Exploring the world is a dream shared by many, but it often clashes with reality and its limits. Traveling to distant destinations takes time and authentically experiencing a culture different from your own is not something achievable in one or two weeks. This is a significant obstacle, as not everyone can afford to take months off work.

So, should we give up on our dreams of exploration? Absolutely not.
Why not consider the option of working from another place for a short or medium period of time?

The Way of Working (WoW) program by Growens allows exactly this: it enables our employees to work from anywhere, offering the unique opportunity to better manage their work-life balance. Additionally, it allows to travel and experience new cultures without compromising one’s career, turning every challenge into an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Marco Bianchi’s work experience in the East 

The WoW program, established within Growens over two years ago, is widely used by employees not only to work from home but also to work temporarily from other cities within the country or even from abroad

Marco Bianchi, a Senior Fullstack Engineer at Beefree SDK, is one of the many who decided to take on the challenge, spending a month in Vietnam thanks to the opportunity offered by the program. During this period, Marco had the chance to fully immerse himself in the life and culture of Southeast Asia while continuing to contribute effectively to his team’s work. 

Now, let’s hear from him about his experience.

What is your role at Growens?

I work as a Senior Fullstack Engineer at Beefree SDK, the embeddable version of Beefree that is used by over 600 SaaS applications. This toolkit allows the creation of white-label emails, popups and web pages. 

Specifically, I work closely with my colleagues in the Development and Product teams, developing new features and maintaining the platform.

What prompted you to work from Vietnam?

Last year, I went on vacation to Southeast Asia, visiting Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. I really enjoyed it. I particularly appreciated the weather, the food, and the culture of each one of these countries. It was during that trip that I started to entertain the thought of working from these places, especially since I had long wanted to experience a period of life and work in a foreign country.

So, I decided to take advantage of the WoW program offered by Growens to work remotely from Vietnam. In January, I filled out the form to request remote work outside the European Union and, upon its approval, I set off.

My experience started on March 19 and concluded on May 3. During this period, I worked for the first month in Vietnam and took time off to Hong Kong, Seoul, and parts of northern China.

In a technical role such as a Full Stack Engineer, did you face any work-related difficulties during your stay?

In my daily work, I did not encounter any particular difficulties. Initially, the time difference compared to Italy was six hours, which became five after the switch to winter time on March 31.

This required me to schedule all meetings in the Vietnamese afternoon, which corresponded to the Italian morning.

This was never a problem; on the contrary, having the mornings completely free of meetings allowed me to focus on development activities and be more productive.

Will you take advantage of the WoW program again?

This experience was not my first using the WoW program; in the past, I had already worked from different European countries with a group of colleagues for periods limited to one week.

However, this was my first experience working from such a distant location. It was so meaningful that I would like to try something similar again, perhaps with some colleagues, even though I am aware that it would be more complicated than usual due to the distant locations.

As for the short term, I have a tentative idea of working from Greece around July, but I haven’t decided yet.

Do you have any advice for those who want to have a similar experience?

Having a stable internet connection is essential for a trip like this, not only for working but also for booking hotels or transportation and translating the local language.

In Asia, it is really easy to buy a local SIM card for a few euros that offers internet coverage for an entire month. Alternatively, another great solution is an international e-sim that works everywhere.

Another valuable tip for those who want to travel in Southeast Asia is to install the Grab app, the equivalent of Uber in that region. It facilitates short and medium-distance travel, helping to remove the language barrier and the need to negotiate with taxis.

Would you recommend this experience?

Absolutely yes. The main reason why I like traveling is to dive into cultures different from my own.

I believe it can be an extremely enriching experience for anyone, even from a professional perspective. Personally, it has helped me to consolidate my organizational skills.

ft 1000 2021
Deloitte 2019