How you are not in Germany at all

by | 11. May 2022 | News

A summary at the beginning

A short summary in advance: I have absolutely no regrets and can only recommend it to everyone to at least temporarily breathe the same air of adventure as I have been able to do for a year now.

How my adventure started

The year 2020 began anything but rosy – for all of us. Corona forced companies around the world to restructure and send their employees to the home office as far as possible. This was an upheaval for many companies that had been familiar with terms such as flex work, home office and teleworking, but had never really dared to give their employees the necessary confidence to make use of them across the board. It was and still is a truly disruptive time in terms of culture, trust and not least digitalisation.


A little bit out of the secret

Besides the aforementioned global fiasco, my former flatmate decided to spontaneously move out. After three months alone at home in a home office, I suddenly had a question: If I work from home anyway and appointments would no longer take place locally for the foreseeable future, why shouldn’t I just move my office to where at least the weather cooperates – doesn’t really make any difference anyway, does it?

Said and done

I presented my idea to my colleagues at one of our Friday jourfixes. Resistance definitely looks different (thanks to Adelina, Jessy, Anne, Markus, Helge, Florian and of course Mark). So I gave notice on my flat, let my finger circle in Google Maps and shortly afterwards booked a one-way ticket to Split, Croatia. And so, on 3 March 2021, my very personal adventure “working on the road” began.

A short anecdote

In 2017, I spent almost nine months travelling through North and Latin America as a backpacker. Despite the experience I gained during this time, doubts crept in as the departure date approached. What could happen? No sufficient WiFi on site, no suitable workplace . Would I alienate my work colleagues or simply have too little self-discipline and thus neglect work?

After I had already been on the road for two months, there was this one incisive moment for me that made all my worries finally disappear. In a call with the project manager of our client, she suddenly (stunned) asked me the question: “What do you mean, you’re not even in Germany? I couldn’t get more confirmation than that, as it shows how it doesn’t matter where employees are physically located as long as the work performance requirements are met.

My actual summary

After a year of travelling in Berlin, Croatia, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Belgium and Gran Canaria, I can look back on the best time of my professional career. Sure, there were times of bad WiFi (or total failures) and the one or other move to a new accommodation might also have fallen between 11am and 3pm (very inconvenient, but there are co-working spaces everywhere). But I could also have lunch with free-range pigs, spontaneously decide to make my resort on a mountain my workplace or go to the beach and jump into the sea after work.

All our clients have always responded with great curiosity (and understanding). Anne and Helge even visited me on the island recently and “opened” a small co-working space with me for a week.

My type of location-independent travel naturally requires a lot of trust from colleagues and especially superiors and presupposes the appropriate technical and cultural framework conditions. There must also be the necessary self-discipline to continue reliably carrying out one’s tasks despite the sun, beach, palm trees and sea.

If these parameters are right, then I can only recommend that you try it out for yourself, what it’s like not to call it a day, but to start your holiday anew every day. Whether it’s for the long term or workations. It’s always worth a try!