Bali or Balingen

Bali or Balingen?

Birgit Schön recently asked the question when it came to the location of choice for a workation (see

For me, this very question arose 15 years ago. At that time, I took over a global manufacturing leadership role within a chemical company and in this role I was traveling to China for the first time in my life. Several weeks a year.

I saw and experienced Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing and the high speed of progress there. Pure learning. I wanted my family to be a part of this learning experience.

So I asked my wife and my two grown-up daughters if they would like to take a tour with me through the “land of fast-growing opportunities”. No sooner said than done and booked.

And at the end of the tour we will travel via Singapore back to Germany. Or so I thought.

“Dad, it’s only a stone’s throw from Singapore to Bali,” my daughter told me.

“We know you can only take two weeks off, but we’re staying in Bali for a few more days to recover from the exhausting trip.”

Wow. They had actually already booked an apartment. Beautiful. Close to the beach. A dream.

“Oh yes,” my daughter added, “the apartment is for three people but also would be a fit for four. And it has a LAN connection, by the way. Just FYI.”

How cleverly this was communicated by her. I extended my vacation by a week. In my role in an American company, this was associated with a kind of crisis communication. But I had LAN in the apartment and was available online at any time.

In fact, it became a kind of workation with a lot of vacation and a little bit of work. A three-week holiday trip is simply wonderful and was no longer the exception in the following years, but rather the rule.

Today, by the way, I like to be in Balingen, or nearby in Sigmaringen, where I teach business ethics and sustainability for business students at the university. And when I’m on site for lectures from time to time, I spend a few extra days close to my parents’ house.

So yes: Workation near Balingen, at least for a few days a year.

➡️ How do you see a “workation”: as a fad, brought into conversation by the younger generation or as an achievement and important element in the topic of “New Work”?

My name is Bernd Scharbert and I support executives and managers with my experience from over 30 years of leadership in the corporate world. Especially when it comes to the question of how to reconcile family, career and personal life. If you are interested, feel free to follow me on LinkedIn, #prepare4landing or contact me directly.

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