Work From Anywhere (Mexico) while Nurturing Team Culture
Kei Product Planning - Manager
My first trip abroad during college was to Thailand. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the differences from Japan and was impressed by how much I learned. Since then, I’ve been hooked on overseas travel. I actively avoided Western countries and instead went to Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and other countries in Central and South America. After graduation, I did not look for a job, but traveled in my spare time. I was thirsty to know and experience more.
Eventually, I got a job at a large Japanese travel company, where my proposal was selected in a new business competition. I was put in charge of a matching service site that paired local guides with travelers. After this experience, I decided to leave the company and tried to start my own business, which did not work out as planned. I joined VELTRA as a part time employee, and am now a full time sales manager, working away from my team in Japan from Mexico.
Two of the world’s three major carnival events are held in Latin America (Trinidad and Rio). These events are held annually, and are exciting and mind-blowing experiences! It is my hope that many people have a chance to feel this energy and experience this celebration of life. Also, Mexico has the famous Day of the Dead, which I highly recommend as well!
Another spot that I can’t leave out is Belize Island located between Mexico and Guatemala. The island is astoundingly beautiful, and is home to Asako, a tour guide that boasts a No. 1 online tour guide satisfaction rating. Thanks to her, Belize Island has become famous among the Japanese in a very short span of time. I recommend all tours guided by Asako! Now, not only online, but also real local tours have resumed at Belize. The nature of the island will heal you and Asako’s personality will bring a smile to your face!
Reason for Joining VELTRA
Compared to other companies I have experienced, the working environment at VELTRA has been completely different in a positive way.
In the past, it was common to work with frustrated employees in an environment of pressure and stress.
Even on weekends, work was always on my mind and excessive overtime was the norm. It was such a poor environment that there was no leeway and no tolerance for people’s mistakes. But at the time, I thought that was normal.
However, when I had an interview at VELTRA, I found the employees here to be relaxed and very kind, and there was not the slightest hint of a toxic atmosphere that would bring others down. My intuition proved right– VELTRA has an environment where Work Life Balance is practiced, rather than a culture of Work = Life.
What Drives Me
I think it is wonderful to be a part of something where you feel that you are helping people and you are appreciated. I am lucky that I’ve been able to consistently feel this way while working with my team and other managers.
I am currently in charge of new services verticals (Sekai no GOHAN and VELTRA Online Academy), and at the same time I am in charge of sales in Latin America.
In the Latin American sales position, I have been given a lot of discretion, and I am able to pursue challenges as I see fit. In my previous company, I was in charge of a small team of one or two, but now I am managing a full size team. I’ve also had the opportunity to work overseas, which is very motivating and challenging.
I myself believe that there is no better leisure activity than travel, and it is rewarding to think that I can be a part of a trip that people can enjoy from the bottom of their hearts.
Working from Mexico while managing team in Japan
Working in the same environment every day tends to make me feel cramped. Of course, I’m confident that I’d do my job well in most environments, but I’ve learned that by being able to decide where I work, my mental state is dramatically improved.
Most of us are not able to fully control the type of work that we do, and there are times when work can be tedious, but if you are empowered to decide where to work, I feel this is an area that can have a positive impact on work psychology.
In this sense, the VELTRA policy, Work From Anywhere, is quite progressive. For example, if you are originally from Japan, the scenery will eventually become familiar and routine. But in my case, working from Mexico produces an environment where everything is new and surprising– the environment, the people, the streets, the culture, everything feels new.
It is in such an environment where I’ve been able to engage my non-work life to the fullest even while satisfying all work expectations. Work is a part of my life, and of course I concentrate on my work, but the other 15 hours belong to me and I have full control on how I want to use it. I am able to enjoy my work because it is an environment that allows me to pursue my interests in many different things.
I should also note, that since I am in charge of Central and South America Sales, being in Mexico allows me to explore various new activities and get a lot of work done. I enjoy communicating with our partners in Latin America, and since the cost of business trips is lower than from Japan, I can cut costs while still being effective. I believe that the Work From Anywhere system is a very beneficial policy, both in terms of work and personal life.
You only live once. Being at VELTRA for a few years in that context changes your concept of yourself. It gives you more opportunities and positivity. That’s why I want people to join VELTRA. You can enjoy your life while enjoying your work. A company where you can enjoy your work. Even if you fail, you don’t have to be afraid, like in other work environments. Because here, we recognize people as people, we don’t just look at results, we try to develop people. So it is easy to challenge yourself.