Many years ago, I used to work for an event agency. I formulated marketing concepts for huge brands and I was also responsible for coordinating events. So I was in the office during the day, and at night I organized events. One day, I started at 9 in the morning and the other day at 6 in the evening. I loved it. I felt alive. At the same time, I started with design. I became a designer and everything changed. The new job forced me to work from 9 to 5. And to be behind the desk all day. The feeling of being free was gone. In the end I felt too constricted so I quit the job and started freelancing.
As a freelance designer, I work with a lot of organizations. Most of them expect me to be in the office from 9 to 5. In Germany, this is more common than in other countries. I do stand-up meetings every morning, meetings to align myself with my teammates, conversations about tasks to be done, endless discussions about career and comparisions to companies. And after all of these talks I went back to my middle-sized desk which I shared with an average of 4 teammates. At this moment I recognized my creativity couldn’t survive in this environment. It felt as if I was going to lose my privacy every morning when I stepped into the office. Every single project forced me to be constantly looking for a moment’s peace.
To me meaning of nature could be described as my backend system. If my front end system came up with bugs, I would walk into the forest to reconnect myself with nature and start running a cleaner. I feel incomplete without a connection to trees, lakes, and grass. I grew up in Thuringia, Germany. Almost every day my grandfather and I took a walk in the woods. He is the reason that I know what toadstools are, that squirrels are not cats, and that I never get lost in a forest. As a child, I loved building cozy caves with my cousin. My love for cabins was born.
At the age of 27, I read an article about Matt Pyke, the founder and creative director from Universal Everything. He built a small cabin behind his house to work from there. A cottage made of wood and glass with a fantastic view and surrounded by trees. I fell in love with this nature-connected workspace. Ten years later I started managing a freelance hub from an office in the Betahaus, a big co-working building in Berlin. What I missed from the first day on was private space, comfort, and a natural environment. I saw the same office situation I had had in agencies before. I began asking myself ‘Is there nobody like me, who prefers working in nature and needs a quiet separate space from time to time?’. I felt disconnected and empty. Being a star distant and dying. My neck turned into stone, and I try to fix this need by traveling, and innumerable walks into the woods near Berlin. At this point, I quit my job and thought about becoming a ranger.
After two nights I figured that wasn’t the solution I would go for. I could be in the forest every day, yes – but without like-minded people around? And what about my passion for design? A Circular saw instead of a MacBook? No way.
I wanted to work in the forest, I wanted to have my office space there.
I started talking to people about my idea to build a nature-connected workspace in the forest. Having small cozy, comfortable separate office spaces there. And a restaurant with tasty seasonal food. A lake surrounded by pines. Having gentle Squirrels instead of cats. workinforest® was born.