How to Work Successfully from Almost Anywhere
Have you always dreamed of working from a cafe in Paris one month and then jetting off to log some hours in Lima before climbing Machu Picchu? Or, perhaps you’re a military spouse who wants to take your career with you on your next deployment.
Regardless of why you’re dreaming of working remotely from different areas worldwide, technology has created a world that puts those dreams within your reach. Admittedly, it can be daunting to consider packing your laptop and heading out the door. But with some preparation, you can work successfully from just about anywhere.
Successfully Working From Almost Anywhere
Your first step in fulfilling your travel dreams should be to define what those dreams are. Do you dream of working your way around the world or simply being able to work from your grandmother’s porch for a week every month? Once you’ve defined your goals, you can use the following tips to build the work-life you’ve dreamed of.
Find the Right Job
Not all remote jobs can support overseas travel. Many have limitations for which state you live in as well. While most can support occasional travel, not all do.
Define your travel goals to narrow down your remote work options, and focus on the jobs that will support your goals. If you’re dreaming of building a freelance career, perhaps it’s best to build a solid foundation before launching your travels.
Freelance careers are far from the only option, however. Many companies will support a traveling career and lack any sort of location requirements. The key is to double- and triple-check before pursuing a role to ensure that you can pack it up and take it to your intended destination.
Create a Distraction-Free Work Zone
It can be challenging to stay focused when distractions surround you. When you work from home, this may mean setting up a dedicated workspace in a quiet part of your house. The same applies if you’re traveling, although it needs to be more fluid.
Depending on your location, it might mean finding a coworking space or cafe with good Wi-Fi and a comfortable chair. Either way, it’s essential to find a place where you can focus and get work done. And generally, that isn’t your hotel bed.
A little bit of planning can go a long way. Research your destinations before traveling and plan where you can set up shop. That way, if you need to invest in noise-canceling headphones or other tools to create success, you can do that before you start your travels.
Setting boundaries between work and life is significant when you’re working from a remote location. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the new site and let work hours slide. Dedicated work hours help ensure you know when you’re free to take a scuba lesson and when you need to pass so you can be productive.
This is especially important if you’re traveling with others who might not have the same schedule you do. Letting your family and friends know when you’re available to socialize helps avoid misunderstandings. By setting these boundaries, you’ll be able to stay focused on work during your work hours and enjoy your time off without stress.
And don’t forget to allow flexibility in your schedule if you’re traveling to different time zones. Use project management tools to keep track of deadlines and ensure that you’re allowing flexibility around jet lag and unforeseen travel delays.
When you’re working remotely, it’s vital to stay connected with your team or freelance clients. Videoconferencing and chat tools are essential for staying in touch and keeping everyone on the same page. You also want to make an effort to attend any team meetings, even if there is a time difference.
Weekly or biweekly check-ins are a great way to keep communication channels open. By consciously staying connected, you’ll be more successful in keeping your career momentum going even while working remotely.
You can also utilize tools like World Time Buddy to schedule meetings with colleagues and contacts worldwide. Depending on where you’re traveling, you might be able to embrace the ability to go out and explore your destination during the day and conduct your work meetings from your hotel room desk in the evenings.
Prioritize Online Safety
Online safety is of utmost importance when you work from remote locations. You can follow a few best practices to ensure your safety while working online.
First, consider using a personal VPN. This will help encrypt your connection and protect your data from being intercepted.
Second, invest in a personal hot spot that will work within your travel country. This will allow you to connect to the internet without using public Wi-Fi, which can be vulnerable to attack.
Third, never leave your laptop unsecured while you step away from it. Ensure it’s locked and with you so no one can access it while you’re gone, even if you’re only going to the restroom or grabbing a refill.
Finally, remember the best practice of working with your back facing a wall whenever possible to shield your screen from wandering eyes.
Invest in Your Tools
More than any other tool, your laptop and your cloud storage can make or break your success. It’s how you stay connected to work, access your files, and get things done when you’re on the go. That’s why investing in a powerful operating system and robust cloud storage plan is important.
A quick processing speed will help you get work done faster, and a robust cloud storage plan will ensure you can always access your files. And if your laptop is ever lost or stolen, you’ll still be able to access your files from any internet-connected device.
Working from a remote location can be challenging, and it may take time to get used to it. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust. You might find that you must create a new routine or schedule that works for you at each location. And it’s okay to take breaks during the day—they are essential in resetting your mind and body.
If you’re finding it difficult to focus, try creating a dedicated work routine that includes specific physical items, such as a water bottle and your headphones. This can help to create a physical boundary between work and leisure time.
And no matter how well you plan, you’ll likely run into connectivity and scheduling challenges at some point. Ensure that you’re setting the right expectations and always overdelivering when you’re back on track.
Build Your Community
Are you curious about coworking spaces in New Orleans or the Wi-Fi connectivity in Thailand? There are online communities that exist to help remote workers thrive. Connect with them via social media, LinkedIn, and digital nomad Slack communities.
Through these communities, you might discover local freelance gigs within your industry or learn which areas of a new city are considered safe and fun for tourists—not to mention areas you’ll want to avoid.
Remember that working from a remote location doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Take advantage of your situation and explore your surroundings. Visit new places, try new things, and make the most of your experience!
Overseas work experience can help set you apart from the competition when you’re pursuing career opportunities in the future. With the increasing globalization of commerce and industry in almost every field, experience interacting successfully with other cultures can become your best work skill. So, ensure that you’re getting out to enjoy the surroundings and culture while you’re traveling!
Enjoy Working From Almost Anywhere
With a bit of preparation, you can learn to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with working remotely. Check out other articles to learn more about establishing and maintaining a successful remote career!
By Kimberli Lowe-MacAuley | Categories: Work Remotely