Tightrope-dancing with life and work

The second trainee group of 2017 during their course in Business Versatility.

What does Workfulness, Energy Storage and the ABB trainee program have in common? Let me explain by giving you an insight into a day as an ABB trainee.

Balancing the tasks of your assignment, education, association meetings, study visits, dinners with top managers and tons of e-mails is challenging but necessary for an ABB trainee. This is one of many things you learn as a trainee at ABB.

A day as an ABB trainee

As mentioned, ABB trainees get to enjoy study visits, customer visits, and dinners with top managers well as courses. These activities occupy around 30% of our working hours. Every Thursday we have a full-day study visit at an ABB department (for example Robotics). After a study visit, we have a dinner with a top manager at ABB where they can speak freely about their experiences and give us valuable advice. These study visits and dinners will be described in detail in a future Trainee-post here on ABB Dialog – so stay tuned!

In addition to this, during our time as ABB trainees we have several customer visits, where we travel to an ABB customer of our choice. Additionally, every Friday is usually ended with an ABB-pub at ABBeum (Västerås) and Gula Villan (Ludvika). Together, all these activities, in addition to regular working hours, construct “a day as an ABB trainee”.

Interactions with the YuMi robot.
Interactions with the YuMi robot.

Energy Storage & Workfulness

What about spare time then? Personally, I like to spend it with my trainee colleagues and by means of physical exercise. I believe that physical exercise is essential for well-being, and I like to see the human as two separate energy storages; one in the body and one in the mind, that both get refilled after a good night sleep. After a full working day at the office, one will drain the energy storage in the mind. However, the energy storage in the body is usually still full. Personally, I need to even out the tiredness in my body and mind in order to achieve a good night sleep and to fully re-charge my two energy storages. I usually do this by either going to the gym or playing golf. How is your energy storage – is there an imbalance?

This concept is something that ABB trainees get introduced to through workshops and courses. During our first week had a course in “Workfulness”, which essentially is an approach that enables you to focus, perform at your highest possible level and feel good in a constantly connected working environment. The course gave us insight and advice on how we should balance our work day, in terms of meetings, availability, work environment and smart usage of technology.

The course gave us some concrete examples, such as:

  • Meetings – if you don’t need your computer or phone during a meeting, then leave it. This will enable more positive and effective meetings, where all attendees are mentally present.
  • Availability – introduce simple rules and routines, for example fixed e-mail- and telephone times during the day when you are available, and take breaks!
  • Work environment – try to minimize disturbing sounds and other distractions. For example, if you are having a phone meeting, use a separate room.
  • Smart usage of technology – make sure you control your technology, not vice versa. It is okay to use the “Do not disturb”-function on your phone and e-mail.

I have found these examples and techniques extremely helpful, and I use them every day as an ABB trainee. If you want to create a sustainable working environment – I advise you to do the same!

To conclude, a day as an ABB trainee is filled with new and exciting impressions where Workfulness and Energy Storage have a common denominator.

Learn more about the ABB Trainee Program.

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Jacob Händestam

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