Working from home looks different for everyone. You could have an office at home, or work from the kitchen or in the bedroom. You could be on a laptop or a fixed computer. At the kitchen table or at a real desk. True Legend Melih has also been working from home. Not from Holland but from Turkey!
How has working from home been treading you in Holland?
‘It’s been nice. I was already working from home once a week. During the first Corona wave that changed to working from home every day. It has been great. It’s easier to focus on what I am doing and to commit with daily things. Walk with the dog or go shopping. I don’t have any traffic time anymore. That is also nice. I used to wake up early to travel 30 to 40 minutes to work. Now I can just stay in bed or walk the dog a little longer. I have a fully functional working room at home, and that works just fine for me!’
When did the idea to work home from Turkey first occur to you?
‘In the first Corona wave our manager said it was up to us to decide how things would be done. We decided that we would go to the office twice a week to do the social stuff amongst colleagues. Then the second wave hit and our twice per week plan was canceled. We would work from home full time. Then I thought: ‘what if I could work from home in Turkey?’ I wanted to have some summer vacation anyway! It is quite hot in Turkey during the day. So I could work during the day and chill in the evening. My manager checked because the turkey was in an orange zone. Legally it turned out not to be a problem so I could go.’
Was it difficult to get your colleagues to agree on this work from home plan?
‘No, it wasn’t. Everybody was planning similar things. We have daily commitments that we do, like the standup meeting. Those things are all online. We have great communication in our team. People respond very fast, in like 15- 20 minutes. So everybody was fine with it. Another teammate of mine was also working from home in Turkey. Another colleague went to Norway for a month. Anything was possible!’
How was working from home in Turkey different then working from home in Holland?
‘The weather was really warm so that was really nice. There is just a little time difference. I used to wake up at 8 in the morning and work until 4 in the afternoon. After that I had 3 to 4 hours to enjoy the sun, swim and go to the beach. It was a long time since I had seen my family and friends, so we had lots of time to spend together. I drove to Turkey by car and stayed for two months.’
Do you think that, thanks to this experience, you will do it again in the future?
‘I would love to. It was really nice to spend some time there without having to lose all your holiday days. I was working and simultaneously catching up with loved ones. There were some weeks that I took half a day or a day off to have some actual holidays. Everything was done in a timely manner and my teammates were totally okay with that.’
Do you have any tips for other expats who might want to try the same thing?
‘The most important thing is teamwork and communication. You need to let everybody know if you are available and if not: when you will be. It should be public information. That is not any different if I work from home in Holland. If I type: ‘ I am going for a walk with the dog’, my colleagues will know that i will be gone for about 30 minutes. Anything is possible as long as you communicate about it.’