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Aqua's flexible working story

In this Q&A, we speak to Aqua Zumaraite, Flexa's Founder's Associate, expat and an avid traveller, to find out how remote working has changed her life.

4th Jun 2024

Join us for an insightful Q&A session with Flexa's Founder's Associate, Aqua. Find out how this expat and avid traveller uses our Work From Anywhere (WFA) scheme to balance her passion for exploring the world with her professional responsibilities. Learn firsthand how flexible working can transform your career and lifestyle.

Name: Aqua Zumaraite

Job role: Founder's Associate

What’s your flexible working set up? Remote-first

1. What motivated you to pursue a Work From Anywhere lifestyle?

I am an expat. I have lived in the UK for 9 years now, but none of my family are here. A WFA scheme allows me to visit them a lot more often and, most importantly, actually be able to enjoy my annual leave on my terms. In previous roles, I would use up most of my annual leave just to go home a few times a year.

2. How many countries have you travelled to as part of your WFA lifestyle?

8 so far and many more in the plans! 

3. Can you describe a typical day in your life while working remotely from a new location?

Usually, the time difference isn’t too much for me as I travel mostly within the EU but I try to log on as early as possible, so I can enjoy some time during my lunch going somewhere nice for food, and finish earlier so I have the whole evening to explore!

4. Can you explain how your company's Work From Anywhere scheme works?

It differs from company to company, but essentially a WFA scheme allows you to work from a different country for a certain period each year without any tax implications. Check with your company what period this is so you don't get yourself or your company into trouble!

5. Are there any specific guidelines or restrictions you have to follow while working from different locations?

Again, it will differ from company to company, but for us, the most important is that I still work our core hours in UK time (11-3) and that I don’t spend more than the limit of weeks abroad.

6. How do you manage your work hours across different time zones?

I can imagine it to be a lot more difficult in other continents, but I mostly travel Europe so haven’t got too much time difference to worry about! 

7. What kind of support does your company provide for remote workers?

As a remote-first company, we pretty much have our whole days structured around remote working, so whether that’s me working from my home in Liverpool or on holiday in Italy - it makes little to no difference!

8. How do you stay productive and maintain focus while working from various locations?

I find staying in one place for too long very draining and demotivating, so being able to travel and work from different locations actually helps my productivity as I am much happier and content overall.

9. What strategies do you use to balance work responsibilities with exploring new places?

I mostly try to block out periods of time in my calendar for the most important tasks and make sure I am constantly communicating with the team on bigger group projects and making sure that even the small time difference won’t hold up someone else’s tasks. Teamwork is super important when WFA’ing. 

10. What kind of tech setup do you use to ensure you can work effectively from anywhere?

Luckily all my work can be done on my laptop so logistically I couldn’t ask for a better set up! I’ve worked from the beach, from cafes, hotels, and co-working spaces all over Europe! 

11. How do you manage internet connectivity and other technical challenges on the road?

Most places I go travelling to will have great wifi. It’s super important to check beforehand. If all else fails, I make sure I have good phone internet connectivity so I can hotspot myself if need be.

12. What has been your favourite destination to work from so far, and why?

I love working anywhere by the water. My favourite places would have to be Malta and Ibiza. I love small islands and they always have the friendliest people too so as a solo travel they’re ideal!

13. Can you share any memorable experiences or challenges you've faced while working remotely?

The best part of WFA I’d say is the people you meet. I’ve met some incredible nomads from all over the world, who have since become good friends and it just completely changes your outlook on life! 

14. How do you stay connected with your team and maintain strong working relationships while travelling?

As a remote-first company, we are used to communicating online and we always meet up once a month, regardless of where I am travelling to in that month - I always plan to be back in London for our meet-ups.

15. What are some common misconceptions about working and travelling that you'd like to clear up?

That you can just travel from country to country and be on the move all your round. Would be great but unfortunately taxes don’t work that way haha. Remote work does not equal work from wherever you want all your round.

16. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a Work From Anywhere lifestyle?

Just go for it! You’ll figure things out as you go along. If you’re someone who thrives in uncertainty and loves travelling then it’s definitely for you. If you have family who live abroad it’s the best benefit out there. I have been able to see my family so much more often and use my annual leave for actual holidays which has been life-changing.

Share your flexible working story with us! 

We want to hear how flexible working has transformed your life. Tell us about the challenges you've overcome, the benefits you've enjoyed, and the impact it has had on your daily routine. Your insights can inspire others on their journey towards a more flexible and fulfilling work life. If you're interested, you can answer our quick survey here, and we'll get back to you to learn more about your experience.