Jana Schaer, Office Manager at ITR8.

How I like to manage a Berlin start-up.

How to maximise both productivity and enjoyment in your work day, as told by the multi-talented ITR8 Office Manager, Jana Schaer.

7am: Wake-up. 
I allocate 1.5 hours to start the day stress-free, enjoy breakfast and prepare lunch. I’m not the kind of person who drinks a coffee running out the door!

8.30am: Take the S-Bahn to work. 
I try to be in the office before 9am to check my inbox for urgent tasks and plan my day.

9.15am: Daily stand-up. 
We introduced the stand-up meeting in June this year to keep everyone in the loop with current projects. Since then we’ve noticed tasks get done quicker with less ‘blockers’.

9.30am: Send team update on Slack. 
A summary of what team members are doing for the day — including who’s working remotely or at client offices, any holidays, sick leave or birthdays.

I then answer emails so my inbox is empty. This allows me to focus on the most important tasks for the day.

10.30am: Finalise reports for today’s program meeting.
Updating project budgets and timelines. This doesn’t take up too much time as our team track their head hours daily with Mite.

Jana Schaer, Office Manager at ITR8.

11am: Prepare for upcoming internal events. 
Finalising the guest list for our Christmas party, planning catering and child-friendly activities, like baking cookies! Following our much-loved summer party this year, we’re also inviting friends, partners and children to our Christmas party, as it’s nice for everyone to celebrate together.

12.45pm: Lunchtime. 
I’m pleased that I’m managing to bring lunch most days, rather than always eating out. It was my first step to having a better break. Now I’d like to include going for a walk every day, to be more productive in the afternoon.

1.30pm: Program meeting.
Reviewing current projects with Program Manager Judith and Managing Director Semir.

2.30pm: Respond to emails again. 
I tend to check and respond to emails in time blocks, rather than all day long, so that I’m not interrupting my work flow… unless something very urgent comes up.

3pm: Ongoing research for Office 2.0. 
We’re in the process of negotiating a contract and I’m managing communication with the landlord, real estate agents and builders. The space will be four times the size of our current office! So while our team is still growing, we’re looking for like-minded start-ups to fill the space. Interested? Drop me a line!

Jana Schaer, Office Manager at ITR8.

4pm: Prep for tomorrow’s team breakfast. 
Friday always starts with a team breakfast and we rotate who buys the ingredients, to share responsibility and keep everyone involved. Tomorrow it’s my turn, so I’m buying avocados (my favourite!) as well as peanut butter, cucumbers, tomatoes and lots of fresh fruit. We try and keep a mix of healthy and sweet treats.

5pm: Prep agenda for tomorrow’s team Retro. 
Team meeting where we discuss feedback on what’s happening in the office.

6pm: Leave the office
…and head to my Jamaican Dancehall class with dance teacher Swaggi Maggi! This is a special class where we learn steps created by Latonya Style, which inspire women to feel confident and empowered. One of the best things about working at ITR8 is that I can always make time for my passions. Haven’t missed a single class since I joined the team!


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