Digibalance accountant Carina Björnvik works from her home in Florence, Italy via remote work.
Carina “Cia” Björnvik has been working in Digibalance since 2015. Her work includes bookkeeping for different companies in different countries. Carina is originally from Finland, but she has chosen to remote work from Italy, where she moved in the beginning of the millennium. The flexible nature of the work made it possible to move to her husband’s home town, Florence. The family lives in the old central district San Frediano and they own a summer place in the countryside, just 20 kilometres from Florence, where work can also be done during the school holiday times.
Usually Carina starts working at 8 o’clock in the morning, when her son leaves for school. The first thing she does is checking and answering emails. Carina does bookkeeping for micro enterprises and self-employed from different fields of business. Also the customers’ backgrounds are often from different cultures.
For Carina, remote work enables the use of time more freely than in regularly scheduled work. Work can be done even in the villa or the work may be scheduled to do at an appropriate time, for example, when children are in school. However, even in remote work there must be some sort of a routine for the day.
In Carina’s opinion, the downside of remote work is that you do not see your colleagues very often or at all. You have to fill your social needs in somewhere else than work. You also must have some kind of self-discipline and the ability to create daily routines for yourself, since no one else is going to do it for you. In addition, especially in remote work, the importance of technological functionality is emphasized. If the Internet connection is down or your computer is broken, you have to figure everything out yourself, since you cannot just call the IT department to come and fix everything.
Prior to starting at Digibalance, Carina was already used to remote working in an international environment. She has worked in different countries and is familiar to the accounting practices in not only Italy and Finland, but also in the other Nordic countries. According to Carina, the Italian way of bookkeeping is still often very manual. In many companies the benefits of automation are not yet used in practice. Even though automation and remote work are slowly increasing in Italy, the biggest problem seems to be that the information is usually not in electronic form, which means both more manual work and massive paper consumption. However, Carina is continually making effort that Digibalance’s AutoAccount practices would be more widespread in Italy.
While Carina and her family make visits to Finland frequently, their plan is to stay in Italy permanently. However, the Nordic culture is far from forgotten! They often meet up with Swedish families who also live in Florence. Together they celebrate traditional Nordic festivities such as Saint Lucy’s Day.
According to Carina, the possibilities of working from home have become a lot easier, when comparing to what it was before. For example programs like Teamviewer have made the internal workplace communication easier. Nowadays, being employed in a Finnish company is relatively effortless, even if you live abroad. As the technology and society develop, also remote work opportunities are constantly getting better.
”Once you are used to remote work, you don’t want to go back to the office work and 9-to-5 schedule.” Carina says. “Remote work is a way of life, which may not suit everyone, but for me it is just right.”