Codemate has offices in Helsinki, Oulu, and Bangkok. Because why not? Throughout Codemate’s history, there have been several reasons for having an office in Bangkok, but the story is long and although the plot twists are interesting, we want to focus on the heart of the matter: we have an office in Bangkok, where we invite our employees to escape the Finnish winter.
Codemate Helsinki employees Juhana, Samuli, and Anna decided to take advantage of the work-related benefit and headed to Bangkok’s warmth one by one. In this blog, they will tell you about their experiences of working remotely at the Bangkok office, not forgetting leisure time and vacation.
Having an office in Bangkok as a work-related benefit
The Bangkok office serves as a work-related benefit for Codemates who do not regularly get to enjoy the joys of living in Thailand. Whether you want to leave for a couple of weeks, a couple of months, or even a couple of years, we can make it happen!
“I left for Bangkok without expectations. I had spent one day in the city as a student and found it to be a horrible place: noisy, dirty and hectic. However, escaping the darkness of winter overcame the pain of my previous memories, and that’s a good thing because a whole new view of the city opened up for me. I combined two weeks of working in Bangkok with a one-week yoga retreat in Koh Phangan and if I can I will do this every year!”
Talent Acqusition Manager
Just the fact that you can combine work and vacation in Thailand with the support of your employer is great, but the Bangkok office itself is worth a small rave. It is a cozy home converted into a 5-story office, which has a working area on the top floor, a pool, a kitchen, living areas with modern equipment, and a spacious bedroom with a private bathroom for visitors. The house is actually a creation of the famous architect Stefan Schlaun, called House Jang. You can get a glimpse of the house’s new life as Codemate’s office space in the video below:
Codemate employees can book accommodation at the office for a week at a time, and from a visitor’s perspective, the office is like a luxury Airbnb apartment. The office is located in the central Lumphini area, where there is a park and large shopping centres within walking distance, good restaurants and different budget hotels. The office is only a 5-minute walk from the nearest metro station and it can be reached by taxi from the airport in under an hour.
Currently, the Bangkok office has permanent employees from Finland, Scotland, Thailand, and Bangladesh. Although we meet these colleagues weekly through remote connections, it is entirely different to meet face to face. The permanent employees of the Bangkok office are also excellent tour guides who can give a variety of tips on things like e.g. how to help the taxi driver understand the office’s address (in Thailand the letter “r” is often pronounced “l” and deviation from this causes unexpected confusion), leisure time and places worth visiting.
“The best part of the work week was spending the mornings by the pool and leaving in the evening to eat or even go to a spa. Everyday felt like a vacation.“Anna
Does working remotely work when the rest of the team is in Europe?
“The time difference did not affect the work much. As long as the meetings were arranged for European morning, there was no need to work in the evenings at all. Working in different time zones was even an advantage for the team as we were able to effectively work on problems almost around the clock.”
With the pandemic, working remotely from home or a cottage is probably familiar to most of us. Clearly working in another time zone was however a new experience for our Bangkok visitors.
“I have already been able to say that where I work does not matter most days. Now I can add that time zone does not matter much either.”Juhana
At the Bangkok office, the working hours are usually between 11-19, which corresponds to 6-14 in Finland. This makes it possible to have as many common working hours with Europe as possible. Living in a different time zone also offers the opportunity to use the morning and slightly cooler time for things other than work, such as getting to know the city or recovering from the previous evening’s activities.
“In Bangkok, I was 5-6 hours ahead of the rest of the team, and for example, our “morning meeting” was on my end in the late afternoon around 3:00 pm. This meant that I had to plan the tasks for the next day in the meeting and be able to anticipate things that I need help with in advance – otherwise waiting for it could block the work for several hours. I also couldn’t tackle any critical issues that needed correction on the same day, because my working hours were coming to an end. On the other hand, if a task was left unfinished by others, I was able to finish it before the others started working the next day.”
Internet connections in Thailand are fast and enable efficient work. Of course, Codemate has VPN connections to and between different offices. The work flows smoothly and video calls are successful without any delays.
“This was my first visit to Asia. In Bangkok, I was surprised at how well everything worked. Traffic flowed smoothly, the internet was fast and the food was good.“Juhana
How to combine work and vacation?
“Spending five weeks in Thailand with my partner was a fantastic opportunity – neither of us had been to Asia before. After work days, there was plenty of time to go out for dinner and wander around Bangkok’s lively life. On weekends, it was easy to get to completely different worlds than Bangkok in just a few hours. Before returning to Finland, we traveled in Western Thailand for a week, which crowned the entire trip.”
Senior UX Designer
Anna, Juhana and Samuli say that combining work, leisure and vacation in Bangkok was effortless and above all a great experience. Bangkok offers countless opportunities for leisure, whether you want food experiences, culture, sports, pool parties, luxury hotels, yoga, nightclubs, wellness or almost anything else. On weekends, it is easy to go to beach destinations or the northern jungle. Locals are friendly and helpful. Codemate’s work culture allows for flexible working hours, so even combining work and leisure on another continent is effortless.
“We strongly recommend trying remote working from Bangkok. Thanks to Codemate for making this possible.”Anna, Juhana & Samuli
If remote work or long-term stay in Thailand interests you, check out our open job positions!”Go to our Career-site
Make sure that you also check out this blog about working in BangkokLearn more