Readtime: 7 minutes

Workation Experience | Jakob

La dolce vita lavorativa / the sweet (work) life

Feb 27, 2023 7:00:00 AM

The concept "workation" combines the English terms "work" and "vacation".  At avantum and the All for One Group in general, flexibility and remote working have become part of everyday life - so why not move the home office to another location? That's what our colleague Jakob, who works as a Consultant AI & Data Science at avantum consult GmbH, thought. He packed his suitcase and laptop to work from Italy for a few weeks. In the interview, he tells us what he experienced during his workation.

Jochen: Jakob, how did Workation come about and what particularly attracted you to it?

Jakob: My girlfriend is a big fan of Italy and infected me with her enthusiasm. That's how we ended up spending our summer holidays in Italy over the last few years. We enjoyed our time there very much and so the idea soon matured to extend the holiday and possibly combine it with work. Taking a longer break in Italy was a long-held dream that I actually wanted to fulfil in the form of Work & Travel after completing my Master's degree two years ago. Unfortunately, like so many others, Corona threw a spanner in the works. So I was all the more pleased when I heard about the work placement opportunity after joining avantum.  


Jochen: From planning to implementation: What did you have to clarify before you could get started? What is the process like at avantum?

Jakob: Already during onboarding I experienced that New Work is really lived at avantum. When the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it subsided, my supervisor explained to me when I asked that I had the opportunity to work abroad for a few weeks, 21 days to be precise, and thus fulfilled my dream of taking a longer break in Italy. Since I was doing all my work from home at the time anyway, working from abroad was unproblematic. Of course, I took into account when planning whether there would be events on site, etc. that I should be present at. Our HR team explained the concrete framework conditions to me. Overall, the process was quite uncomplicated, so that we were soon able to start the concrete planning. 

1 So close to the sea, you can of course make wonderful excursions on the water. This is how we spent our weekends.
2 We found our accommodation through AirBnB. They have great offers for longer periods. The flat was a dream: a wonderful garden and typical Tuscan furnishings.
3 I don't have to say much about the food - it's simply a dream! 
4 We were able to make wonderful day trips. These included Cinque Terre, one of the most popular destinations among tourists.
5 The best thing about Workation in Italy is that in summer you can stay long evenings by the sea to enjoy the sunset.
6 We often spent our evenings in Pisa. There are restaurants, bars and lots of German tourists!

Jochen: Where exactly did you go?

Jakob: First we spent two weeks on Elba. An island whose crystal-clear sea Napoleon Bonaparte could already enjoy, because it was here that the first French emperor was exiled. He stayed and ruled there for ten months. I could definitely imagine worse places for an exile! On Elba we did a two-week Italian language course. The island is beautiful and the time there was a wonderful mix of learning and relaxation. Afterwards, we went to Pisa, where we rented a small flat in an idyllic suburb. Fortunately, the flat had a second bedroom, so friends and relatives were soon able to visit us. It never got boring here! 

Jochen: Why did you decide on Pisa?

Jakob: We chose Pisa because we have always liked Tuscany. In addition, the location is ideal: in less than half an hour you can be at the sea and enjoy the beach life to the full. In addition, there is the possibility of hiking in the immediate vicinity and taking in the magnificent landscape. Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region, can be reached within an hour's drive.


Jochen: What did your typical working day look like?

Jakob: My working day started at 8:00 am. At lunchtime, we often used the time to go to the market and stock up on delicious regional fruit and vegetables. We then prepared and ate our lunch together. After the break, it was back to the desk. Sometimes I moved the office to the garden without further ado - here it was wonderful to work under a blue sky and bright sunshine. The working day usually ended for me around 5 pm. After that, it was back to holidays: we went to the sea, went hiking or just had a delicious Italian ice cream at the ice cream parlour around the corner. 

Jochen: That sounds wonderful! Did you still have any concerns about whether working from abroad would really work out well?

Jakob: Of course I thought about it a lot beforehand. For one thing, I was afraid that the internet connection might be too slow. That's why I got a surf stick that could be used with an Italian SIM card before I started my trip. On site, however, this concern quickly evaporated - the internet connection in the rented accommodation was excellent. 
Furthermore, I was worried whether I would be able to work as efficiently with only one monitor as with two. However, the changeover was quite easy and I quickly realised that one monitor is completely sufficient.


Jochen: What advantages does Workation offer from your point of view?

Jakob: On the one hand, there is getting to know another culture: meeting new people, immersing yourself in the language - the more time you spend in a country, the more intense the experiences you have there become. On the other hand, your inner energy level increases immensely! At least this was my experience. Since I made the working day but also the end of the day much more active than in Germany and was able to recover very well in Italy, I worked even more focused and was full of energy the whole day. 

Jochen: Now you have probably not only made many readers dream, but also inspired and stimulated them. What three tips would you like to give to the readers so that their Workation will also be a complete success?  

Jakob: Firstly, inform yourself about the Workation framework early on and discuss your plans with your superiors.
Secondly, look for suitable accommodation in good time. Here you should make sure you have a desk and generally a good working environment. 
Thirdly, make sure that there is a good internet connection in the accommodation. To be on the safe side, you should get a portable WLAN router and check the network coverage of the respective location on the internet in advance.

Jochen: Grazie mille for your experience report, Jakob :-)


You're really keen on workation, but you've found the wrong employer? Here you can find jobs with "Workation licence"