Tuuli Hirvonen • 17.12.2015 • Frantic • Reading time 3 min
In addition to impatiently counting days to our departure, we’re busy making last-minute preparations for our remote office experiment in Thailand. We’ve had a whole bunch of things to take care of, but we’re finally ticking off the last items on our to-do list. So what has happened behind the scenes, you might ask?
Picking the location was our first big decision. To guarantee sunlight and balmy temperatures we had to head south, but venturing too far to the east or west wasn’t an option: the only crucial precondition for the location was a reasonable time difference between the remote office and Helsinki as we’ll work partly during the Finnish office hours to ensure smooth flow of communication with the rest of our project teams and clients. Eventually, Phuket was declared the winner thanks to its suitable geographic location, a 5-hour time difference, sufficient infrastructure and our past, pleasant experiences in the region.
The timing of the experiment was the second essential question to be solved before booking the flights and accommodation. Though we would have been more than ready to escape the dark and rainy November, it all came a bit too soon as the year-end is typically our busiest season. January, instead, seemed perfect: we’d be able to make the necessary arrangements, enjoy family time over Christmas and start the new year with a bang. The flights were booked in the blink of an eye right after we got a green light from the management.
Of all the accommodation options available, we were first attracted to a “bungalow on the shore” kind of setup. We soon, however, started to doubt whether a beach bar wifi would be enough for our needs. So... We settled for a villa with a pool. There’s a wide variety of holiday houses, apartments and other vacation rentals available in Thailand – the tricky part is to find a reliable provider with a promise of a fast enough internet connection. By accident, we came across an Airbnb villa built by a Finn, so we expect to share a mutual understanding of “a good internet connection”. Also, we’re pretty sure the house exists. Right?
The rest is just cocoa nuts. Almost. We’ll bring with us our laptops plus an extra one in case circumstances arise. We’ll also bring a few monitors, extension cords, chargers, headphones, keyboards and other accessories. Insurances, vaccinations, passport renewals etc. are on their way, too. Suitcases are waiting to be filled with summer clothes and sunscreens to be sprayed all over our pale skins. Still, the most experimental part of this trip remains totally untested.
We, the lucky team of Franthaimones, are not best friends going on vacation, but colleagues who will share rooms with each other and literally spend a month together, 24/7. It’s a sort of a BB house with a social feed instead of a broadcast. To get in the mood and test our group dynamics we already spent a day together in a “remote location” in Helsinki, ate Chinese for lunch and wore shorts despite the sleet. Luckily, no sun burns, diarrhea or cockroaches yet, but rest assured: no matter how much we plan and prepare there will be surprises – and that’s part of the fun. Follow our Instagram @franticremoteoffice to stay in the loop!