Teleworking abroad with a group of colleagues?… Done!

Working away from the office with a bunch of fantastic colleagues while discovering a new country was only a dream for many of us, until Saagie made it happen by allowing 8 of us to work remotely for a week in Spain. A Product Manager, 2 Testers, 3 UX Designers and 2 Developers were part of the trip. In this article, we will explain how we made teleworking abroad possible and how you could do it too.

Context

At Saagie, everybody can work remotely. It’s part of the company’s philosophy ! Some of us actually work in full remote from Montpellier, Toulouse, Le Mans, Lille or Nantes while the other part is mainly based in our offices in Paris and Rouen and is also allowed to work from home if needed.

Last winter, one of our colleagues offered us to telecommute for one week at her parent’s house in Catalonia, Spain. The house could only accommodate 8 people, so she invited 7 of us. We then got ready and we did it !

But… Why?

Our main goals were quite simple. First, we wanted a significant change of scenery, being away from our routine, but still sharing time with our team in order to experience working together in a completely different way. We also thought it would be a great way to know each other a little better, improving undoubtedly our team efforts and creativity. All of this in a sunny atmosphere of course, allowing us to chill out a bit, and, once the work is done, enjoying the rest of the evening together.

Organization

So how did we do this? Here is a list of things we had to sort out before our journey:

  • We asked our company its approval in order to regularize our civil insurance. As our destination was located out of France, Saagie had to pay approximately 140€ for all of us for the week.
  • We used Doodle to agree on a convenient departure date for everyone.
  • We centralized our expenses on Tricount to split the costs in the easiest and fairest way.
  • Those who took the plane booked a parking lot at the airport.
  • We rented a car in Catalonia to be able to seesight on the evenings and during the week-end.
  • Work required a good internet connection. This was the essential point in our organization. Unfortunately, the house didn’t have any wifi connection. So we started the week with a 4G card and an airbox. However, as 8 people sharing the same connection wasn’t ideal, we eventually reduced the number of connections by using our personal 4G mobile subscription (for those who had one).
  • As for housework, we basically agreed to share the house chores as they come.

What we brought

  • A Laptop per person.
  • 4G cards and mobile subscriptions.
  • A multi-tap and extension.
  • An Airbox and a 4G router, a switch 8 ports, 4 rj45.
  • An HDMI cable to display our daily meeting on the TV screen.
  • Headphones / micros / webcams.
  • Some good speakers (for the music).
  • Some board games for the evening.

Expenses

Here are some no-brainer substitutions of our total expenses :

To let you know, we consumed approximately 1.5Go per person per day (a 4G card costs 15€ in Spain).

Pieces of advice

  • Bring with you some effective mosquito repellent (cream,spray,roll-on,candles…)
  • Do not forget a good portable speaker for a bit of music.
  • Pour yourself a nice glass of spanish Vermouth and enjoy: the pool,the deck chairs, the hammocks, the plancha and the gambas…😊

This week abroad has enabled us to break out of both our personal and work routines. We’ve spent a very pleasant time while working as usual. This experience has definitely strengthened the bonds between us and the trust we have in each other. This freedom is priceless for our well being and our productivity.



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