Gabby and Shivani remote working in Vietnam with festoon lighting behind them

The notion of the traditional office is fast becoming a relic of the past.

We empower our team to work from wherever, embracing a remote-first approach.

Two of our Project Managers Gabby and Shivani took this philosophy to heart when they packed their bags and embarked on a month-long working adventure in Vietnam.

Now, reunited on UK soil, we sat down with Gabby to delve into their experiences and the realities of remote work.

What made you choose Vietnam as your remote working destination?

Vietnam has always held a special allure for me. Having briefly visited before, I wanted to revisit its rich culture and stunning landscapes. The flexibility of working from anywhere provided me with the perfect opportunity to experience it more intimately, like a local. When suggesting the idea to Shivani, who had never been to Vietnam, we both saw the appeal of sharing this unique work experience across the globe, despite not working the same projects


Can you describe your typical work setup and routine while in Vietnam?

We chose to stay in AirBnBs to ensure a reliable internet connection and a comfortable workspace. More importantly, we stuck to a set routine, working from 4:30 PM to 1 AM local time. Given that our clients span across Europe and the US, this schedule allowed us to remain accessible during their core working hours.

Our project management tools like MONDAY and ClickUp made it easy to manage tasks and communications despite the time differences.

“When Gabby suggested working from Vietnam for a month, I jumped at the chance. Not many other employers would have been so open to the idea.”

— Shivani Shah, Project Manager

How did you find working in the evenings and into the night?

Working later in the day meant we had all morning during week days and our weekends to explore the area. We went on excursions like waterfall cliff jumping and to the mud spas before work and got to meet some amazing people. It might have been harder if we were morning people, but luckily we are both night owls!

How did you manage time zone differences and communication with the rest of the team back home?

Since we aligned our working hours with the UK, there were no issues with communication or productivity. It felt like business as usual, just in a different time zone.


Did being in a different environment enhance your creativity or productivity?

Absolutely. The change of scenery and relaxed pace of life in Vietnam was a refreshing break from our day-to-day routine. I felt that I had a much better work-life balance than back in the UK and actually worked more productively, knowing we had plans after work hours.

Having a dedicated workspace and time structure helped us stay focused – and it was actually really nice working in the same room as a colleague again!

How did you balance work responsibilities with exploring and enjoying the local culture and attractions?

It was all about finding the right balance really. We designated some days as rest days where we would not cram in activities before work. Enjoying a massage or visiting a local café was a good way to start our day!


Did you run into any logistical or practical difficulties while you were working abraod?

No, luckily not! We made sure to schedule our travel between destinations on weekends, just in case there were travel disruptions, and fortunately everything went smoothly. We can vouch for the strength of Vietnam’s wifi!

What advice would you give to other remote workers considering Vietnam as a temporary work destination?

Pack light and embrace the local culture fully. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll want to bring back home!

Ok you’re making us jealous now!  Doubt we have to ask this, but would you do it again?

Without a doubt – it was an unforgettable experience. Working from Vietnam gave us the chance to immerse ourselves in a new culture like locals, while still delivering on our projects. I’d jump at the opportunity to do it again.


“We’re already talking about an Athlon remote office for summer 2024 – watch this space!”

— Gabby Blagbrough, Senior Project Manager


Kate Cargill

Consultant, Brand Experience

With 15 years of B2C brand and product experience and a MSc in Psychology, Kate helps companies predict, influence and navigate consumer behaviour.

Gabby Blagbrough

Project Manager

Gabby has been with Athlon for over 3 years and makes sure our projects run like a well-oiled machine.


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