The pandemic has significantly changed the way people work and rest.
While a remote job along with work from home options are quite an old concept, workation is definitely a trend of the year. A lot of businesses have accepted flexible models of cooperation with employees and made the right call. There are plenty of articles on media approving advantages of workation, like increasing motivation, creativity, boosting productivity, affecting the healthy working process and lifestyle.
What’s so awesome in workation? Our teammates are currently on their Mexican workation. So we asked our HR Manager to share her experience. Comments are right from the scene, exclusively from Playa del Carmen.
Workation is about work or vacation?
It’s about a healthy balance. Workation is an ideal method of learning how
to rest and recover, so then you can get back to tasks and put some spark into your work.
How did the idea of workation come out?
An idea appeared during my kitchen talk with our recruiter Stepan. We were complaining on annoying cold weather, dreaming about a trip to Bali, as many of our colleagues had traveled there before. Unfortunately, it turned out that the island was closed for visitors due to the lockdown restrictions.
So, I just opened a map, and checked up all countries that were opened for tourism. That is how I’ve chosen Mexico.
Speaking about your destination, where do you work from?
Currently, we’re living in Playa del Carmen, a town located 60km from Cancun. We rent 2 apartments in a quarter mostly settled with American tourists. It’s great service here, and what is essential — good and stable Internet access. When we arrived, we thought, we would work sitting under
a palm tree with a coconut, but it all came different. It appeared
to be troublesome to read from the laptop’s monitor under the direct sunlight. Hence, we work from our apartments and from cafes, sometimes. I have a lot of calls, so it’s important for me to have a quiet place. Our colleagues, Vasyl and Volodymyr live and work in an apartment with a pool and terrace.
Work or rest. Does everyone work?
Everyone works. Our vacation lasted for two weeks, when we arrived.
That was amazing! We traveled around Mexico, crossed 3000 km, and
5 States, swam in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean. We’ve applied for 56 days of duration of stay in our visas, I wish we could stay longer.
7 hours of overlap, how do you manage your work?
We’ve agreed with the team on, at least 4 hours of overlap with Ukraine or
our clients. I usually start working at 5:00–6:00 a.m. (12:00–13:00 p.m.
in Ukraine), or at 2:30 a.m. when we have a Team meeting call. We use local time, but I always know, what time is in Ukraine. Wake me up at night and check.
What’s the hardest workation thing?
My hardest thing — is not to be present in the office. Despite staying
in contact, I have a constant feeling of missing something important, like interesting talks during coffee breaks or the working process.
Have you learned something new?
Yes, we’ve learned how to communicate gesturing, and also speak using a mix of Spanish — English languages.
What’s in your nearest plans?
We want to get maximum from the trip. Every weekend we explore local destinations, visit cenotes, national parks.
My working to-do list includes:
Social package restoring
English Club launch
Winter Party preparation
The nearest vacations plans:
Try all the tacos in the city
Catch the sunrise on the beach
Meet the sunset on the beach
Teach my friend swimming
How to prepare for a workation?
First of all, you should plan your remote work, discuss collaboration with
the team, PM, and HR. Then start journey preparation. The most important thing you should care about — the Internet. We’ve built our Plan B before
the trip — checked all mobile providers and co-workings nearby, in case
of a bad Internet connection in our apartments.
Speaking about accommodation, we looked up apartments on Airbnb.
We failed with renting only once. A host tried to cheat on us, so we had to search for another apartment right away. So, be careful.
And my advice, actually more personal pain than advice, visit a dentist before leaving Ukraine, it’s still cheaper.
Story for conclusion
Car rent was the most luckless experience we had. The first issue was with the generator, then a tire exploded in the middle of the road near the wood. There was no connection, and only a few cars passed us, drivers, of course, didn’t speak English at all. We decided to split. One group went to the nearest town to bring English speaking mechanic. With a new tire and our savior, we returned to the place of the incident and were surprised to see no one there.
It turned out that our second group was lucky to meet the police. Policemen helped with a new wheel. As there was no connection, we couldn’t get in touch. The result of this story was next: we paid lots of pesos, got
an extra tire (we called it Juanita, our Mexican friend). Even after that adventure, we still had troubles with the car, but withal, the tale with the tire is the most epic.