Whether for a long weekend in Spain, a month in Scandivania, or time back home with family, all you need for workation is your laptop, stable internet and creative ideas on where to travel. The best part is, normalizing workation means that you stay connected to your colleagues.
gridX embraces the ways that the pandemic changed our styles of work. Offering hybrid workiing, remote positions and generally flexible working times provides benefits to both employers and employees: attracting the best talent and guaranteeing a consistently satisfied and motivated team. Giving employees the freedom to work where they choose can be a major upside for employee mental and physical health and staying productive.
For gridX, workation has only advantages, which is why our employees have the opportunity to work 70 days a year from abroad in the EU. Read on to hear from Amelie and Lars how workation boosts productivity and motivation, and lends itself to unforgettable adventures.
1. Who are you and what do you do at gridX?
Amelie: My name is Amelie and I have been a Customer Success Manager at gridX since September 2021.
Lars: My name is Lars and I’m working on the whole range of design topics at gridX – be it packaging, marketing or our digital products. In this role, I’m always trying to infuse a little gridX design magic into everything we do.
2. How did you come up with the idea of a workation?
Amelie: Seeing and experiencing the world is my life’s aspiration. It has shaped everything I do – from my choice of studies, to the industry I work in, and even the decision to join gridX. I want to contribute to protecting this planet and its people but I also want to enjoy this world. Workation allows me to combine both.
Quite frankly, workation allows me to see the world we are working so hard to protect and it motivates me to get shit done every day.
Lars: To be honest, the opportunity for workation seemed too good to let it float by and just wave while it passes. Since I live in Aachen, I always liked to extend my business trips to Munich by adding a few vacation days to enjoy the Bavarian nature. So workation felt like a natural next step. As soon as this benefit was announced, my mind started wandering and I was thinking about possible destinations that would work for me.
3. How (long) and where did you travel?
Amelie: I have already done multiple workations. The longest one was last year in November when I spent 4 weeks in beautiful Tuscany, Italy.
Lars: I traveled to southern Sweden for about four weeks and spent about two and a half weeks of that working remotely. During my trip I changed accommodation regularly to cover a lot of distance.
4. What was the process like with gridX?
Amelie: Pretty simple, actually. After a chat with my supervisor I requested the workation online and just a few days later I got the approval. Then all I needed to do was inform the team.
Lars: The support from our People and Culture team, my supervisors and colleagues were very helpful in putting my plans into action. The whole process went smoothly.
5. How was the collaboration with your colleagues during your workation?
Amelie: Pleasantly smooth and unproblematic, as I can do pretty much all of my work online or via phone. Of course, you don’t have the random office chats, which I enjoy, so I do make sure to be in the office whenever I am not on workation.
Lars: The collaboration with my colleagues went very well and just as it always does. I’m not even sure everyone noticed that I wasn’t working from Germany. Admittedly, my job is very well suited for temporary remote working as I work online a lot with colleagues in Munich anyway. I was also able to plan and prepare a lot beforehand. I also learnt that it’s important to have a stable wifi connection and backup mobile connection just in case 😜.
6. Were there also challenges or difficulties?
Amelie: So far I had only organizational challenges like reliable wifi connection in the destination country. Other challenges are more related to managing your own expectations – you are working after all.
Lars: I actually don’t recall any work-related challenges that stemmed from being on workation. You could argue that it can be a challenge not to get distracted by unfamiliar, interesting or beautiful surroundings when working in distant places. But I was able to suppress the urge to be distracted from work quite well. It was more like I could use it as motivation to look forward to something after work. This probably made me even more productive 😄.
7. What was the biggest highlight during your workation?
Lars: Since I chose Sweden as a destination because of the nature, outdoor activities were on top of the agenda for me. I always chose accommodation right next to forests or lakes, so I could go kayaking or hiking in the evening after work. In general, I tried to be outdoors as much as possible and often prepared my food at lakes or on hikes. I also set myself the challenge to take a swim each day, no matter the weather. Besides that, the small towns in Sweden were also well worth the visit.
Amelie: I went to beaches, did wine tasting, hiked, ran, enjoyed city tours, local parties and much more. I always try to use as much time as possible exploring and enjoying the different perks of the destination.
8. What is your conclusion from the experience?
Amelie: Just the change of scenery already gives me a huge boost in motivation and reduces stress levels. I am always in awe how much this makes a difference. Going back to work I felt re-energized and gained new motivation to get shit done.
Another highlight is the acceptance of workation at gridX - I have no worries about workation impacting my career or feeling excluded from the team just because I am working from a different place for some time.
9. What experience did you take back to Germany for your work? How did you feel after returning?
Lars: I experienced how good it is to actually get up and out into the fresh air during breaks at work. This is something that I have continued to do (until the winter in Germany).
10. Do you have any tips for people who want to go on Workation?
Amelie: Just do it – you will be surprised at the effects on you and how uncomplicated it is! I’ve already planned my next trip to Sweden in summer.
The first step to starting your workation is finding a flexible employer that supports working holidays. If you’re already planning where you would spend your 70 days, take the plunge and check out our open jobs on the gridX careers page.