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News

12. 07. 2022

When your work is like a piece of papaya

Do you dream about working from a tropical paradise? One of our employees has made her dream of becoming a digital nomad (or should we say nomadess?) come true. Monika, our Marketing Specialist, has been living and working from Bali for the last 4 months. In this article, she shares insights from her exciting adventures along with some useful tips for those of you also longing to live a life less ordinary.

How did you become a digital nomad?

I was planning to go on an extended trip to Indonesia a while ago, but unfortunately my plans had to be postponed due to the pandemic. As I didn’t want to give up on my dream, I rescheduled my trip as soon as Bali opened up again. The first step of course, was to agree my leave with the management team. I asked for a 3 months leave with a view to work 3 days per week. Once in Bali, I immediately fell in love with my new lifestyle and upon approval from my manager, decided to extend my trip to 4 months.

What does your typical day look like?

The sun in Bali is the best alarm clock ever, so I usually get woken up by the first rays of sun dancing on my face. I jump out of bed to watch the sunrise which is a truly magical experience for me.  Because of the time zone in Bali, I don‘t need to start working until the afternoon. This is a major benefit! I love having all this time to myself in the mornings where I can practice yoga or different breathing techniques and then enjoy a slow breakfast. This daily practice is important to me as it brings me back to my center, allows me to empty my mind, connect with myself and have better focus on my work and the day ahead. On my days off, I like to treat myself to a lie-in. Instead of yoga, I might prepare a quick smoothie or fresh juice and jump into the ocean with my friends for what I call fun-dives. This is a combination of snorkeling and free-diving, sometimes scuba diving too. Usually, I don‘t work Fridays, so I use this time to visit new places in different parts of Bali and enjoy really long weekends. I feel very grateful for that.

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How do you stay on top of your work whilst traveling?

I regularly check my work schedule, priorities for the week and re-assess if everything is moving along smoothly. Every Monday at our marketing briefing calls, priorities for the week are set, which allows me to focus on the most important deadlines. I am currently involved in organizing various company events, I also manage our social media and our ever-evolving website. Usually, I have around 3 calls per week so I tend to I organise my work time around those.

I actually think this remote setup allows me to be more efficient and get more organised, because I don‘t have the distractions that I would normally have in the office (delicious cakes and coffee chats with colleagues!). It gets dark around 6pm in Bali so I don‘t feel that I am missing out on anything by working after sunset.

What has this experience given you so far, both personally and professionally?

It has been an amazing experience as I have learnt so much about a new culture, but also about myself and more effective ways of working. I realised that I prefer to spread my hours throughout the day, instead of working in one long block. With having so many new activities to do and try out, I have felt more focused than ever before. On a professional level, I have been given an opportunity to learn a new skill during this period, Google Ads, which I highly enjoyed.

In terms of my personal goals, I’ve developed my scuba diving skills and learnt freediving. I also felt supported by so many amazing people that I’ve met along the way. While in Ubud, I practiced many different types of yoga and attended a number of interesting spiritual ceremonies. These are probably the main highlights for me.

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Do you have any tips for those who would also like to work remotely?

For me personally, it was important to find a base where I felt comfortable, initially in Ubud and later in Amed. I would say, try to find good long-term accommodation to avoid moving around too much, as it can get stressful. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t recommend my set up to someone who works 5 days a week in less convenient time zones, or someone who has a lot of calls back to back, as it gets more challenging to enjoy the day.  Luckily, my work has a lot of creative elements, which means I can work whenever I have a creative moment or get a burst of inspiration. Another thing is finding reliable wifi connection when you're moving around. It is crucial to plan ahead for this just in case, so there are no surprises. Of course, you can always buy a good mobile data plan, as these are really affordable in Bali. Many places also have coworking hubs, which you could explore if this is something that floats your boat. While I've tried many different coworking spaces, I still prefer working from home or from a cosy restaurant on the beach, sipping a delicious coconut.

How does Adastra apply the principles of hybrid/remote working into practice?

I have always appreciated the ways in which Adastra looks after its employees. Whatever your work or personal goals may be, Adastra responds promptly, yet responsibly. This means giving consideration to both yours and client's needs, and the projects that you are currently assigned to, before making a decision. For me, given that I'd already had a hybrid working model set up long before my trip to Bali, it only took two days to get a full approval for my transition into the digital/remote way of working. There are other examples of remote working in Adastra.

However, the fact remains that our office can only accommodate for approximately 40 people at any given time, while the company currently employs nearly 200 Adastrans. This means that the majority of our employees get to enjoy the benefits of hybrid working. In case someone doesn’t have the right conditions at home or prefers to work outside their house, they can always work from our client sites or come to the office, which is always open.

Adastrans love the adventurous way of life. The inspiration for this comes, to a large extent, from our top management who are passionate about travel and active lifestyle. We spend a lot of time in nature, especially in our beautiful mountains, doing various sports. During summers, we enjoy going on many bike and paddle board trips, and in winters going skiing. I especially love our whole company get together events, the Adastra family weekend and the anual skiing trip.

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There is so much beauty not only on this planet, but also in the little details of our every day lives! So don’t just wait around, counting down the days for your holiday to come. Instead, try to enjoy the natural cycles of working and resting as much as possible. If you would like to see some photos from my trip, you can follow my Instagram page.

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