The following is a guest post from our friends at Proxyclick.
Proxyclick’s main office is located in Brussels, Belgium. In November, they moved their entire office to Barcelona for three days! Why not? They brought along a film crew, so you can check out the video of their working adventure:
Digital Nomads Have Become the Norm
The traditional workplace is changing. For many, having a set workplace at all is a thing of the past. These mobile workers set their own pace, take inspiration from their surroundings, and meet new and interesting people. While so far the majority of digital nomads have been freelancers, the trend has caught on among many small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as in certain units of much larger companies.
As millennials entered the workforce, the technology surrounding them was changing drastically. Suddenly, there was a much greater sense of global mobility and a resistance to the grounded aspects of the traditional office. Jobs themselves have changed and may be more flexible than the jobs millenials' parents had when they started working. This new world and mobility has helped workers to find new modes of leadership. The rise of a more collaborative online economy has increased the flexibility and quality of life for techs and creatives alike. With each advance in technology comes new possibility for digital nomads.
Given all this new mobility, it makes perfect sense that co-working spaces have come to replace so many offices. If you’re on the go, having a reliable connection and a professional workspace might not always be so constant. There are even spaces like London’s Collective to provide co-living spaces alongside co-working facilities.
Putting this Theory to the Test
Proxyclick chose Barcelona as their relocation destination because one of their team members had recently moved there, and they had been meaning to visit anyway. The most important question was whether they could stay well connected with their client base and prospects while abroad.
To ensure this, they downloaded a VoIP app to their cell phones to transfer all calls before leaving Brussels. This allowed them to make calls as though they had never left the office. After choosing their hotel, they found a co- working space in the heart of the city. Once that was done, the only thing left to pack was their smartphones, laptops and an iPad for demos. They were ready for takeoff!
What They Learned
Admittedly, a team’s overall efficiency in a city like Barcelona in the first three days will be a bit lower than at home. There, they have had the time to create ideal working conditions. It’s too exciting to explore a new city and a new co-working space (Betahaus has a rooftop terrace and wonderful view of the city!). After that initial excitement, they did settle in and started their workday.
Since Proxyclick’s team had their phones already set up to handle support calls, they were ready to go. They used their live chat as usual, toggling between laptops and smartphones to chat directly with customers and leads. Their product is cloud-based, but so are the various apps and tools they use. That means with a quality Internet connection, they had everything they needed to be fully operational within the cloud. Project management, communication and uploading can be done anywhere. Their workday was no different, except for the fact that their developer meeting happened out on the terrace in the Barcelona sun!
The Proxyclick team was empowered by their ability to get moving again fast in a new environment. It was empowering to just pack their bags and go. Any form of change can be refreshing, but one that bucks tradition that much feels revolutionary.
A real benefit of the adventure was to experience the Spanish way of life. Living and working there felt a bit different. In accordance with this, they started their days a bit later than usual. This led to late lunches and later days, which more closely matched the schedules of fellow workers in the co-working office. The experience brought the team closer together and helped them to remember that when we work together, we can achieve anything. Welcome to a new and more flexible world.
The only remaining question is: where will you take your work?