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Do you dream of a several-month journey to the other end of the world and want to combine work with traveling? Or maybe you are wondering if the recently fashionable "workation" is for you?
We live in a time where the great world is easily accessible like never before. However, this applies to more than just travel. The advancement of technology has sparked an avalanche of new possibilities that change everyday life. Today, social media, network games and video streaming are available to everyone. It does not matter if the other person is sitting next to you on the couch or sipping fresh coconut water at the bar, right on the paradise beach. The distance is basically imperceptible.
Technology not only facilitates entertainment - it is thanks to it that many businesses have developed around the world and new ones are constantly being created. It is she who allows us to cooperate with people on the other side of the world, overcoming the barrier of distance. The same technology allowed us to go ahead and take our work with us.
Why do we need to try remote work?
Remote work has a number of advantages, and the freedom to choose the place and time of work are the ones that distinguish it most from work in the office. Being remotely is a great freedom of action and protection against falling into the daily routine of "nine to five job". Lack of attachment to time and place is the most important thing you can get when you want to explore the world. But why take work with you on a trip? There are several reasons - from ideological to purely financial.
First of all, if your current job is your passion, you don't have to give it up for a longer journey. You can continue to do what you like and do not fall out of the industry circulation. Additionally, if you want to see more of the world with traditional work and a few trips a year, the number of available vacation days will quickly approach zero.
Frequent departures are also a greater cost surcharge for transport. This is especially noticeable on long journeys, where airline tickets can eat up a large part of the budget. Living on the road, an expensive, long-hour route is traveled once, and then locally moved for much lower amounts.
How to organize remote work
There is no list of positions where you can work remotely. Some work at a distance is better, others are worse. However, don't be discouraged if your industry doesn't look “remote friendly” - even the greatest traditionalists have been able to yield to the pressure of social changes triggered by technological progress.
How to start your adventure with remote work. Today, focusing mainly on working on the go, we will only tell you about my beginnings.
As was our case
A HR/recruiter is a profession that fits perfectly with the definition of remote work, so it was so much easier. Real tryouts for long-term remote work began this year. It was the first time that we decided to combine the trip with company duties. In this way, we spent a few days in another country, getting up every day at 6 am and working until it gets bright and warm. It was not, of course, the first contact with remote work. At BrainyHR, a company with which I have been cooperating for several years, I have always been the one who spent the most time remotely. What to advise, working in the same place every day is not for me. All the habits worked out earlier pay off today, when we travel the next kilometers with work by our side.
To start, try a week-long trip and see if you will be able to work with the awareness that the world outside your window is just waiting to be discovered.
Combining work and travel
Everything sounds good so far, right? The sun, the beach, the laptop and that fresh drink in your hand. The reality, however, is a bit different. Without organizing your work and being open to compromises, it may quickly turn out that the effectiveness has stayed in the country and the patience of the employer (or client) will start to run out. There are a few things that you should take care of at the very beginning and develop good habits.
Organization of time
Self-discipline is the key to working remotely. Here, no one is looking at your monitor, no one will notice that you spend too much time on Facebook. You have to ensure your own motivation to act. If you allow yourself to be neglected, sooner or later it will turn against you. The rule is simple - work has to be done.
My way of organizing my work is very simple. I try to plan the tasks for the day in advance, just before the end of work. This allows me to act immediately in the morning, when my mind is fresh, instead of planning my day. I also focus on decomposing more complex tasks (breaking them down into smaller ones). Decomposing tasks is also fun outside of work - when you have something big to do, break it down into smaller pieces and complete them one by one, instead of figuring out how to bite the whole thing.
One of the biggest challenges of working from anywhere in the world is undoubtedly cooperation with the team. By being a freelancer, you are your own helm, sailor and ship. And if you do not take care of a good contract, then seasickness as well. Working alone, however, narrows the available orders to less complex ones.
Working in a team requires constant communication. While a traditional communicator is perfectly sufficient when working in a shared office, face-to-screen-to-face conversations, i.e. video calls, are also useful.
You can use video calls primarily for daily work summaries (the so-called stand-up) and regular, but not daily, work planning and valuations of new extensions in the system. Establishing fixed hours for stand-up and other meetings made it much easier, because it is easier for me to plan my time in advance. Nevertheless, "everyday" sounds like an inconvenience because it requires you to be available at the same time every day. A phone with mobile internet + headphones solves this problem. You just have to remember to always have them with you and the system works pretty well. I have already made video calls from a restaurant, airport, park or beach - my background during the conversations probably does not surprise anyone anymore.
Working out optimal working hours
Each of us is most effective at different times of the day. For me, early morning and late afternoon were usually the best times. During the journey, these rules changed, because the daily cycle and the climate also changed.
I started work early in the morning (well before sunrise) and finished around noon, when it was warm enough outside. We spent the rest of the time out of the house until the evening, and after returning it was time to finish the work.