“We’d never want anyone to miss an opportunity or to hold anyone back”.


“We’d never want anyone to miss an opportunity or to hold anyone back”.
Andrea Lovrics
President, Integral Group

At a company meeting in January Andrea told the team that Lakshan would be working remotely – from Mexico – for a month. After excited murmurings from the group Andrea went on to say, “We’d never want anyone to miss an opportunity or to hold anyone back”.

We’d like to share this story with our readers. It speaks to the ethos of our company and it’s an account of Lakshan’s enterprising adventure.

THE BEGINNING:
At the start of the new year, Lakshan approached Andrea with a fully formed proposal. He explained that he’d taken up scuba diving several years ago, preferred to dive in warm water and, living in Canada, that required travel. His proposal was this: He and a friend would travel to Mexico for a month and work remotely during the week and dive on weekends.

Andrea discussed the plan with Tamas (our CEO) and within a day they’d gotten back to Lakshan with a “yes”.

(The picture at the top of this post is Lakshan at work in Mexico).

GREENLIGHTING THE TRIP:
In past blog posts we’ve talked about the Integral Group culture but one of the things we haven’t said explicitly is that the employees are happy – we are. Part of that, of course, is the people themselves. Part, too, is the company: Andrea said succinctly “we want our employees to be happy – people need to be happy to put their all in”.

Andrea and Tamas’ trust in Lakshan made greenlighting the Mexico trip a fairly easy decision: Lakshan does good work and he typically puts in more hours than expected or required: The month in Mexico would be no different. As part of his proposal Lakshan advised that he’d arranged an Airbnb with high-speed internet and would get a sim card for calls once he was in Mexico.

While Integral Group prefers everyone to work from the office, we have a structure that allows staff to work remotely as personal circumstances dictate. Online meetings, conference calls, screen sharing, an internal messaging workspace and cloud file sharing all make it possible and convenient for staff to work off-site.

Another influencing factor was that the trip would not be a family vacation where Lakshan might feel obligated to join activities: Both he and his friend had the same goal – follow a weekday routine of working 7 hours a day. Overall the proposal met the needs of Integral Group and Lakshan got to do something rather special for himself.

While the idea looked ‘good on paper’ and Andrea and Tamas embraced it, the question remained – “would it work”? Andrea felt strongly that “if there was an issue, they’d find a way around it”. Andrea said “[she is] not one to say no because of a what-if – if I did that, I’d never do anything!”.

HOW IT PLAYED OUT:
From Integral's and our customers' perspective, it was as if Lakshan was simply working from home. He was as responsive as ever, participated in conference calls the same as if he was local – deliverables were met and projects got closed.

LAKSHAN:
For Lakshan the most exciting part was that he got 12 dives in during the trip (4 every weekend). He also recognizes that the trip was possible because of his job at Integral and he was pleased the work was accomplished seamlessly. He kept to his usual 9-5 schedule, but with that said, he appreciated that he was allowed flexibility to occasionally work at night and once on a Sunday to accommodate the diving conditions.

This wasn’t a sightseeing trip. Lakshan’s weekdays in Mexico were spent working and his evening recreation was working out at a local gym; weekends were devoted to diving. He relished the simplicity of the Mexican way of life – pleasant climate, low cost of living, everything in walking distance. Lakshan doesn’t speak Spanish but that wasn’t an impediment - “we got around the language barrier with technology”. He and his friend used the Google translation app to communicate with people in real time and he’s learning Spanish with the phone app Duolingo.

ANDREA:
Andrea says she’d never have thought of the Mexico trip herself and was impressed with Lakshan for being bold enough to come up with the plan and to present it in such a way that the company was covered. She recounted a job from her twenties where she did excellent work and regularly stayed late but there was always mention in her reviews that she arrived a few minutes late in the morning: She didn’t want to be that employer. “I know you can’t make everybody happy, but we [at Integral] try to make some part of our staff’s lives less stressful and better”.

THE REST OF US:
We found Lakshan’s Mexico trip interesting – his coming up with the idea in the first place and the overall experience he had.

Not every company would have accommodated the request the way Integral did. We know that we work for a company with a culture and structure like few others. There is mutual trust and respect: Those are big words. Integral Group is a company that places equal importance on both its employees and its customers. That says a lot, don’t you think?





If you found this post interesting, you might enjoy:

What on our walls .. a curated gallery of prints

What does it take to make a team of EDI Superheroes?

Why Being a Family Business Matters


“We’d never want anyone to miss an opportunity or to hold anyone back”.


“We’d never want anyone to miss an opportunity or to hold anyone back”.
Andrea Lovrics
President, Integral Group

At a company meeting in January Andrea told the team that Lakshan would be working remotely – from Mexico – for a month. After excited murmurings from the group Andrea went on to say, “We’d never want anyone to miss an opportunity or to hold anyone back”.

We’d like to share this story with our readers. It speaks to the ethos of our company and it’s an account of Lakshan’s enterprising adventure.

THE BEGINNING:
At the start of the new year, Lakshan approached Andrea with a fully formed proposal. He explained that he’d taken up scuba diving several years ago, preferred to dive in warm water and, living in Canada, that required travel. His proposal was this: He and a friend would travel to Mexico for a month and work remotely during the week and dive on weekends.

Andrea discussed the plan with Tamas (our CEO) and within a day they’d gotten back to Lakshan with a “yes”.

(The picture at the top of this post is Lakshan at work in Mexico).

GREENLIGHTING THE TRIP:
In past blog posts we’ve talked about the Integral Group culture but one of the things we haven’t said explicitly is that the employees are happy – we are. Part of that, of course, is the people themselves. Part, too, is the company: Andrea said succinctly “we want our employees to be happy – people need to be happy to put their all in”.

Andrea and Tamas’ trust in Lakshan made greenlighting the Mexico trip a fairly easy decision: Lakshan does good work and he typically puts in more hours than expected or required: The month in Mexico would be no different. As part of his proposal Lakshan advised that he’d arranged an Airbnb with high-speed internet and would get a sim card for calls once he was in Mexico.

While Integral Group prefers everyone to work from the office, we have a structure that allows staff to work remotely as personal circumstances dictate. Online meetings, conference calls, screen sharing, an internal messaging workspace and cloud file sharing all make it possible and convenient for staff to work off-site.

Another influencing factor was that the trip would not be a family vacation where Lakshan might feel obligated to join activities: Both he and his friend had the same goal – follow a weekday routine of working 7 hours a day. Overall the proposal met the needs of Integral Group and Lakshan got to do something rather special for himself.

While the idea looked ‘good on paper’ and Andrea and Tamas embraced it, the question remained – “would it work”? Andrea felt strongly that “if there was an issue, they’d find a way around it”. Andrea said “[she is] not one to say no because of a what-if – if I did that, I’d never do anything!”.

HOW IT PLAYED OUT:
From Integral's and our customers' perspective, it was as if Lakshan was simply working from home. He was as responsive as ever, participated in conference calls the same as if he was local – deliverables were met and projects got closed.

LAKSHAN:
For Lakshan the most exciting part was that he got 12 dives in during the trip (4 every weekend). He also recognizes that the trip was possible because of his job at Integral and he was pleased the work was accomplished seamlessly. He kept to his usual 9-5 schedule, but with that said, he appreciated that he was allowed flexibility to occasionally work at night and once on a Sunday to accommodate the diving conditions.

This wasn’t a sightseeing trip. Lakshan’s weekdays in Mexico were spent working and his evening recreation was working out at a local gym; weekends were devoted to diving. He relished the simplicity of the Mexican way of life – pleasant climate, low cost of living, everything in walking distance. Lakshan doesn’t speak Spanish but that wasn’t an impediment - “we got around the language barrier with technology”. He and his friend used the Google translation app to communicate with people in real time and he’s learning Spanish with the phone app Duolingo.

ANDREA:
Andrea says she’d never have thought of the Mexico trip herself and was impressed with Lakshan for being bold enough to come up with the plan and to present it in such a way that the company was covered. She recounted a job from her twenties where she did excellent work and regularly stayed late but there was always mention in her reviews that she arrived a few minutes late in the morning: She didn’t want to be that employer. “I know you can’t make everybody happy, but we [at Integral] try to make some part of our staff’s lives less stressful and better”.

THE REST OF US:
We found Lakshan’s Mexico trip interesting – his coming up with the idea in the first place and the overall experience he had.

Not every company would have accommodated the request the way Integral did. We know that we work for a company with a culture and structure like few others. There is mutual trust and respect: Those are big words. Integral Group is a company that places equal importance on both its employees and its customers. That says a lot, don’t you think?





If you found this post interesting, you might enjoy:

What on our walls .. a curated gallery of prints

What does it take to make a team of EDI Superheroes?

Why Being a Family Business Matters


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