Perfectly curated Instagram images can create the ultimate illusion of what it means to be a remote worker while traveling. These sun-kissed jet-setters are seemingly able to prance up and down the shoreline, indulge in flashy cocktails and explore some of the world’s most stunning sites—all while working on their laptop.
In reality, remote work while traveling involves meticulous planning, earnest commitment and strenuous dedication to each day’s agenda. According to a Forbes interview with some of the most prominent CEOs and entrepreneurs at the face of this movement, 2018 will be a great example of what the future of remote work will look like.
Thanks to technology and a broader collaboration mindset, more millennials will become location independent entrepreneurs—thus creating more opportunities for their employees to travel while working remotely. A 2017 Global Coworking Survey by DeskMag showed that 45% of freelancers and remote workers in coworking spaces spend one or more weeks per year abroad for business. With these growing numbers has to come a better understanding of what it takes to successfully work remotely.
Life isn’t always going to be cool drinks on the beach, but with a clear vision and these 12 steps, remote work while traveling can get you closer to that dream.
Stay on the hunt
Though some remote workers are able to travel with a steady job, others are surviving by hopping from gig to gig. If you haven’t locked down a solid income path yet, you’re going to need to be able to multitask. Not only will you have to split up your time working remotely and exploring your chosen destination, you’ll also have to keep (theoretically) knocking on doors for your next opportunity.
There are numerous job boards that are specifically geared towards remote workers. But another great way to network and find new clients is through Facebook. From entrepreneurs to hobbyist crocheters and everything in between, you can find a Facebook group that caters to your niche. Join a private group, add value and of course, make connections.
Work out the logistics
Whether your next destination is a sprawling cityscape or a remote village, you have to lock down the details of your work necessities. Steady Wi-Fi would be a top priority for most remote workers.
Do you own a hotspot? Is there a trusted cafe nearby that you can make your office for the day? Do you have all of the correct power converters for the country that you’re staying in? Whatever the answer may be, remote work while traveling is only possible if you can actually work. To ease the stress of settling into a new location while keeping up with clients and deadlines, be prepared and work out all of the logistics first.
Find comfort in your accommodations
You might be trekking across Southeast Asia like thousands of other backpackers, but working remotely from a hostel or a shared dorm isn’t exactly the type of atmosphere that makes for a productive workday. Securing comfortable accommodations is absolutely paramount for success as a remote worker.
If there’s one thing you don’t want to leave to chance, it’s where you’re going to lay your head each night. To perform well at work, you have to make sure the other facets of your life are aligned as well. Find accommodations that meet your standards and give you a sense of refuge at the end of each day.
Keep an open mind
Sure, tropical destinations will always be alluring. But don’t disregard the small hidden gems—the second cities that require a little discovery but offer so much in return. When choosing your destination, take everything into consideration and blaze your own path. Though bloggers and other digital nomads might find their home away from home in the capital cities of Australia or Colombia, you might find that countries like Croatia or Estonia are more your pace.
Find a space that speaks to you
Working remotely allows for a great amount of freedom—but there’s something to be said for leaving the house every day to go to work. With that said, no two digital nomads are the same, everyone has their own style.
Some people find comfort in the bustling energy of co-working spaces. It could be because of the undeniable vitality that comes with a sense of collaboration and togetherness. Or, it could be because it gives remote workers a sense of purpose and a reason to put on real pants for the day. Co-working spaces can be necessary hubs for remote workers who are traveling. Find a space that speaks to you and start collaborating.
Set a schedule…& stick to it!
As a remote worker, productivity won’t only allow you to excel in your current position, it will also set the tone for the longevity of your trip. Without a supervisor walking by or a timestamp to show when you’ve started your workday, it can be very easy to slip into a fuzzy routine with no real schedule.
Contrary to what it might seem, setting a schedule actually allows you to have more freedom in your week. Without procrastination interfering with important deadlines, you’ll find that your allotted time for adventure and leisure are that much more appreciated.
Get comfortable with uncomfortable
A remote worker only needs to be on the road for a couple of weeks to realize that steady Wi-Fi is a luxury. With ongoing deadlines, varying projects and a sprawling itinerary, the last thing you want is to be in the middle of a major project and lose your connection. One simple fix is to always have a loaded data plan on your phone. This way, when Wi-Fi gets shotty, you can turn your phone into a mobile hotspot to ensure that nothing comes in between you and your work.
As the nomadic lifestyle continues to be a popular draw for professionals from around the globe, resources are more abundant than ever before. No matter how you like to consume content, there’s a place for you to find what you’re looking for.
Whether it’s free apps, blogs, travel forums, or even Youtube, the remote worker community is steadfast and thriving. It’s pretty ironic for a group of people that span country borders, professions, and age gaps—but this growing sector understands what it’s like to be constantly on the move. Make the most of these resources, ask questions, research, plan and then research some more.
Find friends beyond Facebook.
Though we live in a culture that idolizes the hustling entrepreneur who never takes a break—burnout is real. Self-care is just as important as finding new clients or making more money. When working remotely, it’s easy to feel isolated in a tiny bubble. Taking a break from the computer can make all the difference. Go out and make friends with the locals, pick-up a new hobby or even arrange meet-ups with travelers who are passing through your area. Make time for you so that you can have something to give to your craft.
As a rule of thumb, you should plan to triple the amount of time you spend in any given location, compared to if you were simply on a trip for leisure. Account for travel days, travel exhaustion, work and of course, time for exploring. The benefits of working remotely are endless, but when it comes to building an itinerary, make sure to account for anything that might come at you.
You can’t always be on
In this digital age, we’re used to being glued to our devices. It seems like it’s the best way to get things done—to always be on call. Your project manager emails you late at night, you’re on. A message comes through your company’s chat channel and you’re the first to respond. To have success as a remote worker, you have to create clear boundaries. Don’t let the lines blur, set aside time that’s just for you, silence notifications and appreciate your surroundings.
Travel light and remain flexible.
The less you bring, the easier it will be to continuously pivot your focus to maximize your opportunities for success. When working remotely while traveling, an unimaginable amount of obstacles will arise, as can be expected with any alternative course in life. Pack only what you can carry, and when you feel like it’s time for a change, do what feels right.
No matter where your journey takes you, or how long you feel like staying on the road, GoGo Places wants you to always feel right at home. With all of the unknown challenges that come along with location independence, your accommodations shouldn’t be one of them. No more long-term lease signing, tedious background checks or deposits for short-term rentals. Simply sign up with us once, and explore the world.