With the world literally at our fingertips, so many of us dream about just packing up and going. Recent studies from JOB TODAY– the UK’s largest job app for casual jobs, have shown that the average Brit is turning its back on the traditional 9-5 and opting for more flexible roles to focus on their passions such as travelling, and with these simple tried and tested tips that mean you can work anywhere and everywhere… what are you waiting for? Working remotely has never been so easy.
GET IN THE [TIME] ZONE.
If you are planning on travelling abroad make sure to brief clients and colleagues about the difference in time zones before you head off.
Update your shared calendars on Google or Outlook to reflect the difference or use scheduling tools such as World Time Buddy or TimeZone.Me when it comes to organising upcoming meetings. There’s nothing worse than having to wake up at 2 am to be included in their 9 am meeting because someone ‘forgot’ you were travelling.
Work out when you work best, taking into account when your clients and colleagues will be in their working day and use this to create your ‘day-to-day’ plan. Do you work better in the mornings and want to get everything done and dusted and in their inbox before they wake up? Or do you prefer to work in the evenings when they can send everything across to you from their morning meetings?
PACK IT IN.
If possible, travel with a really light laptop. Katie Brockhurst, a social media consultant for Mind Body Spirit who regularly splits her time between Asia and the UK suggests, who packed in her heavy MacBook Pro for the super light version in order to stop it weighing down her hand luggage after it proved difficult to carry while out and about.
Make sure to always pack the essentials with you. Think extra cables, adaptors and headphones to block out noise so you can concentrate on trains, planes and busy coffee shops. And always carry a power pack with you if you are unfamiliar with where you will be working.
Keep pens and paper to hand in case your laptop or phone dies while you are in the creative flow or the WiFi packs out during a meeting.
STICK TO THAT ROUTINE.
Always create and stick to a routine, award-winning travel blogger Tom [spaghettitraveller.com] comments. This allows you to stay on top of tasks, avoid missing a deadline or allow them to pile up. Try and factor in a decent workspace to your routine, even if that is just a coffee shop – just don’t work from your bed.
Find what works for you. Trial different routines until you find one that allows you to enjoy the benefits that come from working remotely. Don’t pass up opportunities to explore the area and have fun, but also remember you still have a job to do. Having a clear routine in place allows you to factor in times for both.
A routine not only allows you to stay on top of things but also allows your clients or colleagues the chance too as well. If they know your working schedule they know when to contact you or expect a reply by. Having a clear and communicative schedule with your peers means they don’t have to be constantly chasing you and you don’t have to get annoyed as you are sipping your sangria.
EXPLORE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Travelling is a great way to increase your knowledge and skills, whether it’s learning the local language, diving into a country’s culture or trying something completely out of your comfort zone. You didn’t travel half way across the world to not grow and learn.
Explore the local area and immerse yourself into their world. You never know who you are going to meet that could benefit you in a personal or professional manner.
Trying new things and taking in different sights and smells gets the creative juices flowing which can in turn help increase your motivation and creativity in your work. So, scheduling in time to go and explore can actually be ticked off as an extra-curriculum work activity!
It’s not only thinking about where you are heading you have to worry about. Think about what you are leaving behind too. If you are going to be working away for some time, make sure you have all your finances tied up at home. Overlooking regular payments that need to be made at home while you are way could cause the services you need – or even your bank account – getting locked. Erica Wolfe-Murray author of Simple Tips, Smart Ideas: Build a Bigger, Better Business, out now on Amazon.
She also mentions thinking about insurance and security well before you travel for both personal and professional. Check what your insurance covers in terms of health, personal belongings and professional equipment. And make sure to keep a physical note of how to contact your insurer if your phone/laptop has been stolen.
Get a local sim card or at the airport when you land or take an internet dongle with you. Even though WiFi is available in the majority of stores and establishments they can sometimes come with a hefty fee or a low-speed service. Being prepared means you will be able to use your phone to work or hotspot from or connect to the internet on your laptop no matter the situation.
Plan ahead and put the feelers out there with your online contacts before you travel, is another great tip from author Erica Wolfe-Murray who swears by this tip. See who is currently in the area or planning to be when you are there. You may even be surprised what great links your friends/followers/clients have which they are happy to share with you before you go.
Make plans for ‘after work’ – join local classes to make friends, try local restaurants and get involved with the local community. Not only does this give you a reason to get out and explore the area, but also gives you a network of locals you can call on for recommendations and advice.
Join a co-working space to give yourself a local base and some security while you are finding your feet. Speak to your ‘co-workers’ who are more than likely in the same digital nomad or creative industry situation you are in. This helps to not only provide a sense of community but also space where you can share tips, professional skills and even social opportunities.