Soccer or Football? It’s confusing, I know! And sometimes, you just don’t know which one to use! When I’m talking about my favorite sport in English, however, most of the time I end up calling it “soccer” because there is only one soccer and you can’t confuse it with something else. So, that’s what I will use in today’s post.

With so many employees at Cisco, it is easy to find someone with similar interests to bond over. Next to skiing, soccer is THE most popular sport in Austria – and while you may not find us on the top of the FIFA world ranking table, we still love this sport.

Towards the end of 2017 the Cisco Austria Team created a Webex Teams Space to connect around sports, and specifically soccer. We call this space “Cisco Kickerl” as Kickerl is the term you’d use when you want to casually meet friends and play a little soccer on a Sunday afternoon. Currently we have 21 participants!

With the space created, and participants invited – the first training was scheduled for a Tuesday evening. We all met at the Cisco Vienna Office and drove together to the Westside Soccer Arena where we reserved a court.

How has soccer connected us further? Here’s what we’ve experienced so far:

1.We discovered what our fellow Cisco colleagues do! There aren’t many of us here at Cisco Vienna, but it is still a challenge to truly know everyone. This activity brought folks together from various teams who normally don’t work together and sometimes really don’t know what the other person is doing. Of course, thanks to soccer – conversations unfolded and we learned more about each other!

One of my colleagues, Tomislav, initially thought that David worked in Sales on 31st floor, but he is actually one of the Engineers from the 27th floor and had recently just been hired! They didn’t know much about each other before, but now – they do! And they have soccer (and Cisco) in common.

It may seem like a small thing, but I think this is important because of the way we work and collaborate. These two co-workers now know each other, and can hopefully collaborate in the future.

2.Giving Back – Just recently an opportunity came up for us to participate in the Annual IT Charity Cup, a local charity tournament that supports the Verein Projekt Integrationshaus. This is an Advice Centre in Vienna for Asylum Seekers and Refugees under the Terms of the Geneva Convention.

In recent years, many corporate companies have participated, and we were honored to take to the pitch (or soccer field) representing Cisco. It’s a great opportunity for the team to have fun with music and barbecue, but it also excites us to compete with teams from fellow big IT companies while supporting a wonderful cause at the same time.

3.Continued Athletic Events & Cisco’s Support – I am encouraged in how Cisco supports initiatives that focus on employee’s overall health and staying active. Over the course of the past few years, my co-workers and I have participated in a lot of activities – from the Vienna City Marathon Relay to two teams participating in the Cisco Pavelka “30 Day Sweat Challenge”. Cisco Vienna is dedicated to staying active – and we also focus on health too!

Since 2015 we have also participated in the Movember initiative to raise funds for men’s health. When you know you are doing something to help not only your personal fitness and health, but to raise awareness for others as well – it is inspiring and motivating. I love that Cisco supports us in this, and it is a big reason to as why I love working here.

Cisco is a very cool place to work, with open minded people and lots of vibrant energy. I’m glad that we get to channel this not only in our day-to-day work goals, but also in finding activities that we’re passionate about that encourage us to stay healthy too. Do you love soccer too? We hope to see you out there with us soon!


Want to work for a company that puts health and fitness first? We’re hiring! Apply now!


Niki Walek

Customer Engagement Manager

ServiceGrid Smart Bonding