Remote Work on Tour: Part 1 — Setting Off on a Journey of (Self) Discovery

Working in the office is so 2001! Alternative workplaces are rising fast and new creative options for both employees and freelancers add compelling depth, dimension and benefits. Join a multi-month exploration of one employee on his own personal and professional adventure as he travel-works his way through Africa and Europe with a diverse group.

What’s Up With Remote?

Why the explosion of out-of-office solutions? Society’s evolution has been a key driver of more flexible work solutions, while technology developments have enabled efficient interconnectedness and unprecedented mobility. The result is increasing numbers of people choosing off-site locations out of necessity, convenience, or to increase their productivity.

In parallel, businesses’ have greater urgency to respond to accelerated market developments and are increasingly looking to identify and utilize relevant skills wherever the talent is. Employers are supporting new choices that encourage personal development, that add value through the varied experiences of their decentralized workforce.

Do You Work Anywhere?

Whatever your own workforce role is right now — employee or independent contractor — has working from a non-office location already been incorporated into your evolving work habits? Not yet? Are you or your team members investigating new options for your weekly routines? Have you considered all the remote working alternatives now available?

New innovative flexible working options launch a whole new genre of multi-location working possibilities that add intriguing new dimensions. Remote Year is one — which now regularly sends off a group of previously unconnected individuals off around the world to work remotely together for 4 or 12 months. They believe that people are most creative and productive when they are inspired by their surroundings.

Bitten By The Bug

Having myself benefitted enormously from living and working in multiple countries over a couple of decades, I have been very intrigued by these offerings and the impact on participants. Mid-December, I was therefore excited to be introduced to Naum Kaluzhny who was about to leave for the start of a 4-month Remote Year program.

Kaluzhny is an employee at Fuze, a pioneering unified communications platform provider. He loves to travel! Over the last few years, he has very purposefully combined his work with travel around the US and further afield whenever possible. When Remote Year introduced the shorter, 4-month program, he pitched his boss and Fuze’s Chief People Officer, who was actually familiar with Remote Year already. They were quick to green-light his request, support his passion, and allow him to broaden his remote working horizons much further.

What Floats Your Remote Boat?

I first connected with Kaluzhny just as he was about to leave for his first month on tour — working from Cape Town, South Africa. He told me how badly he had been bitten by the travel bug which had catalyzed him to seek out more experiential remote working. He also shared his expectations for this work adventure some of which surprised me.

Kaluzhny is certainly interested in the travel dimension of the program. However, he was also very much looking forward to the opportunity to spend significant time getting to know a diverse group coming from different careers, companies, and backgrounds. He was waiting to see what he might learn from these other working travelers, finding out about their experiences and skills to gain new insights and possibly new skills himself. He wondered if he would be inspired and that might influence his career direction or work focus.

Travel helps Kaluzhny feel more creative, so he was anticipating feeling energized and perhaps start rapping, or writing poetry and songs again which he had done little of over the last few years. He felt the volunteering opportunities that would be part of the offered activities could have a positive impact. He outlined the fantastic 4-month itinerary — Cape Town, Marrakech, Valencia, and finally Lisbon — with a month in each place.

Kaluzhny was certainly ready to leave! However, I understood clearly that his destinations weren’t actually on any map. This time his travel would emphasize an internal journey, stimulated by a new community of people and bold new surroundings. What a fantastic array of experiences awaited him!

Part 2: Next week from Cape Town.