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Workstyles around the world


September 16, 2015

For most people, remote or flexible working means working from their home office, kitchen table, or in the local cafe. For me, I’ve been lucky to work around the world as we move for my partner’s job. So far this has included working in Switzerland, South Africa, England and currently in Cyprus. Growing up in New Zealand, I had formed what I believe is a pretty great work ethic and a ‘just get it done’ mentality. Having the opportunity to experience work cultures and mindsets in such varied countries has opened my eyes to some extremely different views on ‘how to work’, some for the better, others not. Here are some of the things I’ve picked up along the way.

The pace of work can change dramatically

In South Africa, I had to learn an entirely new language. Who knew the definitions of ‘Now’, ‘Now Now’, ‘Just Now’ and ‘Right Now’ would be so very different. Not that any of them actually give a specific deadline, they’re just rough indications of when something might be done. Now that I’m in Cyprus, ‘Siga Siga’ (Slowly, Slowly) are the most dreaded words to hear. ‘Island time’ whilst at the beach is amazing. ‘Island time’ when trying to stick to deadlines is not.

‘Island time’ whilst at the beach is amazing. ‘Island time’ when trying to stick to deadlines is not. Polis, Cyprus.

Enhanced communication skills

Not all workplaces across the world communicate the same way to get tasks done. Living and working across so many countries has meant I’ve had to learn how to communicate with different cultures, each in a way where we can work towards the deadline, but making sure I don’t offend anyone with ‘my norm’ in workplace communication.

Access to the internet does not mean the same thing in every country

Not all countries are as advanced with technology and the internet. In South Africa, power cuts were normal and frequent and to have 3G on your phone cost a fortune. In Cyprus, there are times where the internet speed offered, usually in a cafe, just doesn’t match up to what I need. The internet can cause me frustration, but I couldn’t work without it!

Embracing new culture every day

In the UK, people like to go to the pub, for work or pleasure. In Cyprus, they love their coffee shops. Embracing each country’s cultural differences and fitting them into my own lifestyle makes for great people watching and has let me feel like I’m at home regardless of where I may be setting up my laptop.

Working at cafes and squeezing in a little time for people watching is one of my favourite ways to spend the day. Geneva, Switzerland.

Regardless of the differences that I’ve come across whilst working and living abroad, each one has helped shape my personal workstyle for the better, helping me to become a more rounded and understanding individual. Without my travels, and businesses like Huckleberry facilitating me working where I want when I want, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and learning as I go.

Weekend day trips after a hard week at my laptop. Latchi, Cyprus.

Kasia Kolmas is a Digital Manager and an Associate at Hoxby, currently living in Cyprus and blogging about her explorations and travels in her blog.

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