Le Bijou in “Meine Firma” – the SMB magazine of AXA Winterthur
Living and working together – for some a bad idea, for others a dream, for some couples a profit.
Madeleine Fallegger and Alexander Hübner
“Great!”, Madeleine Fallegger calls spontaneously to the question of what it’s like to work with a life partner. Alexander Hübner, her partner, answers calmly: “We have a very good relationship with each other.” Working together is even beneficial for the relationship. “When setting up a business, you can’t leave work at 6 pm. If my partner worked elsewhere, she would probably have different needs in the evening than having a working partner.” They have been a couple for six years, and in 2013, together with Renato Steiner, they founded their company Le Bijou.
The business idea for luxury apartments with automated services comes from Alexander Hübner. He is the driving force and the risk-taking part, although he seems rather reserved. Madeleine Fallegger, on the other hand, is the face of the company in public.
Not least for financial reasons, Fallegger initially was not thrilled to share his professional life. But the roles and work content are clearly distributed due to the different characters, the collaboration is less narrow than expected. “Of course we exchange thoughts about our ideas, we want to hear each other’s judgment, mostly in the sense of confirmation”, says Fallegger. Time for a quiet exchange remains especially in the evening, at dinner or even on vacation.
Rules of not talking about business during certain times do not exist. “But there are also situations in which one no longer likes to hear about business. Then it needs another topic – or simply no topic”, says Hübner. “What hardly happens”, he jokes.
Sometimes it is necessary to build some distance from working life, so that you do not carry the annoyance of the day into your private life, emphasizes Fallegger. Helpful is the experience because they give a more serenity, Hübner states. “And in the case of discrepancies, we try to address the problem in such a way that we could describe it on a form. If this succeeds, the conflict often proves to be insignificant”, explains Fallegger. Which is usually the case.
But even if it should come to a serious conflict or even a separation, that would not mean the end for the company. “If we continue to get along well, there’s nothing wrong with working together”, says Hübner. Anyone who would stay in the apartment next to the office space is already regulated today, as well as any separation as a business partner. But both are confident that things will not get this far. “We have mastered some stress situations together, that welds together”, Hübner is convinced.
The two have made arrangements in case of death so that the surviving partner can continue the business. In addition to the corresponding insurance, this includes a concubinage contract and a will in favor of the partner.
Patricia and Marco Brüesch
A testament is currently set up by Patricia and Marco Brüesch. She is responsible for bookkeeping, wages and the coordination of service appointments in the common sanitary and heating company. Managing Director Marco Brüesch describes his role as a “girl for everything” with a smile. Entrepreneurially, the roles are also clearly divided: he tends to take risks, but – as he says – must be calculable; she slows rather down or advocates for a less risky variant. At the same time, Patricia Brüesch is the more spirited, while he is the resting pole. This also shows in the handling of anger, which she occasionally busy in private life, while he strikes annoying at the door. “Maybe that has something to do with age, you become more relaxed and more relaxed, without taking the problem less seriously”, says Marco Brüesch.
Conversely, to carry the private anger into working life does not work. “We expect our employees to separate their jobs and their private lives, so that applies to us as well”, Patricia Brüesch emphasizes and teases: “If Marco grumbles, a piece of chocolate works wonders.” So that thick air does not even arise, The two have the agreement, criticism both professional and private immediately, but objectively to install, so that a small problem can’t arise even a large.
A rule to exclude the business in private does not exist for them. “Even those who do not work together tell their workday at home, that’s normal”, says Patricia Brüesch. “It can also be an advantage to be able to calmly discuss a problem or the further development of the company at home”, adds Marco Brüesch.
Working together is no problem for them, they notice. “It does not make the relationship any more difficult”, says Marco Brüesch, “and we do not know it differently.” She regards him not only as her husband but also as her boss, Patricia Brüesch describes her feeling in the daily work routine.
“But as soon as we are in the apartment, he is no longer my boss”, she emphatically adds. “The most important thing is that you respect each other”, he sums up the life and works together.
There are many couples working together at the Bakery Habermacher. The parents Werner and Margrit Habermacher did the same, daughter Beatrice and her husband Daniel and son Marcel and his wife Michelle do the same. Everyone got to know each other out of the workplace, but the growing bakery offered all suitable job opportunities.
The tasks are clearly assigned, no couple works in the same area. In addition, the working hours in the bakery, the shops, and the cafes are very different. This leads to the fact that Werner and Margrit Habermacher, he in the bakery and she in sales and as a vaulter, barely can eat together. But this also means that anger from working life is not even carried to private life; Everyone has to process it in their own way. Private life also suffers because they live above the main shop and so the relatives come to the apartment at any time, Werner Habermacher describes the situation.
The younger generation is better at separating work and private life. Although Michelle and Marcel Habermacher also speak at home from work, it does not bother both. Beatrice and Daniel Habermacher try not to mix the two areas of life. “But it’s not completely avoidable”, assures Daniel Habermacher, “as a seven-day operation you sometimes have to organize something at home.”
At the dinner together, however, the children and the organization of the coming days are the most important topic. Of course, you take the stressful events of the day in your thoughts home, but he need not talk about it, while she often times “let off steam”.
Conversely, private should remain private, says Beatrice Habermacher determined. However, this is not difficult, because the two are hardly at odds – unless the risk takes off with Daniel once again. From an entrepreneurial point of view, he would like to try everything, he notes with a grin. “If it does not work, then you stop it”, he describes his attitude. They describe the joint work as enriching because there is the possibility to organize the working hours themselves: «So we can spend the days off together and so also maintain the private life,» the two report brightly.
The article as PDF can be found HERE.
Source: Meine Firma, Das KMU-Magazin der AXA Winterthur,