Virtual Work: An International Perspective

 In Culture

At Demand Spring, we want the best people for the work we do, that means having the infrastructure set up to work from anywhere. We are a Revenue Marketing services organization with offices in Ottawa, Canada and Ipswich, MA that really enables virtual work. When you work remotely, “going to work” usually means finding a good wifi connection and an environment in which you feel comfortable getting stuff done. Demand Springers are permitted, even encouraged, to take full advantage of the virtual work lifestyle.  

Picking up and moving to a different city or country for work is no easy feat, often entailing some culture shock, bilingualism, and a time-intensive job search. With remote work, it’s much easier to pick up and go. Take two members of Demand Spring – Lex and Ryan, currently residing in Squamish, BC and Lyon, France respectively.  We got their thoughts on what it’s like to work virtually, what a typical day looks like for them, and how they’re managing to soak up their surroundings.

Lex – Revenue Marketing Specialist, Squamish, B.C.

Lex, Marketing Specialist at DS, moved from Ottawa, ON to Squamish, B.C. in late October. As an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for hiking, skiing and climbing – the mountains were calling and she decided to make the move! Luckily Lex is an early riser by nature, so the 3 hour time difference hasn’t proven to be an issue.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up at 6:30, enjoy a cup of tea by my living room window, do 20 minutes of yoga and log into work at 7am!

Where do you usually work?

I work at my home office every morning, then usually walk downtown to a cafe or the library for the afternoon.

What do you do on the weekends?

On the weekends I try to be outside and active as much as possible. Most weekends I will be skiing at Whistler or ski touring in Squamish. Now that spring is coming, these weekends will soon be turning into hiking, running, climbing, yoga, and climbing. It’s just as lovely in the summer as it is in the winter!

What’s your favorite part of working remotely?

I love the flexibility of being able to work anywhere, and make my own schedule. Working around meetings, starting early, taking long lunch breaks or runs during the day, then logging back on later in the afternoon. I also love that I save precious time every day on commuting and getting myself “professionally” dressed!

What do you like most about living in Squamish?

I love the small town feel, and being surrounded by such gorgeous nature and like-minded people. I love having a playground for so many activities right at my doorstep. It’s a great size of town with everything you need, and easy access to Whistler or Vancouver.

Ryan – Associate Marketing Technology Consultant, Lyon, France

Also an Ottawa native with a passion for Snowboarding, Ryan was ready for a change of scenery. Keen to experience a new culture and have some power days in the Alps, Ryan picked up and moved across the pond to Lyon, France. Filling his days with supporting clients with Marketo, french baguettes, and searching for a french heiress – Ryan won’t be coming back to the great white north anytime soon!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Since I am based in France (+6 hours), I do my workouts, grocery shopping and day-to-day tasks in the morning. I start my workday at 12pm local time and work right to 6, when I take a break for dinner. After some fuel, I get back for a few more hours and wrap my day up. Depending on what day of the week it is I may go out for a casual drink with my friends.

Where do you like to work?

I normally work from home as I have two monitors and a great desk setup. If I don’t have a lot of calls and can be in a louder environment when I don’t need to talk, I go to my favorite coffee shop in Lyon, Mowgli’s. They have a Chai Latte with an Espresso shot in it that’s to die for! I also like venturing into new cafes every once in awhile. There’s about a million of them to choose from…the French sure like their coffee!

What do you do on the weekends?

On weekends, I explore the city. I love to get outside, walk around town, and pop into shops and restaurants. I usually make a nice meal on Friday and Saturday night with my roommate, from groceries we bought at the market. Living with a brit, I have been watching a ton of soccer – I mean football! I also keep my eye out for cheap flights and airbnbs so I can plan my next european getaway.

What do you like most about working remotely?

Working remotely has enabled me to move across the world. I am now able to travel to new countries on weekends and enjoy the fantastic food and cultures across this beautiful continent.

What do you like most about living in France?

I have lived in Ottawa my entire life so getting away from the -35 Celsius (31 F) winters and +35C (95F) summers would be near the top of my list. Since I’ve arrived I’ve worn shorts almost every day and it’s only March! That’s unheard of in Canada. But I’d have to say, my favorite part about living in France so far is experiencing Europe and all the unique cultures that are inside it. I have traveled to the south of France and London and have an upcoming trip planned to Mont Blanc.

 

There you have it, two Demand Springers working virtually and living their best life. Remote work isn’t for everyone, and of course it has its pros and cons. But if taken advantage of, it allows you to see the world, experience different cultures and do the things you love – all while being fully inspired at work. Where would you go if you could live anywhere?

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