In Search for the Perfect Work-Life Balance at Hostinger
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In Search for the Perfect Work-Life Balance at Hostinger

Did you know about karōshi, a Japanese word that means “death by overwork”? It is not the only such word in the Japanese vocabulary. One of the best things you can say to a person who is leaving work is “otsukaresama desu,” which translates to “You look very tired.” Meanwhile, another word  –  “inemuri” – means sleeping in public places or work meetings.

Japan, one of the most technologically advanced countries, still relies on extreme commitment when talking about work ethics. It means that work is evaluated based on how much time somebody works. So, basically if one wants to get promoted, working long hours and overtime is key.

The Japanese also say that falling asleep at the workplace is a very honorable thing. It means that one was working so hard that sleeping at work was the only option. This creates an environment where the quality of work is no longer relevant – it’s all about the time spent at work.

That’s not how we do things at Hostinger.

Be Happy, Work Smart, Work Hard, Have Fun

At our company, we believe that a happy and well-rested person is much more productive. There are many studies that confirm that improving the work and personal life balance means fewer sick days and less stress at work. Naturally, it results in much higher happiness levels at work.

We plan our work with this main rule in mind:

Happy employees equals happy customers.

I personally believe that travel is one of the best ways of self-improvement. Changing your environment opens new horizons, makes people more open-minded, clears the head from the everyday routine, and leads to some fresh ideas.

Hostinger supports and encourages this idea. Once in a while, somebody from our global office goes away for several weeks to work in a Hostinger office located in another country.

Last year, I lived and worked in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for one month. I must say – it was quite the experience. I made some unforgettable memories by participating in an Indonesian wedding, driving around a volcano with a dirt bike, and watching local performances.

What’s more, looking at the current processes and habits as a newcomer was beneficial to both the local office and me. I offered my insights regarding problems we already knew how to deal with while noticing some ideas which would help once I was back home.

Hostinger Indonesia in the fields around Yogyakarta
Hostinger Indonesia in the fields around Yogyakarta

Later, our system engineer Donatas wanted to visit the Olympic Games in Rio. It was decided to make it a two-for-one deal – Donatas would spend some time watching sports and pay a visit to our Brazil office afterward.

It also works the other way around  – we regularly have somebody from our international team come and visit our main office.

Workation — Taking Time off in Order to Do More Work

Last year, we started experimenting with a new concept  –  workations. A whole team working on a particular project or feature would pack up and go to work in a different environment. It could be another country or city for a week or a few, or even a coffeehouse in the same town for one day.

Hostinger workation team showing their love for the tree
A Hostinger workation team showing their love for a tree

Here’s what I noticed after we came back from our recent workation in Cyprus:

  • Excellent team-building develops trust within a team  – living in the same space for even a short period of time can reveal a lot about your colleagues’ personalities. Doing non-work-related tasks (e.g. making lunch for everybody or catching a tumbleweed) or just looking at what everybody is doing after working hours, can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a person. Moreover, changing the atmosphere and living as a family is one of the best ways for a team to bond and achieve great results.
  • New ideas — people tend to have different thoughts when discussing issues in a new environment. Imagine a discussion in an office meeting room. Now picture the team members outside, enjoying the sun and fresh air. People’s points of view won’t differ drastically but a change in scenery may lead to new suggestions and ideas while discussing familiar issues.
  • Brain boost — scientists say that new experiences not only stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for creativity but also significantly improve memory. I am not an expert to make conclusions about long-term effects. That said, I can confirm that after the workation, the team hit our backlog with at least twice the usual energy! Our Happiness Index measures skyrocketed after changing the environment.

The Body Also Matters

It is no secret that we spend most of our time in front of computers. Some say that sedentary work is as dangerous as smoking. That’s why we made the decision to start going to yoga class so we don’t become too stiff.

There is nothing like a good session of yoga with Shavasana at the end! The right amount of exercise for our muscles is not the only positive – Yoga also eliminates stress by introducing us to mindfulness. Being aware of the present moment and watching passing thoughts is key for a clear mind.

Gonzalo from Hostinger Argentina joined us for yoga session
Gonzalo from Hostinger Argentina joined us for a yoga session

What’s Next

We are still experimenting and trying to find what kind of work environment fits us best while bringing the most value to Hostinger. One thing’s for sure – finding the best work-life balance is not about achieving a goal. It is a continuous process that takes some effort. What we’ve understood so far is that we really enjoy it.

Happy employees make happy customers, and that’s what we aim for!

The author

Author

Giedrius Zakaitis / @4giedrius

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