To describe remote work I need only one word: Freedom.
Freedom is a very important thing for me. It begins with the fact that I always knew I wanted to live somewhere else than Germany. After traveling for 1 year in Australia and New Zealand, I studied International Business in English in the Netherlands and I was keen to gain international practical experience, for example in Madrid, Frankfurt and Lisbon, because I wanted to have the opportunity to work all over the world afterwards.
But even if I didn't want to live in Germany anymore, it's not a bad idea to work for German companies, and combining that wouldn't be possible without remote work.
The essence of remote work for me is that with remote work I can integrate the work into my life and not the other way round. In normal office life, work is the main part of the day without interruption and you have to build your life around it. But with remote work, I have the freedom to plan my life the way I want, for example, by going to a doctor's appointment during the day or meeting friends for lunch.
And of course, it not only gives me the freedom to manage my time the way I want when I work at home, but I can also work where I want. It's ideal.
I have worked in a wide variety of places which were not my home. From a place on the beach overlooking the sea, to buses and to castles while sightseeing with friends, to a quiet hut high above the mountains from where I could watch the snow fall.
I can make my job fit into my life and that’s amazing!
My first job after my bachelor's degree was already in remote work and I found that I loved this way of working. It was at Google, where I consulted companies and agencies on their Google Ads strategy.
However right from the start I knew that I don’t want to do this for a long time. I wanted to do something I can identify with and that is dealing with something sustainable and tangible. Sustainability is very important to me in my private life and I wanted it to be a part of my work as well.
Before Signature I didn’t have a lot of contact with hemp. The only contact I had was through a friend who studied fashion and who was very interested in clothes made of hemp. She told me a lot about hemp as a crop and sent me a lot of information about it and clothes made of hemp.
This fascinated me and I’ve always kept hemp in my mind. I knew that hemp was much more sustainable than the usual raw materials like soy for food or cotton for clothes, and that is why I have always associated hemp with an extremely useful and versatile plant.
As I already mentioned, sustainability is very important for me and so I was really hyped about Signature, because it is all about a sustainable plant. I also loved Signature’s idea of making plant based food out of hemp and wanted to participate in this movement.
The opportunity to help build a Startup also appealed to me. I like jumping in at the deep end, even if it's sometimes uncomfortable, and building a Startup is definitely a challenge. But it is through difficult paths that you learn the most and grow the most.
Just as things often change in a Startup, my job also changed over time. I started as key account manager But after we came to the conclusion that the way we were doing it was not effective, my tasks started to change into being operation manager.
My main task now is to coordinate our orders and ensure that the order arrives at the customer exactly the way they were ordered and this as fast as possible. The second part is warehouse management and inventory by keeping track of what we have stored and what arrives new.
Sometimes I also do a bit of sales but more on a free basis and when the opportunity arises. It’s just that I love to connect with people and that I’m totally convinced of our products. When I see the chance someone could have a use for hemp I tell them about us. Not with the aim to sell something but to help or show some new opportunity to them.
At the moment I’m in the process of inventing a morning routine. After getting up I aim to start my day without my phone or laptop but with only me and my thoughts. This helps me to really arrive mentally and get ready for the day. Afterwards I try to take my time and drink some tea before starting to check and structure my emails and tasks.
Emails are an important part of my work and usually accompany me throughout the day, sometimes more and sometimes less.
After sorting mails I check the status of our orders for updates or problems and if I have to take care of something. I try to do the most important calls and tasks before noon so that I can do administrative tasks after my lunch break around 1 pm.
My days are always very different and often reactive. I react to what happens that day, what orders come up and how I have to process them, because there are different types of orders. Parallel to this I want to work on operations processes and concepts.
It is a great challenge to develop things from scratch because you make many mistakes till you find the right way. But these mistakes make it such a valuable experience to grow and at the same time prevent you from sitting in a made nest not questioning the given structures.
The constant change and renewal is something that makes Signature for me. Nothing is one hundred percent certain, and that is exciting and sometimes a bit stressful in equal measure.
But the “stress” fades away when I stand at my terrace in Lisbon and watch the sunset. Just after the sun has set, the colours here are shades of pink and blue. It is a magical atmosphere and puts me in a dreamy and relaxed mood.
I get very motivated from our team which is full of motivated people who make the work much easier. But my biggest motivation is our product itself. Every time I learn something new about hemp I get more excited.
This plant is simply amazing. It can grow nearly everywhere, so there’s no need to import it from other continents, you can make nearly anything out of it and it’s super sustainable because you can actually use the whole plant and it even helps the environment.
Unfortunately, there is still a great need for clarification in our society about the difference between hemp and marihuana. It's a common misunderstanding that hemp and marihuana are different species. In fact, they are just different names for the same plant.
While science does not distinguish between "hemp" and "marihuana," the law does. The main legal distinction between the two is the THC content. Hemp contains just trace quantities of THC and is grown for non-drug purposes since it contains low THC.
There are two types of views in our society. Either people find hemp fascinating and an interesting new industry, or they joke about us selling drugs and equal hemp to marihuana.
Fortunately, because of my father's profession as a pharmacist and his knowledge of hemp, my parents thought it was very cool when I told them about my new job in the hemp industry.
Hemp products are available for so many industries, including food, which is new to many people. For example, our hemp seeds, which I love in my muesli, or our hemp protein, which is a great addition to any shake.
Maybe we can take a bit of inspiration from the 70s and people will start thinking again about a material for clothes or ropes and not the drug when they hear the word hemp.
Because sometimes what’s old is still gold.