Materials and colors that can make your office a warmer place

Materials like wood and their importance 

Wood can last for 40 years or 60 years, it needs the right maintenance to conserve, the experts say that the wood can give a warm feeling in places like stores, offices and houses. It also brings a touch of sophistication and elegance, for being such a neutral material.


The colors

Neutral colors can make your place look bigger, and if you combine them with cold colors then you can get the perfect amount of calm in your working place.


This was the inspiration for the decoration and environment of our office in Barcelona.




Festivities around the world: a relocation know-how

With a global-mindset increasingly important in contemporary society, it is appropriate to look at some of the major cultural, religious and national holidays that affect different parts of the world.

Nowadays, Christmas is probably the most commercialized and widely known celebration in most Christian cultures and many Western countries. Together with the New Year, which is actually based on a pagan celebration, most countries enjoy a ten-day period of celebration with their families or take this opportunity to travel.

But there are other major celebrations occurring around the world, religious and not.

Let’s look at some of them:


Golden Weeks (China & Japan)

China National Day is celebrated on 1 October, but many companies and government agencies stay close for the whole week to allow families to get together. Given the huge geographical size of the country, many people need to travel for several hours, or even days, to reach their families on the other side of China and some of the worst traffic jams in the world are to be seen on China’s roads during the Golden Week.

A second holiday week surrounds the Chines New Year festivities which coincides with the new moon between 21 Jan and 20 February.

Also, Japan enjoys a similar Golden Week in late April early May. The country celebrates a number of remarkable and important dates: Showa Day on 29 April (commemorating Emperor Showa Hirohito 1926-1988), Constitution Memorial Day on 3 May, Greenery Day on 4 May and Children’s Day on May 5.


Persian Nowruz ( Iran and central Asia)

Nowruz literally “new day” in Persian, is the name of the Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by the Iranians and other ethno-linguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year.

Although having  Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans.

Scientifically, Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) in the Iranian calendar. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous or following day, depending on where it is observed. The exact moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated every year. Families gather together, usually at the eldest family’s member home to eat traditional food and observe the rituals.


Semana Santa (Spain & Hispanic countries)

The Semana Santa, Holy Week in Spanish, is celebrated the week before Easter in many Catholic and Spanish-speaking countries. Festivities are characterized by street parades and processions in the streets and usually, many businesses close down for the whole week.

The Spanish southern region of Andalucia is quite famous for its religious celebrations which are very accurate and almost lavish.


Dia de los Muertos (Mexico)

During the Dia de Los Muertos Mexicans honor loved ones that have passed. Homes are decorated with altars, flowers, and pictures of the deceased ones.  Prior to the Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually, it was associated with October 31, November 1, and November 2 to coincide with the Christian celebration of Allhallowtide: All Saints All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, most know as Halloween.

Traditions connected with this celebration include building private altars called ofrendas, preparing the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. 



The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. The Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and it lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.

During this period, all adult Muslims are expected to fast during daylight hours from dawn until sunset and refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids and smoking as an act of purification and cleaning the soul.


8 curiosities about Barcelona

Famous for its cultural background and architectural wonders, Barcelona is also full of stories and anecdotes that must be taken into account to understand it better.

1. The Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, recognized internationally as one of the greatest artists, with works such as the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and Park Güell, among many others, was killed by a tram in the city of BarcelonaDue to his careless appearance, those who witnessed the accident thought he was just a vagabond.
2. In the square of Sant Felip Neri, you can see the marks of the from bombs dropped in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War, causing 42 deaths, most of them children from the school next to the church.
In that same square the video clip of the song “My Immortal” of the group Evanescence was filmed, and a scene of the movie “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona” with Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson.
3. The Teatro del Liceu has suffered two fires and an anarchist attack. The first fire took place in 1861, and the theatre was completely destroyed. In 1893 the attack perpetrated by the anarchist Santiago Salvador caused 20 deaths. The second fire was in 1994 when the entire theater was also burned down. It is said that during the Middle Ages in that same place many executions were carried out and that since then it is a cursed place.
4. In the Sagrada Família there are two magical paintings like a sudoku, one on the door and the other on the facade. They are formed by a series of figures placed so that the sum of them in horizontal or vertical always adds 33, the age that Jesus Christ was supposed to have at the time of his death. The Sagrada Família is the most visited monument in Spain, followed by the Alhambra in Granada.
5. Park Güell was originally designed to be a garden that would house 60 residential homes for the Catalan upper class. Only two of them were sold (in one of them Gaudí lived for several years). After this real estate failure, the heirs of Count Güell decided to transfer the garden to the City of Barcelona in exchange for a sum of money.
Nowadays, Park Güell is one of the main tourist attractions of the city, and one of the best viewpoints.
6. The shape of the Torre Agbar was inspired by the architecture of Gaudí and the pinnacles of the Montserrat mountains, although it is often associated with a phallic form. The tower has been climbed by Frenchman Alain Robert twice.
7. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars saga, visited Barcelona and is said to have been inspired by Casa Mila’s chimneys to create the helmets of Darth Vader and the Imperial soldiers.
8. There are many songs that speak of Barcelona, but undoubtedly, the most famous one was played by Freddie Mercury, leader of the British band Queen, and the Catalan soprano Montserrat Caballé. It was recorded between 1987 and 1988 and was the song chosen by the Spanish Olympic Committee as the anthem of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Adapted from:

Destination Spain: a cultural profile

A short guide to the most important factors to bear in mind when you decide to relocate to Spain, for a short time or for good.

First of all, remember that Spain is one of Europe’s oldest countries and it has been dominated by European politics and Catholicism for many centuries. This affects society and everyday life communications at different levels.

Also, there are several Spains (Castile, Andalucia, Galicia, Catalonia, the Basques): make sure you have an idea of where people’s allegiances are.

Body language: Spanish body language is among the most open of all cultures. Eye contact, exaggerated facial expressions, extensive use of hands, arms and shoulders are quite typical here.

Spaniards tend to observe you carefully and sum you up by watching your physical characteristics, your mannerisms and your willingness to participate in the socializing.  In contrast, they read on average less than any other Europea and pay little attention to the content of presentations.


Typical habits: The globalization, the European Union and the following obligation to align their business hours to the rest of the world are causing the typical ‘siesta’ to decline, at least in multinational companies.

However, local businesses still follow this after-lunch two hours rest, although is becoming less popular in big cities such as Barcelona and Madrid.

Relationship building in Spain is nearly always blended with eating and drinking.

There is very typic Spanish word which describes this feature: “sobremesa” literally means “on the table¨and refers to all the informal chitchatting that happens after dining.


Work&time: Normally, the working day is not an unbroken period of concentrated effort, like it is in northern European or North American countries.

Coffee breaks, non-work conversations with colleagues and long meetings that stray into social affairs are all seen by the Spanish as valid parts of the working culture.

Spaniards are generally multi-active, not linear-active, again in contrast with northern Europeans and North Americans.

In short, this means that the more things they can do or handle at the same time, the happier and more fulfilled they feel.


Next Door BCN is a typical Spain-born company but with a strong international orientation. We find all these observations quite accurate, but, obviously, things are changing quite fast.

What do you think? Have you lived or worked in Spain?



Adapted from:








Business Communication in Spain

Good and effective communication is always an important factor of any successful business encounters.

Obviously, every country has a distinct culture and business conduct. In this article, we are referring to the Spanish one.

As a general rule, you should avoid confrontation as much as possible because Spaniards don’t feel comfortable to admit that they are wrong, especially in public. They are more concerned about how they are perceived by others. Try to stay modest when describing your achievements and accomplishments. In fact, modesty is one of the qualities more appreciated by Spaniards.

Even during a first encounter, the Spanish tend to be outgoing and very friendly, which may look quite strange to the ones who come from North Europe and North America. As a Mediterranean culture, Spaniards use their extrovert nature to get to know others and learn about other cultures.

Compared to other Western European countries and North America, in Spain there is not a strong emphasis on professional experience or business success. It is more important to be patient, to listen and pay attention and certainly to display some personal pride and honor, in order to prove yourself and gain the respect of your colleagues.

Humour plays an important role in society, even in business encounters, hence, another valued characteristic is the ability to be amusing and entertaining.

Moreover, personal relationships are such an important element, that you should plan extra time in business meetings to allow people to communicate and get on a more personal level. Spaniards also like to take their time and hate to be rushed when making an important decision.

To North Europeans and North Americans in particular, the ‘Spanish approach’ can appear fuzzy, especially because personal connections outweigh business contacts. Loyalties and relationships are devoted to the individuals rather than the companies they represent. As a consequence, you will keep the personal relationships you develop throughout your career and businesses have to re-invest time and resources in developing relationships whenever their representatives change.

Last but not least, the origin of Spanish (and Latin American) very long personal names!

Spanish people usually have surnames consisting of their father’s first surname plus their mother’s maiden name. You will be expected to use both unless your colleagues let you know clearly that they only use the one name, and the same rule applies to compound first names, for instance Juan-Andrés.









District 22@ is Barcelona business and innovation hub

The District 22@ in Barcelona has transformed the neighborhood in which it was settled in the year 2000 into a business center with more than 8,800 companies. 30% of them are dedicated to technology and employ about 93,000 people.

The companies have gone from 3,437 in the year 2000 to 8,823 registered in the last census of 2015.
A recent study includes the most significant figures and statistics in the history of 22@, from an economic, urban and social point of view, and offers the image of a project that  has been a source of inspiration in other cities around the world.

The economic transformation of the neighborhood is evident in the growth of the number of companies, which went from 3,437 in 2000 to 8,823 registered in the last census of 2015.

Of these 4,500 companies installed in this time interval, 47.3% are newly created and the rest are companies that have moved from other neighborhoods, while 30% belong to intensive activities in knowledge and technology.

Regarding the workers, in 2015 there were a total of 2,914 independent professionals in the district and the overall calculation of employees in the district reaches 93,000, of which 32.3% have a university degree.

Another interesting fact is that the export companies located in the district have an average of 38% of their volume of sales abroad.

The report reveals that, as of 2014, the transformation of 50.60% of the land of the District 22@ was pending. Urban and economic transformation has led to a social change in the district of Sant Martí, in which the population has increased by 3.69% in the 2007-2014 period, above the Barcelona average.

The disposable income of families in this district is also above the average of Barcelona and the foreign population coming from the EU has more representation than in the whole of the city.

Barcelona City Council makes a positive assessment of the District 22@, a project that has been born and grown linked to innovation, with a public-private model of collaboration between administration, companies, universities and research centers.

The recent studies stressed that the Districts 22@, which emerged to transform the industrial area of Poblenou, has returned to receive a new boost after the break suffered in recent years.


Original in Spainish:


If a company would pay you to relocate anywhere, where would you go?

A workflow automation tool company based in the USA, has announced in a recent press release that they are now offering a so-called “delocation” package to incoming employees living in the San Francisco area.

This is a great innovation as many other companies already offered a relocation package to move new employees to the city that meets the company’s business needs, but this one is letting the employee choose the city that best meets their own needs.

Zapier, this is the company’s name, started as a side project where the co-founders worked remotely as we had to capitalize on free time whenever we had it,” said Wade Foster, Co-Founder and CEO. “We simply started hiring the best people in our networks –but they were outside of Silicon Valley because we’re originally from the Midwest: in this way the remote aspect continued.”

“Five years later, Zapier has 80+ employees, all remote, across 13 countries and 22 states,” said Foster. “We have always been a 100% remote company and have no intention to establish a centralized headquarters. We found a business model that works for us and incentivizes the best talent to live and work anywhere in the world.”

“Many of us feel we have to make a career sacrifice,” continued Foster. “You have to go from the land of opportunity for your tech career to a city with a more limited set of options for your own personal growth.”

Currently, their “delocation” package only applies to applicants in the San Francisco area that are looking to move elsewhere. The benefit includes up to $10,000 reimbursed for moving expenses incurred during the first three months of work. Employees using the package must remain with the company for at least a year.

At next Door BCN, we believe that Barcelona is a perfect place for a delocation!


Original article: