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Flight. 1 – Horizons Without Borders by Louise Fortin

A few months ago, VOSKER launched a new employee benefit: the Working Abroad Program, aka “Workation” Program. Complementing our flexible hybrid working mode, we offer our employees the opportunity to explore new horizons and shape new frontiers in work/life balance through telecommuting abroad.

Louise Fortin, Talent & Culture Director at VOSKER, was the very first to test our “Workation” Program. Having herself participated in the development of the program, we met with her so that she could share with us the behind the scenes of what led to the creation of this benefit, and how she experienced it herself.

Enjoy your reading!

Hi Louise! Since you were involved in the creation of the “Workation” Program, can you tell us what inspired its creation? 

I have to say that at VOSKER, promoting work-life balance was already a priority even before the program was created. It manifested itself in our flexible working hours, as well as in the Wellness Program we had already launched. With an already well-established culture of flexible work, it seemed only logical to allow our employees to benefit from this flexibility wherever they were in the world.

What made you want to leave? And why Spain as a destination?

Being a big travel lover myself, I quickly volunteered to be one of the “testers” of this new benefit before it was rolled out. Playing an active role in the implementation of the Program, I wanted to experience it for myself, to understand the advantages it would offer our employees, and to see what its limitations would be.

As for the choice of Spain, it was a destination I’d been hoping to visit for a few years already. During COVID, I watched several Spanish series which reinforced my desire to stay there. So when the opportunity arose, I threw myself into the experience!

 

 

 

Let’s face it: Spain is magnificent! With all these landscapes and beautiful places to visit, how did you find the balance between daily work and travel?

Although the urge to explore was very strong, I soon realized that if I planned my schedule well, I’d have plenty of time to visit, while working full-time.

Personally, the first week was a period of adjustment, but I quickly created a new routine for myself. I adapted my working hours to those of my colleagues, which allowed me to take advantage of the best of both worlds; generally, I visited until around 2pm each day, before devoting myself to work for the rest of the day, which usually ended around 10pm. It gave me enough leeway to fully visit during the week, while planning my weekend activities. The key for me was really to plan my time well.

 How has your teleworking experience in Spain helped you grow? Both personally and professionally?

I’ve had so many new experiences! It’s had a big impact on my ability to adapt. The biggest adaptation was, without a doubt, the fact of living alone, in a new city and with no landmarks. And let’s face it, driving in Spain was quite a challenge in itself!

 

It also allowed me to spend quality time with my daughter, who joined me after my 4 weeks of work. I had chosen to take a 2-week vacation after my telecommuting weeks, to fully explore Spain with her, discovering Andalusia’s most beautiful cities, Flamenco shows, tapas and not to mention the sangrias!

 After this first successful experience, do you have a future destination in mind to take full advantage of VOSKER’s “Workation” Program?

Argentina could well be my next destination! South America is a destination that appeals to me and friends of mine have urged me to go there. What’s interesting in a “Workation” context is that there’s little or no time difference, which is an advantage for reconciling work and travel.

Before leaving, do you have any advice for VOSKERIENS interested in the VOSKER’s “Workation” Program?

Having the chance to live to the rhythm of another country, while having the opportunity to work, is simply brilliant! To those who are hesitant to try it, I often say to think about what’s best for them in terms of location and length of stay, and then dare to do it!

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