In search for perfect work life balance at Hostinger

In search for perfect work life balance at Hostinger

Did you know there is a word Karōshi, meaning “Overwork Death” in Japanese? It is not the only one in vocabulary. One of the best things you can say for a person who is leaving after work is “otsukaresama desu”. It translates to “You look very tired” while another word — “Inemuri”, means sleeping in public places or work meetings. And the list goes on…

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

Japanese also say that falling asleep in the workplace is a very honorable thing to do. It means one was working so hard that sleeping at work was the only option. All this creates an environment where the quality of work is no longer relevant. It is all about time spent at work.

That’s not how we do things at Hostinger.

Be happy. Work smart. Work hard. Have fun. Repeat.

At our company we believe that happy and rested person can be much more productive. There are many research studies which confirm that improving work and personal life balance means fewer sick days and decreased stress at work. Naturally, it results in much higher happiness level at work.

We plan our work having main rule in mind:

Happy employees equals happy customers

I personally believe that one of the best ways of improving oneself is traveling. Changing environment opens new horizons, makes people more open-minded, clears a head from everyday routine and gives some fresh ideas.

Hostinger is supporting and encouraging this idea. Once in a while somebody from our global office goes to work for several weeks to our office located in another country.

Last year I lived and worked in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for one month, and I must say it was quite an experience. Participating in Indonesian wedding as well as driving around the volcano with dirt bikes or watching local performances are unforgettable memories. Moreover, looking into existing processes and habits from a position of the newcomer was mutually beneficial to local office as well as me. I offered my insights to the problems we already knew how to deal with while noticing some ideas which could also help when I’d be back home.

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

Our system engineer Donatas wanted to visit Rio Olympics, so it was decided to make it a twofer: spending some time watching sports and paying a visit to our Brazil office afterward.

It also works another way around — we are constantly having 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 to experiment with pretty new concept — workations. Whole team working on a particular project or feature packs their things and goes to work in a different environment. It can be another country, city for a week or few or even a coffee house in the same town for one day.

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

Recently we came back from our workation in Cyprus and here’s what I noticed:

  • Excellent teambuilding brings trust in team — living in the same space even for a short period of time can reveal a lot about colleague’s personality. Working on non-work related tasks (e.g. making lunch for everybody or catching the tumbleweed) or just looking at what everybody is doing after working hours, can easily show strengths and weaknesses of the person. Moreover, changing atmosphere and living as a family is one of the best ways to bond the team and achieve great results.
  • New Ideas — people tend to give different input when discussing issues in different environments. Think about a discussion in an office meeting room. Now compare it to the one when all team members are enjoying sun and fresh air outdoors. The point of view does not change drastically but new suggestions and ideas are born while discussing already known issues.
  • Boosting brain — scientists say that new experiences not only enable new areas responsible for creativity in our brain, but they also significantly improve memory. I am not an expert to make conclusions about long-term results. Yet I can confirm that after workation the team hits our backlog with at least twice the energy! Happiness Index, invented by ourselves, skyrockets after changing the environment.

Body also matters

It is not a secret that we spend most of our time in front of our computers. Some say sedentary work is becoming as dangerous as smoking. So, we made a decision, in order not to get too stiff we started going to yoga class. There is nothing like a good session of yoga with Shavasana at the end! Right amount of exercise for our muscles is not the only positive effect. Yoga also eliminates stress by introducing us to mindfulness. Being in present moment and watching passing thoughts is the key for clear head.

Gonzalo from Hostinger Argentina joined us for yoga session
Gonzalo from Hostinger Argentina joined us for 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 for Hostinger. One thing for sure, finding the best work and life balance is not about achieving a goal. It is a continuous process, and it takes some effort. What we’ve understood so far is that we are really enjoying this process.

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

The author


Giedrius Zakaitis / @4giedrius

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