Czechin’ In – Working flexibly from the other side of the world
Last year, I worked remotely for 2 months in the Czech Republic. Here's my story:
Earlier this year, Marcel, my husband and I had an idea … could we spend a few months in beautiful Prague if our workplaces supported us to work remotely?
We try to visit the Czech Republic every few years, as most of my husband’s family lives there. It’s an opportunity for him to visit family and immerse himself with his cultural roots. We both have EU passports, so we’re able to live and work in Europe without much hassle.
We put together a plan of how we could go about working remotely in Prague – how and when work would get done, what technology we would need, and how to manage the 8 hour time difference.
We were committed to early starts (some 5am meetings!) and regular check-ins by video conferencing with our teams. We took our plans to our respective managers who agreed, much to our delight!
At Telstra, #allrolesflex is the way we work, which means flexibility is the starting point for all roles. As my role is primarily leading large scale corporate-wide diversity and inclusion projects, I have the flexibility to choose when and how I manage work commitments.
We worked remotely from our apartment in Prague during the week, and on weekends travelled across the Czech Republic visiting family and seeing places where my husband’s mum and dad spent their childhood, including the bunker my mother-in-law was taken to hospital after she was born, during the war.
I found working away helped me look at the programs I manage with a global perspective. I’ve kept that global mindset since coming home, to ensure our work is relevant to all Telstra people, no matter what office they’re in.
It was an amazing experience and I will be forever grateful to my manager and Telstra for supporting me to work in a different way, so that we can spend quality family time with our relatives in the Czech Republic in a way that suits us all.