How the #VeroSquad Spent the First-Ever Vero Company Break 

How the #VeroSquad Spent the First-Ever Vero Company Break 

Vero Break

 

For many of us in the PR and communications industry, being productive means spending more time working. But we all know where it will lead us in the long run: burnout, waning creativity, and dimming passion

So, when we launched the first-ever Vero Company Break before 2023 ended, we wanted to make it a ritual for all our teams to prioritize rejuvenation. It was supplementary to our existing unlimited paid leave policy, but what makes Vero Company Break unique is that it’s a region-wide downtime. This means minimal to zero Teams chats, Outlook emails, and virtually everyone across Vero offices taking time off simultaneously to recharge and refocus. 

It was a meaningful move – we saw the #VeroSquad travel to destinations on their bucket lists, make cherished moments with loved ones, and dedicate time to self-care. 

As we finalize plans for our second Vero Company Break around June, here’s a quick recap of the squad’s fun adventures and moments of tranquility.  

 

Claudia Graciela Pusung 

Sr. Influencer Relations Specialist 

VERO BREAK - CLAUDIA

How did you spend the Vero Company Break?
My family and I went to Thailand for NYE! We spontaneously decided to go for a brief holiday while we could. We wanted to shop and eat, so Bangkok was our destination.
 
What did you enjoy doing?
Even though our trip was very brief (3d2n), I managed to visit several shopping centers like Icon Siam, catch up with my Bangkok-based colleague (Ef), and indulge in delicious Thai cuisine. For the first time, I could explore the historic Grand Palace, immersing myself in Thailand’s rich history.

Any new learning and takeaways from that trip?
After visiting the Grand Palace and being respectful of the country’s culture, I later became curious about exploring other cultures and expanding my knowledge to new, unfamiliar territories.

How important is taking a break to you?
We operate in a fast-paced environment, so taking breaks for rest is crucial. These ‘breaks’ are pauses to help us prevent burnout, improve focus and productivity, and enhance overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance becomes especially important in the midst of hectic workdays. 

 

Tran Ha Linh 

Senior PR Account Executive 

VERO BREAK - LINH

How did you spend the Vero Company Break? 

With the 5-day company break and the unlimited leave policy, I was able to travel to two amazing cities in Vietnam during the holiday season! I stayed in Phan Thiet for four days and then Da Lat for another four days. 

What did you enjoy doing? 

As I prefer to venture off the beaten path, I seek hidden gems and lesser-known spots to discover and explore. My journey to Mui Yen in Phan Thiet was filled with misadventures, but it was all worth it. I underestimated the road conditions and had to turn back, but the beauty of the surroundings was beyond imaginable. The trip to Da Lat was also quite a thrill. Our detour through the forest to a remote farm proved unexpectedly challenging yet memorable – there truly is a delight in the unexpected, especially when it comes to nature. When we’d finally settled, I could fully relax, read some books, visit local markets for pottery, and enjoy immersing myself in the moment. 

Any new learning and takeaways from that trip? 

I discovered that I’m more adventurous than I give myself credit for – I could go to unfamiliar places and quickly adapt to failed plans or unexpected challenges. Now I’m looking forward to doing more of this kind of thing, which reminds me that I need to work harder so I can afford to travel more 🙂 

How important is taking a break to you? 

It’s a time for me to slow down. I once read somewhere that as we grow up, time seems to pass faster because we experience fewer new things and “living moments” than when we were children. And to live more slowly, I create living moments for myself.


For me, this means bathing in the forest, traveling on mountain passes to discover a new destination, or simply sitting and savoring coffee with a good book in hand, surrounded by mountains, forests, and the quiet company of nature. 

Taking a break also allows me to observe life around me. When I’m not occupied with work and responsibilities, I take the time to know people and their stories, and be inspired to lead a more meaningful life.  

 

Kim Donato 

Digital Account Executive 

VERO BREAK - KIM

How did you spend the Vero Company Break? 

The holiday season is a big deal in the Philippines – and finally, having the chance to spend and enjoy it without thinking about deadlines was incredible. I dedicated this time to being with my family, loved ones, and pets. 

What did you enjoy doing? 

As we typically have large gatherings at this time of year, I had the opportunity to enjoy playing mahjong with my family. Sitting, laughing, and sharing stories was a rare occasion. I also made time for self-care sessions, such as attending a dance class and reconnecting with friends I hadn’t seen in ages. It was a perfect time to bond with my beloved pets. 

Any new learning and takeaways from the break? 

Taking a break is essential, and so is creating an environment that allows me to slow down and have fun. 

How important is taking a break to you? 

It literally means to separate, and to me, that means to separate myself from one aspect of my life and reconnect to another. This is essential to gain a different or a more holistic perspective/approach in life. 

 

Yen Tran 

Associate PR Account Director

VERO BREAK - YEN

How did you spend the Vero Company Break? 

I traveled to Da Lat with my dear teammates! We had a really wonderful and relaxing getaway to a place that’s incredibly beautiful.

What did you enjoy doing? 

We relished the cool weather, immersed ourselves in this highland city’s natural beauty and breathtaking scenery, and indulged in local dishes. 

Any new learning and takeaways from that trip? 

The trip provided us with a great opportunity to strengthen our bonds, create lasting memories, reflect on the year 2023, and recharge for the upcoming year. 

How important is taking a break to you? 

For me, a good break—regardless of duration—offers a chance to disconnect from work and reconnect with oneself temporarily. It’s a time to pursue hobbies, explore new things, discover unfamiliar places, or relax, reflect, and recharge. A refreshed mind from a good break can infuse us with renewed energy and creativity when we return to work. 

 

Christien Margareth 

Communication Executive in Brand & Communications

 VERO BREAK - CHRISTIEN

How did you spend the Vero Company Break? 

I had a pre-planned trip to Hong Kong with my mom scheduled before the break so I just decided to use the five days off to stay in Jakarta and be with my sisters. We rarely bond without the pressure of looming deadlines, so it was a welcome chance to be with them in a very relaxed setting. I also got the chance to visit my new nephew! 

What did you enjoy doing? 

During the break, I took some time for myself and indulged in my favorite activities—reading and watching Netflix. I finally finished several books waiting for my attention and caught up on movies. Lately, I’ve been sharing my thoughts on Instagram Stories with quick reviews under #BacaBukuLagi (#ReadingBookAgain), which helps me process the books and connect with others who share my interests.  

I’ve also started creating content on TikTok and IG Reels, documenting my adventures in Hong Kong. Despite being a beginner in editing, the positive feedback and growing viewership have made it an exciting new hobby for me. 

Any new learning and takeaways from the break? 

The break taught me the significance of self-awareness and personal space. I found joy in solitude and learned to value quiet moments. I also understood the importance of respecting my boundaries by declining outdoor invitations when needed. Embracing stillness enabled me to listen to my inner voice and plan for the year ahead. I’m grateful for the break, knowing not everyone had this chance. My heart is full! 

How important is taking a break to you? 

A break allows people to be fully present in the moment. In our bustling work environment, time passes by in the blink of an eye – I sometimes don’t notice that the sun has already gone down! This is especially true when working from home, morning and night seem to have no difference at all. What I’m trying to say is that this break holds deep significance for me as it grants me the chance to live my life truly. It’s a period where I can acknowledge my progress and move forward at my own pace, free from external pressures. As I realized on New Year’s Eve, as I looked at old photos, my life is filled with rich experiences that have shaped me into who I am. 

 

Pham Thi Thanh Ha 

Creative Designer

VERO BREAK - HA

How did you spend the Vero Company Break? 

I stayed in Ho Chi Minh City for the entire break. My family and I had a staycation just for us to relax and unwind. I also made sure to get some me-time – going for a haircut, massage, gym, and wandering around the city. 

What did you enjoy doing? 

Since I’m always busy at work, I took this short break to create new memories with my family. We went out to a restaurant, indulging in good food, and shared nostalgia from childhood. Having that chance to share stories made me realize how loved I am. 

How important is taking a break to you? 

I believe these breaks are essential as they give me precious time to spend with my loved ones and rejuvenate me. After a stressful period at work, they offer a moment of “balance” and allow my mind to be free, enabling me to return stronger and more energetic! 

 

This is how Vero unwindsHere’s how the Vero team unwinds and enjoys a well-deserved break away from our work desks!

 

Work hard, play harder – well, at least when the work is done. Agency life is no joke – the high demand for creativity, tight deadlines, and back-and-forth revisions, to name a few stressors.  

At Vero, we’re all about delivering top-notch service to our clients, but this doesn’t mean our team members come second. From implementing our unlimited leave benefit to our work-where-you-thrive approach, we recognize that fostering employee happiness and relaxation empowers them to carry out their finest work. 

But it’s not all that we offer! Our offsite teambuilding activities are always one for the books. We take teams to places far from their work desks – where they can soak in the sunlight, enjoy the outdoor breeze, and indulge in carefree fun and friendly competitions, rekindling spirits and forging deeper bonds. 

This year, the island of Bali in Indonesia, Ho Tram town in Vietnam, Antipolo in the Philippines, and Bangkok in Thailand played host to our memorable and fun-filled team bonding moments. 

The big smiles, delectable feasts, and some competitive faces are just a few of what makes these activities rewarding and unforgettable. 

 

Vietnam Squad at The Grand Ho Tram Strip 

About a three-hour bus ride from Saigon, the coastal town of Ho Tram is one of Vietnam’s most idyllic beach destinations.  

The Vietnam squad enjoyed every moment of their stay at The Grand Ho Tram Strip – from the beach-facing rooms, a buffet breakfast that’s worth waking up early to, to the fine sand and refreshing waters, the team spent three days recharging from the hectic work on the first half of the year. 

Vero team

Despite the unpredictable weather, the team had a blast with games that strengthened teamwork, camaraderie, and a healthy sense of competition.  

And what better way to spend the last night in Ho Tram than a sumptuous buffet dinner with an entertaining lotto game with Saigon Tan Thoi! 

Vero Vietnam team unwinds


Philippines Squad tests teamwork in Antipolo 

The Philippine team is Vero’s youngest – but they are one of our strongest! Their July teambuilding activity proved their physical and mental strength and team solidarity at Phillip’s Sanctuary in Antipolo. 

Vero PH team unwinds

The team of ten balanced on logs and ropes, crawled through the mud, jumped through tires, and did a centipede race – all under the rain. The two-day activity, while physically tiring, provided profound lessons about listening and strategizing, concentration, collaboration, and humility. 

It was a trip to remember. The things they’ve learned and the bond they’ve made will surely gear Vero Philippines toward more success!  

Vero PH team unwinds


Indonesia Squad’s Bali Escapade  

There’s no doubt Bali is a tourist favorite, but even our Vero Squad in Indonesia finds the “island of the gods” the perfect venue to eat, laugh, and bond! 

Courtyard Bali Seminyak Resort, one of the island’s top luxury resorts, welcomed the team for a three-day retreat. With activities ranging from refreshing morning yoga to snorkeling adventures and a serene beachside picnic, the squad emerged not only rejuvenated but also tightly united.

Vero Indonesia team unwinds

However short, the trip to Bali was a much-needed break from deadlines and the agency life pressure (although everyone still had to respond to client emails 😊). The trip also allowed the team to talk about things other than work and get to know each other beyond their roles. 

Vero Indonesia team unwinds


Thailand Squad Sports Day in Bangkok 

Vero’s Bangkok office has the most members, so it’s sometimes hard to see and talk with everyone. The ‘Vero Play’ event was a perfect day to bond through team sports, where everyone not only connected but also unleashed their inner competitive spirit. 

Vero Thailand team uwninds

The squad was split into four different teams for a whole day of badminton tournament at The Racquet Club in the beautiful city of Bangkok. With rackets in hand, shuttlecocks flying, and loud cheers from the sidelines, each team displayed remarkable skills and incredible teamwork.

And of course, nothing beats indulging in an al fresco moo krata after an adrenaline-filled day! 

Vero Thailand team uwninds

 

 

Future of Work

Before the pandemic forced workplaces to practice flexibility in how and where employees work, companies practicing hybrid work were often called “forward-thinkers,” though their policies were met with more skepticism than enthusiasm.  

But with the unprecedented and persistent global disruptions that continue to unfold – the pandemic, the worsening climate crisis, the emergence of generative AI, and ongoing economic and geopolitical instabilities – those forward-thinking policies have become the playbook for survival.  

The way we work is undergoing a profound revolution, and there is no stopping it – we must embrace and adapt to it or fall behind. From shifting to a hybrid work setup to fostering productivity through advanced technologies to taking collective responsibility for more sustainable practices, it is evident that what was recently considered “the future of work” is already with us.  

The future of work was at the center of discussion at the Singapore Business Federation Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, in July. Vero’s VP for Culture Vu Quan Nguyen-Masse, joined the panel discussion to provide insights into how the marketing and communications industry can better prepare for what is ahead and invest more in reskilling their workforce for resilience.  

Here are some of the key takeaways from Vu Quan’s talk.    

Future of Work - Vu Quan Nguyen-Masse

 

As the workplace evolves, the workforce adapts 

A report by the World Economic Forum has predicted that AI adoption will create 69 million new jobs by 2027 while simultaneously causing the displacement of 87 million jobs. The changing landscape of jobs is testing industries around the world. But there is good news: businesses investing in supporting the shift to the jobs of the future through education, reskilling, and fostering environments that encourage analytical thinking and creativity will demonstrate resilience. 

As we at Vero adapt to these shifts, we are learning to develop new dedicated specializations to innovate new products. For example, the role of knowledge managers in facilitating the exchange of ideas is becoming more prominent. We are also seeing culture and governance leaders who are critical in coordinating change and reinventing policies for a positive and future-proof work culture.

We have also pushed forward a cultural agenda to create the conditions for curiosity and entrepreneurship to happen at any level of the company. By breaking down information silos, we created cross-boundary forums and facilitated knowledge-sharing, leading to organic initiatives being taken even in our smaller, more junior teams. We overcame limitations in skills and capacities by encouraging peer-to-peer mentoring and building task forces across departments and borders. The result is an increase in the effective creation of new tools and methodologies.  

Agility and cohesion can coexist – and they should 

 The growing emphasis on genuine sustainability communications and the integration of generative AI are seen as threats by traditionalists. But businesses that recognize these trends as inevitable forces of workplace revolution will see in them opportunities for growth. 

To do so, they must enable agility and cohesion to coexist, which is more challenging than it may sound, as too much of one can lead to the undoing of the other. It is especially important to manage the pace of disruptions, such as AI and sustainability, by formalizing a culture practice as an expansion of Operations rather than HR.  

Operations must be agile, but we should be careful not to stretch the organization apart in ways that hurt productivity and morale. By aligning policies, infrastructure, and programs with the organization’s unique needs and objectives, leaders can ensure that agility serves as a strategic advantage rather than a source of disarray. This approach empowers employees to navigate change effectively, enhances overall performance, and strengthens the organization’s ability to stay competitive and collaborative in dynamic environments.   

Make work make sense  

 Workplace culture can be extraordinarily complex and diverse, and companies have the responsibility to make sure they hear from all the different employee profiles – what motivates them, what makes them anxious, and how the company can help foster an environment that inspires them to thrive.  

In a world of remote work and other new business practices, it is vital to communicate about culture and values during the hiring process to see if the employer and prospective employee share the same aspirations. This responsibility has shifted to leadership, wherein the role of the leaders is no longer centered on control of employee performance but rather on providing employees with context and purpose. 

As new generations join the workforce, they will bring with them new sets of skills, mindsets, and work values. For high skills, high performance, and entrepreneurship to translate into success, it is fundamental to “make work make sense” to every talent in the organization. Acknowledge complexity, aim for simplicity and clarity, and offer kindness and perspective, and the talents of tomorrow will fill your ranks.