The dream of spending time by the ocean, a short-term change of scenery to a sunny location, discovering a new country and still being able to work normally - an appealing idea for many professionals. But what does this combination, which has become known as "workation", look like? That's what Antonia, one of our WARGITSCH Transformation Engineers, found out during her four-week stay in Barcelona. We spoke to her before and after her trip:
First of all: Why did you decide to start a workation in Barcelona? What inspired you to do so?
I always wanted to live and work abroad and face the new challenges that come with it. In my opinion, getting to know a new culture and experiencing a “foreign” country can lead to a lot of personal growth. I am therefore very grateful that the WARGITSCH Transformation Engineers made that possible for me in the form of a workation.
A stay like this, both professionally and personally, certainly requires a lot of advance planning. How exactly are you preparing your workation? Do you need special technologies and tools to be able to work from Barcelona during this time?
Professionally, it’s mainly about official documents such as an A1 certificate. I will be taking my home office equipment with me to work abroad. My MacBook and headphones are all I need. The apartment has Wi-Fi, so fortunately I am as flexible as possible here! Personally, it’s about finding an accommodation and otherwise I’m just looking forward to my time!
Apart from Wi-Fi, are there any other criteria you based your choice of accommodation on? What was particularly important to you?
I want to use my time abroad to get to know new people and the country/city, so the location was crucial for me. As I will also be working in my apartment, a suitable, undisturbed workplace was a key factor. And of course you have to feel comfortable. 🙂
That sounds like you already have a bucket list for your stay in Barcelona, doesn't it? Which places do you definitely want to visit? What activities are you planning?
I want to get to know as much of the culture and “real” life in the city as possible. On vacation, you usually only get to see the touristic side. I don’t know how exactly that will work out yet, let’s see what happens.
After four weeks of working in Barcelona, time has come for Antonia to return home. How did she spend her time and what experiences will remain in her memory? We spoke to her again and asked for her retrospective:
Before we start, welcome back! How did you like your stay in Barcelona? Did everything work out as you imagined it to?
I really enjoyed my stay in Barcelona. It was actually the first time I had been to this city and my expectations were absolutely fulfilled. Barcelona has many beautiful corners, there is a lot to see and a good café on almost every corner.
Was there a special moment or encounter that left a long-lasting impression? Feel free to tell us about it.
I wouldn’t want to limit myself to a specific moment here, but to the experience as a whole. You can’t compare living and working in another city for a month with a month’s vacation. You get to know the city in a completely different way and learn to find your way in unfamiliar situations. The whole stay therefore left a lasting, very positive impression on me that I wouldn’t want to miss.
That's very easy to understand! Was it difficult for you to come back? What did you miss the most, what did you miss the least, and what are you looking forward to now that you're back in Germany?
Yes, it was actually not so easy for me to come back. On the one hand, I met some very nice people in Barcelona who I would have loved to spend more time with. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the weather there, as it’s very cold here at the moment. I also feel like you only really get to know a city of this size after about three to four weeks, and it’s a shame to have to travel home again straight away. Nevertheless, you still look forward to your home, your friends and family – and I also missed my cat.
Did you gain any new insights through the workation?
Yes, I have already traveled alone, but as I mentioned earlier, living alone in a foreign city still is something else. I got to know myself even better and gained some new insights for myself.
To what extent did your everyday life change? Are there any habits or activities that you started in Barcelona which you would like to maintain?
In relation to work, I have in fact gained a key insight. In a job like ours, where you work a lot remotely, it’s important to be able to see something other than your own four walls. In Barcelona, I frequently sat down to work in a café to bring a bit more variety into my everyday life. Of course, that’s not always possible, but it’s a nice alternative at times when there are no client appointments, for example. I would definitely like to continue doing this at home.
Has the workation in Barcelona made any impact on the collaboration with your colleagues?
No. The fact that we are used to working remotely has not affected our collaboration in any way.
Finally: Would you consider another workation? If so, where to?
Yes, definitely. But I’m quite open as to where my journey will take me.