DeskAway: From AU to UK

HomeAway offers a unique benefit to employees that we call DeskAway. This program enables employees to take advantage of our global organization and work for several weeks at another HomeAway location, without any penalty to their paid vacation hours.

Ryan Kirkbride, a Marketing Specialist at HomeAway Australia, heard the London office calling and made plans to visit. While in London he was able to complete his everyday tasks as well as meet with other marketing folks in the London office who were relevant to his role. He was also lucky enough to catch a presentation from several of the US executives, who also happened to be in town. Ryan explained that the biggest difference between the AU and UK office was the amount of employees. He enjoyed having so many more people to bounce around ideas with. Also, the weather was really cold! We asked him about the program and his post-work vacation.

What made you choose to visit the London office?

I was traveling to Ireland for a good friend's wedding. DeskAway allowed me to extend my time away by spending a week in London. My friends and I stayed in a HomeAway rental in Galway. Everyone was very helpful, especially when it came to pointing out the nearest pub! 

You traveled around quite a bit after your DeskAway duties. What were some of the most memorable moments?

The highlight of the accommodation was dancing around the lounge of the apartment at 5 am after the stag with a bunch of close friends I had not seen in awhile. From there I spent a week in Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt with a friend and stayed at another rental. The highlights of Eqypt were climbing Mt. Sinai (where Moses received his 10 commandments) overnight and watching the sunrise at the top.

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Also quad biking in the desert was rad! The final leg of my trip was a week in Jordan. It was great to spend Christmas and Boxing Day hiking around the ruins at Petra, well worth it! floating in the Dead Sea was also pretty funny.

Sounds like you had a blast at the UK office and on your trip abroad. What did you gain from DeskAway?

I would highly recommend employees to take part in DeskAway. It is a great way to extend your time in other parts of the world while growing your HomeAway network and learning from others. I can now put faces to names in an email and have a relationship with people in the UK team that are relevant to my work. I learned a lot from being around a more experienced team. My role involves SEO, PPC, Social and affiliates - my time at the UK office allowed me to meet with people who specialize in each of these marketing streams. This was a great way to find out things they tested over time; things that were available for AU to use that I wasn't aware of.