By Sam Sz, Digital Media Specialist
Here at Larvol, we refer to our team members as tigers. This year, we celebrated our 4th annual Tiger Day where we come together on one big Zoom meeting and watch a variety of submitted videos from team members performing a talent. People can also opt to film their children, or junior tigers, performing or showcasing a talent. This years video capped off at 35 minutes of submissions filled with the talent of our team and their families.
We witnessed beautifully choreographed dances, singing, photography, paintings, art, and even baking! As a fully remote team, we don’t always have the opportunity to come together and Tiger Day gives us the chance to “meet”. This meeting takes our long distance work relationships and shrinks them in a way that truly makes it feel like we are all in the room together.
Larvol turned 15 this year and this company is filled with outstanding people and it was an absolute pleasure to watch everyone in their video submissions. We laughed, cried, and were mesmerized by what our team can do! It was nice to have a meeting with the full team that was mainly focused on getting to know each other. Tiger Day is very special to us and we look forward to what 2020 will bring!
By Linh Nguyen, Associate Marketing Manager
There are various reasons as to why an individual would want to be a digital nomad. A lot of people see it as the perfect way to be location independent – the ability to travel the world with little more than a laptop, and an internet connection, all while earning money!
The traditional job that requires you to clock in at 9:00am-5:00pm is becoming a thing of the past. The allure of working remote is that it provides not only a benefit to you, but also your employer. Being a digital nomad allows you to be more productive and gives you the freedom to design a work schedule that suits both yourself and your employer.
These factors (along with my manager’s guidance) really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and travel while working online. Prior to this, I was working remote for one and a half years at Larvol in the comfort of my own home. Travel was something I was definitely always interested in, but never something I was able to do for more than 2 weeks at a time. The fact that Larvol allows you to be location independent really pushed me to travel and work. So in February of this year, I bought a one-way ticket to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with the intent of traveling Southeast Asia.
Although I got a one-way ticket, I had a rough timeline of the trip I was going to take: Ho Chi Minh City, Chiang Mai and Bali. Since this was going to be more of a test run for me, I knew that I only wanted to spend roughly 3 months working abroad – one month in each country. I didn’t want to move around every 2 weeks and travel to a new city because I really wanted to familiarize myself with the location and develop a routine.
I chose to travel to Vietnam first because it is my motherland. I’ve only been to Vietnam once before when I was 10, so I didn’t get the chance to appreciate everything the country has to offer. Ho Chi Minh City’s low cost of living, delicious food and fast hi-speed internet made it an amazing city to start my digital nomad journey. The only downside would be the lack of a digital nomad community (compared to the other countries I’ve visited), and pollution (public transport is really non-existent and people rely heavily on their motorbikes).
Next on the itinerary was Chiang Mai, Thailand! I’ve heard so many great things about this city and how it’s supposedly one of the top destinations for digital nomads, so it’s no surprise why I chose Chiang Mai as my next location. The food in Chiang Mai was simply delicious and cheap – you can get street food for as low as $1 a dish. One of the best things about the city is that its immense popularity with expats means there’s a thriving digital nomad community that you can immerse yourself in. With so many location-independent workers, there are plenty of coworking spaces and cafes in Chiang Mai. As far as internet speed goes, Thailand has one of the fastest internet speeds in Southeast Asia, and can be found everywhere!
Last but not least was Bali, Indonesia (one of my favorite places on this entire journey). Prior to arriving in Bali, it was difficult to decide between Canggu – the chill surf beachtown, and Ubud – the spiritual oasis. Ultimately, I ended up going with Canggu because it’s the #1 hotspot for digital nomads from around the world. The community here is amazing and everywhere you go, you meet friendly expats. Bali is home to the most instagrammable places, whether you’re visiting a coffee shop, waterfall or catching the scenic sunsets. Canggu has some unique cafes perfect to get your work done and also snap that brunch shot for the ‘gram. The downsides to Canggu would be its traffic and spotty wifi connections (I relied heavily on data usage). Other than that, Bali is definitely the number one place I would recommend for a digital nomad!
Despite the amazing experience I had working remote in Southeast Asia over the course of 3 months, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. The biggest challenges for myself were juggling different time zones and achieving a suitable work-life balance. Working in Eastern Standard Time had me accustomed to working in the mornings and afternoons, while my evenings were generally free. While I was in Southeast Asia, it was difficult not being in the same time zone as the majority of my colleagues. Therefore, it’s really important to create a routine – the major factor contributing to success when working remote.To juggle time zones, I mainly did my work in the afternoons, evenings and night. Even though it does take some time to adjust, finding a schedule that works best for you actually forces you to work more efficiently. For me, I was able to do all of my “touristy” things in the morning and then start work after. It really allows you to take advantage of time! Surprisingly, I found that I was more focused on my work when I was travelling compared to when I was at home. This was probably because I was motivated to get my work done so I could enjoy the exciting and new environments!
Some digital nomads keep on traveling, some slow it down while others stop altogether. For me, working while traveling Southeast Asia was an amazing experience. I was able to immerse myself in different cultures, try local foods I’ve never had the opportunity to taste, and meet wonderful people from all over the world. It really expanded my perspective allowing me to develop a wider world view. So would I do this again? Definitely!
We pride ourselves as a fully-distributed company with team members located worldwide. At all levels of the organization we take a radical approach to remote work with a focus on speed, transparency, trust, and we continue to seek “work-life fit” for each and every member of the company.
A big thank you to the members of our team for participating in this video and sharing their experiences with working remotely!
As a remote company, we have to get creative about how we share our health goals with each other! What does your team do to stay healthy?
On this International Women’s Day, we interviewed some of the many wonderful women at Larvol and learned what is most inspiring to them.
We wish all the women of the world an amazing Women’s Day.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde