Our Nomadic Work Formula

By Noémie Garcia

Our Nomadic Work Formula

By Noémie Garcia

I used to believe that I had to travel extensively and satisfy my thirst for adventure before settling into a stable job. I thought the 9-to-5 routine would turn me into a ‘metro-work-sleep’ kind of person who had to patiently wait for vacation weeks to indulge in travel. I was wrong, and let me explain why.

What is nomadic work?

At TREIZE, every year, you have the opportunity to work outside of Quebec for a month without it impacting your salary or working conditions. Internally, we call it ‘nomadic work.’ Our love for nomadic work began with our first experience in 2020 when the majority of the TREIZE team flew to Mexico to work outside the country for three weeks.

Nomadic work means :

  • You can be a Snowbird without being retired
  • You can work with your feet in the sand (or in the snow if you’re a skiing enthusiast)
  • You can travel to a country where you can show off your Duolingo efforts
  • You can visit the countries of your dreams while getting paid
Bureau temporaire de Jean-François aux Iles-de-la-madeleine
Temporary Office for Jean-François in the Magdalen Islands

Why offer the opportunity to work abroad?

It’s not uncommon to come across LinkedIn posts from professionals leaving their jobs to travel and seek a change of scenery.

While we applaud the boldness of these individuals (and will certainly follow their adventures on Instagram), at TREIZE, we wanted to avoid putting our team members in a position where they have to choose between their job and their dream trip. Why force such a dilemma when we can combine the practical with the enjoyable by offering nomadic work?

Even though not all employees take advantage of this benefit every year, the freedom to dream about future plans and knowing that travel is accessible (and even encouraged) without compromising our jobs feels empowering and gives us a sense of control over our own future.

Offering nomadic work also prevents the loss of competent and passionate talent due to overly rigid vacation policies.

In addition to encouraging our team members to thrive and explore the world, we’ve observed that employees who have experienced nomadic work return extremely motivated and inspired from their travels. It’s a formula in which both the employer and the employee win.

Finally, employees who choose to take advantage of nomadic work often add 1 or 2 weeks of ‘real’ vacation to their game plan to extend their time abroad. By offering nomadic work, we are also encouraging, by extension, the taking of vacations, which is highly encouraged at TREIZE.

Concretely, how can nomadic work thrive within a company?

When an employee starts at TREIZE, they are quickly informed during their onboarding process about all the benefits available to them, including the option of nomadic work.

Everyone knows that we have the freedom to work outside of Quebec for up to 4 weeks per year. The weeks can be combined or taken individually. During these weeks, the traveler is not required to be present at the office for in-person days and is free to work in a time zone different from ours.

The selection of nomadic weeks is made by the employees themselves. However, since at TREIZE, freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility, we ask everyone to be conscientious in their selection, meaning: inquire about their colleagues’ vacations and upcoming projects as well as their role and responsibilities in them before making a decision.

During the period of absence, the person traveling is still required to complete their regular workload, regardless of the time zone they choose. Regarding the schedule, we ask that 75% of the work be done during our working hours in Quebec. This provides flexibility to the traveling person but also ensures reliability and presence with the team.

We also ask those who travel to prepare a game plan that must be approved by the team to ensure they have all the necessary tools to work adequately abroad: a good internet connection, access to coworking spaces, access to quiet places for meetings, etc.

For example, nomadic traveler programs like Colive, offered by the hotel group Selina, have already been introduced to team members as a reliable and practical option for those wanting to work remotely abroad. Colive programs offer travelers the option to pay a fixed amount per month, which provides accommodation as well as a desk in coworking spaces offered by these hotels. As it is not uncommon to find several Selina locations in the same country, it is possible to move from one Selina to another during the journey and always enjoy good facilities.

My Nomadic Work Favorites

Having taken advantage of nomadic work last fall during a month in Portugal, here are some of my highlights :

  1. Meeting other nomadic workers : Coworking spaces bring together a density of diverse talents that’s truly interesting. It’s always enjoyable to meet people from all over the world working in web, marketing, development, etc.
  2. Flexible schedule : Working by adapting to the European time zone meant I started working around 11 am. This gave me all the mornings to explore cities, have coffee, exercise, etc.
  3. Change of scenery : I found it very stimulating to work in new environments, resulting in increased motivation and inspiration.
  4. Not feeling overwhelmed when returning to work : Working during holidays abroad also makes returning to work much easier. I didn’t feel like I had a backlog to catch up on, and yet, I came back as relaxed as if returning from a vacation.
Espace de co-working à Porto, Portugal
Coworking space in Porto, Portugal
Work with a view, Lisbonne, Portugal
Work with a view, Lisbon, Portugal

P.S. The most fun part of it all is that TREIZE strongly encourages employees to create a PowerPoint presentation about their journey upon their return. It’s a way to catch up, but also to motivate other colleagues to do the same!

Profile picture ofNoémie Garcia

Noémie Garcia

UX Strategist

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