How A Month in Costa Rica Changed The Way We Work
Awaken Studio is a boutique web design agency that specializes in creating fully custom websites and branding packages and for clients around the world. The small but adventurous team took the opportunity to escape the cold of January in New York City and find inspiration for their company rebrand in warmer weather.
Travel has a reputation for being transformative, so we had a feeling that moving our design studio to Costa Rica would result in more than just tanned shoulders and meetings pool-side. What we didn’t know is that our experience working remotely in a small Costa Rican beach town would directly affect - and even improve - our workflow long after our return to the big city. Here are some of the lessons we learned and how we’re still living the pura vida lifestyle back in our concrete jungle:
We learned the importance of ending the day on a good note
In New York, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of city life so when we arrived to Costa Rica, we made it a priority to get outside during the week to watch the sunset. This evening ritual not only served as something to look forward to but it helped us wind down at the end of a stressful day. It’s hard not to feel grateful for our kind of work when it allows the flexibility to stretch our toes in the sand and witness one of nature’s greatest shows. And while we may not be walking barefoot on the beach anymore, we’ve learned the importance of closing each day on a positive note and starting again in the morning.
We infused lessons from the local culture into our daily workflow
The pura vida (or “pure life”) that Costa Ricans live was a huge theme throughout the month, and we learned quickly that they don’t sweat the small stuff. Their knack for simplifying things rubbed off on the whole team, and made us sit down to rethink our workflow. Small but significant changes helped us increase our efficiency and move client projects through our process in a more streamlined way.
We discovered that sometimes, less is more
For one month we were surrounded by professionals from around the world who were ditching the 9-5 mentality. By being more flexible in actual hours worked (in order to squeeze in a yoga session or stroll in the sand), we found that smaller concentrated blocks of time made us more productive and encouraged us to make space for creative “power hours” and take time to break off into individual projects throughout the day. The result was a more creative workflow; something that definitely comes in handy when crafting our custom websites.
We bonded as a Team
We’re a small team so we know how to get along, but discovering the hidden gems around Costa Rica helped us create memories together that extend beyond the office walls. By taking the weekends off during our time at Bejuco, we had the chance to explore the diversity of Costa Rica and tick off our individual bucket lists: surf lessons in Santa Teresa, chasing waterfalls in the Nicoya Peninsula, hiking via hanging bridges in the cloud forest, and exploring the urban maze of San Jose are just a few of the adventures we get to look back on.