In the wake of the pandemic, companies across the globe have adapted to new ways of working. With large office buildings now unoccupied, and organisations embracing team members working remotely, there is plenty of scope for employees to explore and benefit from the ‘WFH’ culture
Platinum interviewed Angelique Caracciolo, Marketing Manager at BusinessMobiles.com, who has fully embraced the transition to working from home and has taken it to the next level by upping sticks and living in ten countries in the past 12 months whilst continuing her day-to-day role.
Angelique joined BusinessMobiles.com in 2020 when the pandemic started and, like the rest of the world, she turned to remote working for the next year, supported by video communication software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom – a new way of working was born.
As one lockdown turned into multiple lockdowns, Angelique was confined to working from her London home, but the travel bug from previous years started to fill her thoughts. She realised that whether she was in London, Finland, or France, she could complete her day-to-day role, which involved regular communication over email and video conferences with her team at the same high standard.
Taking inspiration from her Managing Director, Charmaine de Souza, who splits her time between Miami and London whilst running her company, Angelique approached both Charmaine and the HR department with her idea of travelling the world whilst maintaining her job at BusinessMobiles.com on a trial basis for the following 12 months.
Charmaine said “We embrace a company culture based on trust as we want to empower our employees to work flexibly. We were very excited when Angelique approached us with her plans to travel whilst working and
we were 100% onboard. It’s a wonderful opportunity for her to explore the world whilst still carrying out her important role at BusinessMobiles.com.”
First, Angelique needed to test the water and see how feasible it would be to work remotely in a different country and if it would impact her role. So, she moved to France and stayed with relatives for a short period. After three months, Angelique realised it made no impact on her work, so she carefully planned the next 12 months of travelling with the support of her company. The primary consideration for each location was a good Wi-Fi connection as this was vital for daily communication with her team, so booking through Airbnb, she was able to confirm internet speeds ahead of arrival.
Angelique has lived in England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Romania, South Africa, Finland, Estonia and Bulgaria in the last 12 months. At one point in Finland, Angelique was working whilst living close to Santa’s Village in the Arctic Circle surrounded by a snowstorm and went hunting for the Northern lights during her free time. Last summer, she went island hopping in Croatia for a month, proving that remote working really has no boundaries.
Angelique believes that living in all these areas has not impacted her work and has instead boosted her productivity and mental health. She feels happier, more invested in her day-to-day work activities and the company, and always has exciting plans outside of work to explore new cities in her time off, creating an excellent work/life balance.
Platinum asked Angelique what advice she would give to anyone thinking of embarking on the same adventure.
She said she plans to continue her travels with another set of destinations worldwide in mind for this year, accompanied by her boyfriend, as his employer has also given him the opportunity to enjoy the same experience.
BusinessMobiles.com has proven that you can create an effective working environment when backed by a supportive company culture that allows its employees to grow and flourish anywhere in the world whilst remaining engaged, connected and ultimately happy at work.
Angelique’s top tips for working remotely while travelling
1 Travel light: One suitcase is enough, so you don’t have too much to carry around!
2 Bring the right tech with you: Laptop, mouse, all the cables, these are the most important things to pack!
3 Make sure there’s Wi-Fi in the place you are staying: Check in advance with the host or you can also use your UK SIM card if there’s roaming included (PS: Check if your company’s mobile contract has roaming included. BusinessMobiles.com can help you with that!). As a backup, it is easy enough and affordable to buy a SIM card with data in each country you’re going to.
4 Pick the right Airbnb: Even if the idea of working from the beach or the café sounds amazing, you want to make sure you have a quiet and comfortable place to work in the house you are renting so you can take calls and concentrate.
5 Be aware of the time zone for your work hours: Following the UK work hours is very easy wherever you go in Europe or South Africa. If you decide to go further, you might have to wake up early or finish late at night! It’s part of the fun, right?
6 Check travel restrictions and the country’s entry requirements before travelling: This is super important, even now with easier travel restrictions, each country has its own rules so it’s good to know before you travel.
7 Be transparent with your employer and tell them where you are going: No need to lie or change your Zoom background so your team think you are in London. Be honest, your company will appreciate it.
8 Get a bank where you can pay everywhere without fees: This is an important point; you don’t want to be paying fees everywhere you go. I found and online bank called Monzo and it’s so convenient!
9 Travel insurance: Accident or sickness happens so you want to be covered when you travel. You don’t need to spend time searching for insurance for every single country you are going. Now, with Safety Wing you pay a monthly fee and you’re covered in most countries in case of an emergency. www.safetywing.com
10 Make sure you take breaks and enjoy your time off to explore: You don’t want to do this all to spend your day and night inside your house. You’re in a new country, a new city, go for a nice walk in the morning, enjoy the night out and live like locals during the weekend. You really get to experience the place you are in; this is so rewarding!