In the latter half of 2023, I tentatively asked Emma Sue whether I’d be able to work remotely in Bali for a month in 2024.  Emma Sue and I often speak about travelling and we are both acutely aware of the learning opportunities from other cultures.  I’ve always wanted to go to Bali to experience their culture, the relaxed atmosphere and their focus on wellbeing. Fortunately, this does tie in with elements of our company focus.   So I was thrilled when Emma Sue said yes and in March 2024 I made my way to the Island of the Gods.  

In Bali, the culture is completely different to the UK. There is a significantly slower pace of life and people are much happier.  I spent a lot of time with locals who have had a substantial impact on my life going forward.  Here are a few of the lessons I have learnt:

1. Your wellbeing must be a priority – In the UK we often prioritise others and our commitments over our wellbeing.  In Bali it is the opposite, much like Emma Sue advises, your wellbeing is a non-negotiable part of your everyday.  It is only once you have dedicated time to yourself that you can move on with your day.  This time could be spent in any way you choose such as in prayer, journaling or meditation. 

2. Consider the consequences of every action – Karma is the key to everything in Balinese culture. Every action you take has a consequence and could have consequences for the next 10 generations.  As a result, Bali is an incredibly safe country with low crime rates. My driver couldn’t believe people could come into your home and steal your things!  I felt very safe as a woman on her own, even at night.  Being helpful is always a priority. In the UK, it is common to judge others or focus on ourselves rather than lending a helping hand and considering the impact of our actions. Going forward, I will always try to see the bigger picture and see how I can best support others.

3. You have time – London at rush hour can only be described as carnage. Even on the busiest days in Bali, with hours of traffic, everyone moves with a different intention. There is no road rage in sight and it is common to let people pass in front or to suggest better directions.  Working days are significantly longer in UK, in Bali the average working day is 5 hours to allow adequate time for prayer and family commitments.  In the UK, it’s very easy to keep working or to get distracted with other things until the sun has set! I found my time management was better with a slower pace of life.

Now that I’m back in the UK, I’ve been able to reflect even more on how lucky I was to have this opportunity and why it worked so well for Emma Sue and me. I believe it comes down to two things, trust and communication.  I’ve been working for Emma Sue for almost 4 years remotely.  Our meetings are always online so it was easy to transition to working in different time zones.   I have had friends work remotely from Bali so I knew the best hotels for WIFI and focused on creating a good working environment. Working for Emma Sue is unlike any other job I’ve had, every day is different so it’s always interesting and working on the 7 Skills boosts my personal development.  Throughout the planning stage, I spoke with Emma Sue to discuss how I would be working and what I hoped to gain from the experience. We are fortunate to have a close working relationship and given the work Emma Sue does, employee wellbeing is a priority.   

Working from Bali has been immensely beneficial for me. I have returned to the UK a much calmer, happier version of myself and I’ve learnt more about the non-negotiables I need for my wellbeing.  My work remained as productive as it is in the UK and I was able to explore new well-being concepts for our upcoming June Wellbeing Webinar series.   I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and count myself lucky to work for Emma Sue! 

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