Life at Mews: off-grid Spanish stories

1 Dec 2022   •  4 minute read

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Tom Brown

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The Mews Blog  >  Life at Mews: off-grid Spanish stories

Mews is a remote-friendly company. In other words, you don’t have to live close to one of our offices – or any office at all – in order to work for us. This is the story of Guillermo, who swapped his life in the city to live amongst the beautiful but remote mountains of Catalonia. 

The digital nomad lifestyle is one thing, but this a step further. A few years ago, this lifestyle wouldn’t have been compatible with a typical job. But thanks to technology and an open-minded work philosophy, anyone is able to thrive at Mews, no matter where you are. 

Read Guillermo’s inspirational, eco-friendly story to find out more about how this unique lifestyle fits into Mews’ way of working. 

 

There’s only one place to begin... tell us about your home. 

I lived in Barcelona for ten years and my partner and I decided we wanted to move. We thought about moving into a normal house in the suburbs, but then this beautiful rock cabin from Airbnb was suddenly on sale. We visited it and we fell in love immediately with it. 

It’s in the middle of nowhere. An old rock house in the mountains. Instead of neighbors on every side of us and across the street, with have about six neighbors within a few kilometers of us. So just like that we just changed to a natural mountain life with a night sky full of stars. 

 

Is it an environmentally friendly house? 

When it was an Airbnb, this was a special eco touristic house, and we’ve kept that up. There is no electricity grid here, no light, no internet cables.  

We’re not connected to any water works, so when it rains, we collect the water. Everything we have to use is ecological, like ecological soap when you shower. We don’t have a washing machine, so when we do laundry we do it in the city. Right now it’s the rainy season, and one good storm night will provide about 15 days of water for showers and daily usage. 

We’re doing a lot of natural farming. I have worms – vermicomposting – which bring life back to the soil. Everything is recyclable in this house. We try to create zero waste but it’s almost impossible, although we’re able to recycle about 90% of everything. For instance, we built greenhouses with plastic bottles and light candles with used oil. Basically, the idea is to live in nature and bring something back to the land. 

 

Moving there must have really changed your life... 

You become very mindful of how everything works, because now if you have a water problem or a electricity problem you can’t just call a company. You have to figure it out yourself. The first hard challenge was when a solar panel broke, and I didn’t have a clue how to fix it. But you can find almost everything on YouTube and you figure it out. The first time I had to change the chain on the generator it took two hours. Now I can do it in two minutes. 

All the extra land is good for animals. We foster dogs and this is a tiny paradise for them to grow, especially after such a hard story some of them have. Fostering dogs is an amazing experience; we usually rescue 10-15 puppies every time and collaborate with an association to find them home. It normally takes 1-2 months for them to get adopted, and during this time you get to enjoy the best of the dogs’ happiness! 

 

How does your work fit into this lifestyle? 

The most important thing with this lifestyle is the flexibility, and Mews really gives me that. Fully remote is, of course, mandatory for me. Mews is also flexible with the hours you work as well. We have our core hours where everyone should be available, but the company trusts you, just as I trust my team working with me. 

During winter, when the sun goes down at 5pm, there is no light outside. I need to be able to run errands during work hours, and that’s where Mews and my colleagues are excellent. I just let people know and mark the time in my calendar, so they know I won’t be at my laptop.  

My favourite perk of this lifestyle are my breaks; I just leave the house and in three minutes I'm in the middle of a pine forest. It’s funny because I live a tech life and I am a tech person, but I'm using technology to get very far away from technology and everybody else! 

 

Do you feel like you're missing out on any of the traditional parts of office life? 

No, it doesn't bother me. I'm very comfortable that the decision of being fully remote is something I want, and it won't change. If there’s a big event then I will make the effort to travel, it’s not impossible. 

Of course, with fully remote you can’t meet people in the same way. I never liked going to the office every day, but I enjoy knowing everybody, having some face-to-face conversation and going out for an occasional meal. Having those social interactions helps you work more smoothly with your colleagues. 

 

Apart from flexible working, what else about Mews appealed to you? 

In data, we have a modern tech stack, using Databricks to build a data platform for a small data mesh team. The company in general is full of young and motivated minds, full of fresh ideas and a bias for action. And of course, a nice set of benefits. 

 

Are there any benefits you particularly enjoy? 

Unlimited holidays. We work hard and play harder! 

 

What would you say to anyone who’s thinking of joining Mews? 

It’s a very good company, it’s a good environment, it's a good culture. Overall, a very advanced company with good benefits. Mews is finding creative ways to re-invent the art of the hospitality and you will be surprised with some of our solutions and how they are shaping the industry. 

 

 

This is the second in our series of interviews with our Spanish team. Read about Francesco and why he returned to Mews

You can view all of our open roles on the Mews jobs page.

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Tom Brown

When Tom isn't creating outstanding marketing content for Mews, he writes fiction for himself. Either way, he only uses the best words.