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Globally-minded outlooks, progressive business environments and an emphasis on establishing a strong work-life balance are taking over sunny beaches and colourful cocktails when choosing a workation destination.

Three international companies, Monese, British Airways, and Siemens were recently selected as the winners of the 2019 Workation Vilnius programme. First launched in 2018, the programme gives international businesses the opportunity to win a week-long workation in the Lithuanian capital.

In recent years, remote work has become a trend with predictions stating that 50% of the global workforce might be working out of office by 2020. In-line with remote working, the ‘workation’ has emerged as a trend by combining out of office work with travelling abroad. The change in the environment, among its other benefits, is intended to boost productivity.

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Inga Romanovskienė

General Manager of Go Vilnius

General Manager of Go Vilnius, Inga Romanovskienė, believes that the quality of companies that the Workation Vilnius programme has attracted for the second consecutive year is evidence that Vilnius is one of the European Union’s leading capitals for business.

“During the first Workation Vilnius programme that took place last year, we welcomed teams from British Telecom, Expedia, and OrderYoyo,” said Romanovskienė. “By having such high-calibre applicants for the second year in a row, we believe that Vilnius is able to position itself amongst Europe’s top capitals for doing business. This is not only due to the international mindset which is adopted by our city’s business sector. It is also a result of our emphasis on the establishment of a healthy work-life balance for our professionals.”

As a fin-tech company, Monese is keen to explore the Vilnius’ fin-tech environment which has been described by Forbes as “a booming fintech hub” thanks to its favourable financial regulations, and a lack of bureaucracy meaning startup founders can register their business in just three days
During last year, Monese has opened additional offices outside of London in Germany and Portugal. Following the announcement that it had been selected as one of the winners of Workation Vilnius 2019, a company spokesperson said “this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Vilnius, access to talent in the city, and its business environment. At Monese, we are building a banking service that gives people the financial freedom to thrive anywhere, and we are always looking for new talent who can help us in this mission.”

British Airways added that given Vilnius is home to a number of large internationals, meeting with senior business figures will help the airline discover how to get the best from its globally operating teams. “As a global organisation, we seek to enhance our cross-market working environments,” a BA representative wrote in its Workation Vilnius pitch. “Having the opportunity to work from Vilnius would strengthen our teams’ relationships and empower our employees.”

The Smart Infrastructure Division of Siemens AG applied to be part of the Workation Vilnius programme due to the city’s leading ICT infrastructure with 31,500 IT specialists in the job market, as well as 1,500 new IT graduates per year.

“We are a cross-functional team, responsible for the global Go-to-Market of our Cloud offerings, which requires a high level of agile collaboration,” explained Michael Sinniger, representative of Siemens Schweiz AG, Smart Infrastructure. “Thanks to the week in Vilnius, we believe that we can achieve great deliverables and also refresh our mindset. As a result, we will be able to better address the changing market needs and create added value for our customers.”

The winners of this year’s Workation Vilnius competition were selected from 56 companies. They were chosen based on their motivational letters regarding why they want to visit the Lithuanian capital. Workation Vilnius is an initiative set up by Go Vilnius, the city’s tourism and business development agency.

Vilnius ranks among Europe’s emerging business hubs thanks to its flourishing startup ecosystem, local government support for international business, and its highly qualified workforce.