On creating a more sustainable business
Have you tried to make Hideout Bali sustainable in other ways? Or is Hideout Bali only sustainable because of the building materials used?
When we started, around 2014 or 2015, we developed a hydropower system. We did this using water wheels, on the river, next to the Hideout Bali building.
This was our first project during the first 6 months and it took a lot of effort.
We managed to get it working and we were 100% sustainable for a few months.
Unfortunately, the river next to us is very unpredictable and can flood during the rainy season. As a result, the device has already been destroyed 3 times.
Since then, we have only used the water wheel to get water and not electricity. However, we do hope to use this system again in the future.
Additionally, we have installed a bio-septic system which takes care of wastewater from Hideout Bali and from the local village.This prevents waste from seeping into the river.
On the guests
How long do guests typically stay for?
Most people stay 2-3 nights.
We’re fully-booked often four months in advance.
We usually have 4 guests on the land, 2 in each house.
How long do you typically need to book in advance to stay here?
At least 6 months.
Usually, when we have a vacancy it’s booked within two hours of posting.
Most people book even a year ahead to ensure they have a spot
On flexible working
Do you prefer working flexibly as opposed to what you were doing before?
Oh, for sure.
At first, I missed the feeling of being safe, as being employed provides a safety net.
Yet, there is nothing to describe it, being on your own and working your own hours. It’s given us a freedom that I could never have imagined.
How flexible is your current job?
Well, I spend a lot of time at my computer. I need it to keep track of guests, emails, enquiries and promotional marketing work.
All I need is an internet connection.
On the benefits of flexible working
If I were to use the term flexible working, what words would you think of?
It allows you to have a more colourful and fun life and it gives you more time to contact your family and friends.
On the challenges of working remotely
What are the challenges of working where you are?
Not having colleagues to consult with or moan to!
Not having people who speak the same language.
Making your own decisions.
The lifestyle can be distracting.
On the current working space
Where do you usually work throughout the week? Do you typically work in one place?
Yes. I mostly work on my porch outside, in the mountains.
So, you have flexibility over where you work, but you choose to work on the porch?
Does that flexibility of location benefit you?
Yes. It keeps me saner, I guess.
On the ideal working space
If you were to pick an ideal working space where would it be and why? Are you currently working in that space?
I currently work there. As I said, I mainly like to work outside, on my porch.
I still like the choice of being able to work anywhere, though. I can work on the beach if I want to but I don’t because I am afraid my computer will get broken!
I can work anywhere because all I need is my MacBook, an internet connection, and a drink. I can even drink something alcoholic since I don’t have any employers to check up on me!
Why do you prefer working outside?
I think it’s because I worked in an office for years.
There, I was used to only having a partial view out the office window.
In Bali, it’s beautiful outside and there is amazing weather.
I like the fresh air. It feels more natural to be outside than inside a room.
Do you get good internet connection out there?
Yes, you can, actually. You can get internet connection almost anywhere. There are a few providers with quite strong connections here.
On business goals
What are your future goals for the business?
We are playing with the idea of expanding Hideout into other places. We are thinking of using bamboo in places that we are not so familiar with (e.g. India or the Seychelles).
On influential businesses
Are there any companies or individuals that are inspirational to you?
When we started the bamboo buildings, we got a lot of inspiration from John Hardy and Elora Hardy. They’re very cautious about the environment.
They own an architecture company in Bali. They designed and built the Green Village, Green School and Bamboo Indah (a boutique hotel).
We discovered it was very expensive to stay in their bamboo hotel. It was about $1000 dollars a night! Most people can’t afford that.
So, that’s why we decided to create a bamboo house for regular folks to go in and enjoy.
How did you make Hideout Bali cheaper and more accessible to the public? Did you get help from the family you had built there and the local community?
Yeah, we did.
We are currently living in a very small village where everyone knows each other.
The locals make us feel very welcome and help us out. We also do everything with them.
We are there for the ceremonies, weddings and newborns.