I’ve always lived life with a “work to travel” mindset. As someone personally repulsed by the idea of a staycation, a vacation is the highlight of my year each and every trip around the sun.
In November, Media Profile announced a new 2022 Work Away Benefit for all employees, aiming to bring joy to our often mundane work-from-home conditions, but also encourage a richer work-life balance.
If I salivate at the thought of my next adventure, you can imagine how I reacted when I heard the news. Spoiler: it involved a dance party, high-pitched squealing, and several excited phone calls to friends and family.
A taste of remote work
This past winter, I was lucky enough to experience a taste of such freedom. One might say I was the unintentional inspiration for MP’s new trendsetting program.
Let’s rewind to October 2020.
Weekdays were spent alone on my laptop, trapped within the walls of my Toronto apartment. Weekends consisted of too much Netflix and the odd Zoom call. This was my nightmare. So, when two friends fleeing to Calgary asked if I’d like to join them, my response was simple: “I’m already packing.”
For two and a half months, my pals and I would work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Calgary time to align with our Toronto colleagues. The distance was never an issue—in fact, most people forgot that I was on the other side of the country.
On weekends, we would drive to Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis and Golden, BC to hike, ski, skate and snowshoe. While out west, I also embarked on a 10-day campervan vacation for a little R&R, hitting up Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler and Tofino for some socially distanced outdoor exploring.
Despite being peak pandemic, it was easily my favourite winter to date and the highlight of 2020. It’s also one of the main reasons I’m so excited for our new Work Away Benefit and the adventure that awaits.
How the benefit works
Throughout 2022, MPers will have the flexibility to work anywhere in the world for up to one month. We can also tack up to two weeks of vacation onto our Work Away month, because we all need some time to unplug and explore our surroundings.
To encourage everyone to take advantage of this benefit (personal lives permitting), the company will support the program with up to $3,000 for each employee to help cover travel expenses, including transportation, accommodations, or even short-term residential leases.
So long as we work to Eastern Standard Time, the world is our oyster.
Ready for takeoff
As a PR gal, you can bet my mind has been overflowing with ideas from the minute the announcement was made. And yes, a planning document is already in the works, complete with potential schedules, budgets and destinations.
While many deserving locations have found their way across my search bar, Italy and Croatia are currently winning the race for my heart. I love that both countries offer charming culture, mouthwatering cuisine, lively nightlife and scenic hiking and beaches. I can’t imagine a more relaxing place to work than on a sunny patio, overlooking the mountains and sea.
Now, I realize these selections mean I’ll have to work 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. CET, but I’m all for it. A little morning/afternoon adventure followed by work and sleep? Sign me up!
And while the future of Covid-19 remains unclear, a few things are certain.
Media Profile has given me the opportunity to spread my wings and fly far from a place that has become a little too familiar over the past two years. And for this newfound spark of excitement and inspiration, I’m forever grateful.
Curious to learn more about MP’s adventures abroad? Stay tuned for Our Take #PassportToMP where employees will share blog posts about their Work Away experiences.