder we were further curious and still had to ask her our 5 questions!

5 Questions for Theresa

Tell us something about yourself. Where did you grow up? What hobbies do you have?

I was born in Erlangen, but moved to Hamburg with my family when I was two years old and grew up on the outskirts of Schnelsen in a small play street.
In my free time I like to be creative and see my friends and family. I am part-time self-employed with a small bag label, which is somehow also a hobby. When I’m in my workshop, it doesn’t feel like “working” to me. And that includes all the tasks that come up in the process. Otherwise
I go to pottery twice a month, do yoga and like to get out in the fresh air.

What are you most looking forward to about your new tasks?

It’s hard to say. Actually, I’m looking forward to getting to know the exciting technology of Picalike even better and maybe when it gets a bit more “technical” for me. Learning new things is always a lot of fun for me.

When you look back in six months, what do you hope to see?

That I will have become well integrated into the daily routine at Picalike and that I will be creating added value. That the quality of the data will be continuously improved. Maybe that I will have gained insights into other fields to understand the links even better.

Are you more of a home office or office type?

I think both are good. If the office was further away, however, I would prefer the home office. Long distances to the office are not my strong point. But seeing my colleagues a few days a week is also important to me. In the home office I can sometimes work more concentrated, but for some tasks it is also good to have the direct exchange with colleagues. It’s also nice to see each other. In other words, I think a good mix of both is ideal.

What would be your favorite drink when meeting colleagues after work and why?

I would have to think about it longer because it would probably depend on my “thirst”. Some days it would just be a Spezi and others maybe just a spritzer. Alcoholic it becomes with me more rarely and then also rather a cool Alsterwasser or a white wine spritzer.

Well then, we hereby welcome you again officially to the Picalingen and hope that we can soon take a look at your bags at a Spezi. 😊

Here’s to a good start!