They chose a crowded traffic-clogged endless concrete jungle, over the airy, green, lush beachside tropical paradise of Rio?
At least it says they went to Rio on long weekends.
If you are in a position to choose/offer to work remotely, make sure that everyone you have to interact with is communicating in the same way, at least for work stuff. If half of your team is in an office and they aren't making an effort to communicate equally with the both local and remote team members, it will not work well. Having a remote team means an overhead in the communication for the local team.
Anyways, here is a great collection of resources on working remotely: http://www.wideteams.com/
When in Rome...
I can see how it kinda makes sense, a bit of fun, and a bit of holiday, good team building and so on, but its not something that appeals to me. Maybe, probably, I'm just too old....
Edit - it also probably helps that I live in a town with good weather all year round.
(I'm getting rid of my 3x23" 1080p panels for two 27" 2560x1440 panels, because I want to be able to drive those and my Cintiq at the same time.)
For me, visiting foreign lands does not mean staying with my coworkers in an apartment all day long working and then maybe having a drink after work in a different climate. Call me crazy, but living with my coworkers for upwards of six weeks in paradise that I can't really spend real time in sounds kind of awful.
For me, visiting foreign lands for a week of sightseeing is lame anyway - I'd much rather go live there for a month in a regular rhythm, going grocery shopping and maybe for a drink after work. Different strokes.
Thailand this year: http://blog.expensify.com/2012/09/28/expensify-offshore-2012...
I have no connection to Expensify other than reading their blog which I originally saw posted on HN. This adds a second datapoint showing the principle working for more than one company.
Another interesting approach is on Rand Fishkin's blog where Seomoz will reimburse employees up to $3,000 each in vacaction expenses.
The message is consistent - a change of scenery either as a group or individuals is benefical to the company.
Do you have any references you could point to? I'm really curious as to whether or not I'm doing something stupidly inefficient. :)
You could come to Tokyo, where I live. Don't. It's ruinously expensive. But you could go to a lesser-visited part of Japan for a not-unreasonable amount of money, and while people's English skills are lacking here, the public infrastructure is fantastic.
Taiwan is like Japan, but with better food and cheaper living costs, but without as much infrastructure. Still one of my favorite countries in Asia, though. If you decide on Asia, avoid the summer at all costs, because the entire region turns into a gigantic sauna.
If you want something logistically easy, the Yucatan in Mexico has tons of options and is relatively cheap. Tulum is not too crowded, lodges have good internet in the commons areas.
Money well spent!