She arrived at EDP in February, 2019, coming from the planet of "consultants and agencies." Joana Mateus arrived in peace and never felt like an alien, but she still sees the novelty in what surrounds her.
Taking advantage of this fresh look over the company, we decided to follow the designer to capture a day in the life of those who work at our Lisbon Headquarters. Come with us, the alarm clock has sounded.
Good morning on two wheels
It is on bike that Joana makes the route from home to work. Accustomed to combining aesthetics with efficiency, this means of transport seems to be the most logical choice due to the known advantages and to ones she found at EDP.
"Zero problems with parking. In fact, anyone who rides a motorcycle knows how wonderful it is to park anywhere. However, having safer parking as I have here at EDP is an advantage I often take advantage of", she explains with the helmet still in place.
EDP's car parking lot, which is partly open to the general public and partly for employees only, was a surprise for its usefulness but also for its depth. "6 underground floors. Can anyone imagine?"
Get to the factory, pardon, museum!
Arriving at her desk at the Digital Factory, she recalls her first impressions of "EDP Planet."
“I found the space brighter and wider than I had expected.” At the Digital Factory, we work in an open space where everyone sees everyone and that was important to feel integrated when I first came here. Besides, I feel like I am working in a museum,and that's beautiful! It gives me pleasure to leave the office and observe these geometric and giant beams over my head."
Lunch - The menu includes company
At lunchtime, the EDP cafeteria is the number one option, which is not surprising. But, contrary to what one might think, convenience is not the most important factor. It is open and beautiful. And it allows me to meet people from other areas of EDP who I do not see everyday, she argues.
It is a space of integration among the group's employees and this is noted by the lively voices that come from the tables that surround us. But this meeting point is not made up solely of EDP employees. "I've already invited and had lunch with friends here in the cafeteria."
We can not forget that we are in a hot spot of the new Lisbon - between Cais Sodré and Santos - and that is why it is normal for EDP's cafeteria to share the leading role with other gastronomic points of interest.
Luckily this text is not a list for "foodies" because we would not know which establishment to place first. The battle for the top would be between Popular, in Bica, "a classic Portuguese restaurant where I usually eat fish" and the already famous Pistola y Corazón, "my favorite Mexican restaurant where I have the advantage of being able to go for lunch on a normal day."
Corners, spots and nooks
After lunch, a short walk between the surrounding area and the interior of the building makes us look at the different details of the work of Aires Mateus. The conversation comes to the decoration, it's filled with works of art.
Joana, who watches them often, sits next to a painting by José Pedro Croft to give us her insight into the presence of all these pieces: "I think it is essential for a company that has a cultural role as EDP does, with EDP Foundation and MAAT , to have art works close to the people who pass by, here in the offices. Just like the lobby, which has some incredible chairs, it looks like the show room of a furniture store."
But if there is art to enjoy in the halls, there are more than reasons to go outside during lunch break. Often she decides to "go see the river or drink coffee with someone at Cais do Sodré." And with the Tagus right there, who would not do the same?
Back to the Factory
After lunch time and some relaxation, we return to the work station. "The Factory is a very busy place where we see different people every day. They may be people from EDP, who come to follow ups on the MVPs [Minimum Viable Products] that are under development or partners with whom we work. It's lively!", says Joana with the satisfaction of those who appreciate a little frenzy.
But the animation is not only on this side of the glass. Inside and outside, the life of EDP's employees crosses with those who pass through Rua D. Luis, who walk on Avenida 24 de Julho and who choose to cross the courtyard that joins the two streets and the two towers of the headquarters building. Joana has a privileged view over these passers-by, some running by and others more curious. "I like that [the Digital Factory] is at the street level and that from my place I can see amateur photo shoots every day, by people who are crossing the courtyard outside. That amuses me."
A wonder, even for a member of the Lazy Club
The last stop on this journey was another pleasant surprise Joana found at EDP. "Having a gym two flights of stairs away is a marvel and that's why I signed up. I prefer going at the end of the day before I head home." Although she confesses that to associate the word "routine" with the word "gymnasium" is amusing, she listens carefully to the (few) corrections that coach Rita does to her exercises.
EDP employees can use the facilities every day to fight more sedentary lifestyle habits. A struggle familiar to the designer: "I can not ignore the club of which I am a premium member: the Lazy Club. I do not come as much as I would like. "
At least today, the Lazy Club can not claim victory.
The Secret before the departure
Before she leaves us to continue her day - the part of the day that does not happen here - Joana tells us about her experience so far. We want to know what has changed in her life both on and off the job, ever since she embarked on this adventure. "I think this answer depends on the Group's company to which each worker belongs to. In my case, what I value is the flexibility of not punching your time card from 9am to 6pm," she began by saying.
"At the Digital Factory, we are responsible for the projects we are assigned to and on a weekly basis we have team status reports. Another thing that was very important for me was my identity. I come from a more creative world, from horizontal organizations, where there is no dress code. And here at the Digital Factory, we have an open, young team that privileges different ways of being and we treat each other without any formalities and talk to each other through WhatsApp." On the other hand, she does not forget that "obviously this company is big and needs structure, and this is new to me."
Perhaps this approach is the secret for the Designer to be able to balance her life outside and within EDP with her way of being and view world. Always trying to make the best of the conditions offered by the company is part of this way of being, but it is also a way to continue to learn, grow and keep your eyes curious and fresh. Proof of this is that she does not leave us without first hinting at a mystery: "There is a table that I like because it intrigues me. It's a meeting table on top of a lake that is totally exterior with a huge vertical garden visible from the street but it's something secret, I've never seen anyone there." If you have more information about this mysterious place, look for Joana. You already know where to find her.