From work COLLEAGUES TO FRIENDS

Teresa Fingerhut (Junior Manager Digital Business Development) & Lucia Hausner (Technical Project Manager QA Digital Intelligence)

True friends are hard to come by, and it’s especially nice when this rare occurrence happens in the workplace. When Teresa came to Lucia's department for her new trainee assignment, it quickly became clear that the two had more in common than just work. Soon they were taking lunchtime walks together and hanging out after work and at the weekend. These days, Lucia and Teresa can look back on a four-year friendship. They meet privately at least once or twice a week, sometimes as a pair, sometimes with other colleagues. Aside from exercising and hiking, they also wine & dine together in the evening and, ideally, go on trips.

Teresa and Lucia regard the fact that they share the same workplace as a great advantage. After all, work is even better when you can spend the majority of the week with your friends. If you can separate your professional and personal lives and see yourself as an independent member of the team, sharing mutual work and success can even strengthen your friendship.

What constitutes a good friendship for them? Clearly, relying on each other and being able to count on each other's support. And of course, laughing and celebrating life together.

Magdalena Schausbreitner (Manager Central Business Development), Verena Kohl (Key Account Manager Women National / International), Selina Meirandres (Project Manager to COO) & Vanessa Adrian (Senior Buyer Retail & eCom Womenswear)

Being a new employee at a company is not always easy. Though finding best friends at the start certainly helps. Magdalena, Selina and Vanessa met at the "Trainee Intake" week in 2015, where they also got to know Verena, a former trainee. Since then, the four have remained an inseparable team. Aside from this inspiring week of getting to know each other, the four friends also took part in an MOP running club. Sport still brings them together – whether on hikes, ski tours or stand-up paddling. They also go on holiday together, to dinner after work or to various MOP events such as company runs, the MOP Wiesn or the company’s 50th anniversary.

What do Vanessa, Selina, Verena and Magdalena particularly value about their workplace friendships? All of them find it enriching to be surrounded by their friends in their everyday lives, which also allows for a closer and more intensive exchange. In addition, they each understand the interrelationships inside the company and, as a result, can frequently better grasp the unique circumstances of others. And of course, sometimes a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. On the other hand, it is not always easy to switch off, as work is often discussed in their private lives. Or they support the other person through stressful phases, taking on tasks to end up with a larger workload. But these are exceptions and part of a learning process.

Through their shared friendship, the four of them feel even more connected to their company, because work means more than just a job – it’s MOP family. Together, Verena, Selina, Magdalena and Vanessa are certainly the highlight of every company party.

Van Dang (Manager Social Media) & Sophie Schaper (Junior Manager Brand Marketing)

When Sophie started her internship in PR & Social Media, she and her supervisor Van didn't have many points of contact at first. But Van quickly introduced Sophie to his tasks so that she could better support him. This had a positive effect: because of their great teamwork, the two of them pushed ahead with joint projects and quickly realised that they were a good team outside of work. Van and Sophie have been friends for six months now and not only share their lunch breaks, but also meet privately on a regular basis, for example to cook.

Sophia and Van see themselves as a perfect match. Since they both have a lot of exciting and also international experience, they inspire and motivate each other when working on joint projects, which leads to more productivity on both sides, and more fun. Their friendship is a great advantage during their constructive ideation sessions. After all, they share ideas and visions outside of work and therefore know exactly how the other ticks and where they can best provide support. At work, however, they try to find a professional balance and discuss personal issues during lunchbreak walks or after work.

While some friendships suffer when one person suddenly becomes the superior, this is not a problem for Sophie and Van. After all, their friendship arose from precisely this dynamic. From the very beginning, it was aided by a healthy distinction between work and private life as well as a professional manner with each other in the workplace. However, this also meant that criticism could be expressed honestly. So far, the two have managed this very well. The secret of their friendship: listening to each other, supporting each other and, of course, honesty. And not to mention their well-meaning and familiar banter—in which they are both particularly skilled.

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