In the flurry of recent job market trends, one, in particular, stands out - remote work. Fueled by employees’ desire for more freedom and work-life balance, working remotely has become a go-to model in many companies around the world. At Cleevio, we took remote work to the next level and went beyond just working from home - we offered our team the opportunity to work from a comfortable villa at the ocean coast of Portugal for 3 whole months!
Here’s what we learned from the experience:
Staying on top of trends is a given at Cleevio.
We keep up-to-date with the latest technologies, industry news, and developments - and it’s no different when it comes to the most recent work trends.
Two years ago, we introduced a hybrid work model. It allowed us to meet and work together in the office while providing space for concentration and deep work at home office.
The model worked great - but we didn’t want to stop there.
That’s why this year we introduced a unique company benefit: the possibility to work from a spacious villa at the Portuguese coast for 3 whole months.
Cleevio in Portugal, a.k.a. Our Workation Setup
So why exactly did you introduce remote work abroad, you might ask.
There were a couple of reasons: we wanted to improve our teams’ work-life balance, enable them to get to know each other better and combine work with play in a new setting.
So when the opportunity arose to rent a 10-people villa in the historic town of Aljezur, Portugal, we jumped right on it.
We decided to rent the villa for 3 months in the winter/spring season (February - April) to escape the cold and dark Czech winter, and enjoy a milder oceanic climate. Plus, the turn of winter and spring is the prime surf season in Portugal, and we definitely wanted to catch some waves!
On top of that, the villa offered great working conditions. Equipped with high speed Internet, spacious common areas, and a large table that fit multiple monitors, the place had everything we needed to be able to work on our projects effectively.
Oh, and did we mention the solar-heated pool and barbecue terrace?
Over the 12 weeks that the villa was available, 33 people from 9 teams visited and stayed on average between 7 and 14 days, wrote hundreds of lines of code together, and made tons of unforgettable memories!
Here’s what our stay in Villa Berenika looked like:
Remote Working Abroad: What We Learned
We’ve learned a lot from our first experience working remotely from abroad.
Here are our top 5 takeaways:
1. We stayed ahead of the trends in an increasingly remote work oriented industry
While remote work is growing increasingly more common, very often it means that employees can simply work from home.
A lot of businesses still don’t allow for remote work from a different country, be it because of their lack of flexibility, office-based culture or legal and tax issues.
That’s why offering the benefit of working from Portugal to our mostly Czechia-based employees set us apart from others. We were able to not just act on, but stay ahead of the trends, and offer our teams a truly unique experience - which is what Cleevio is all about!
2. We improved well-being, work-life balance, and creativity
After over two years of pandemic-triggered restrictions and uncertainty, it’s only natural that a lot of us were feeling strained.
The opportunity to work and have fun together with our teammates in a relaxed, picturesque setting of Aljezur helped address this issue. It provided an environment where we could simply decompress and enjoy the moment - which, in turn, translated to an improved sense of well-being and work-life balance.
The setting had a positive impact on our creativity too. After all, who wouldn’t be bursting with ideas if given the opportunity to work by a pool, at the beach, or on top of a cliff?
3. We appealed to a large pool of talents
Because the possibility of remote work from abroad is a unique benefit, we were able to stand out to potential job candidates.
Throughout the time the villa was available, we promoted it across our social media channels and in active job postings. The content featuring the villa garnered more engagement compared to other posts, and sparked questions from our target hiring audience which proves that the benefit resonated with the right crowd.
4. We enriched company culture and strengthened team relationships
This year was the first one where we introduced the opportunity to work remotely from abroad. And we quickly noticed how much of an impact it had on our culture. It allowed our teams to get to know each other better, experience new things together, and make great memories - all of which strengthened our bonds and friendships.
The Portugal villa became a popular topic at Cleevio. The visitors have started their own Slack channel where they shared activity updates, photos and videos of their stay on a daily basis. There were also lots of stories shared in person in the office which made us all feel a part of this adventure.
5. We got the job done!
Even though we were almost 3,000 kms away from Cleevio’s headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, we stayed focused on our projects and got the job done.
Yes, we had access to a pool, barbecue terrace, breathtaking views, and perfect surfing waves - but all of this did not distract us from our goals.
We remained organized and aligned on our top priority: helping our clients grow and succeed, no matter where we are.
Being able to work together from Portugal was a great experience that taught us a lot.
Staying ahead of the remote work trends, appealing to new talents, and enriching our company culture were just some of things that the “Portuguese workation” allowed us to accomplish.
Without this initiative, we wouldn’t have learned as much about our company and each other - which is why we’re glad that we’ve taken this step.
If you’re not sure if your business should go remote in a different country, we would say a strong yes! Test the idea and see how it works for your business, and who knows, maybe it will become a new staple in your organization?