6 Tips to Combine Remote Work and Travel

{unsplash.com — by Olu Eletu}

Remote work has quickly become a buzzword and even an overused one. One of the most emphasised perks of this work model is that it gives you the ability to travel as you continue working. It’s open to discussion whether this is the best benefit attached to it, but it is found to be the most attractive nevertheless.

Personally, I was drawn in because I had to escape from my dreadful commutes and the big city stress, but I felt the epiphany when I realised I could travel. AS MUCH AS I WANTED. As long as I could establish the conditions that enabled me to work wherever I am, I could travel. And I know that everyone’s description of freedom is different, but mine is directly correlated to the amount of traveling in my life. The more my mobility increases, the more happier I am. True story. The freedom of being able to leave my current environment and be in a different surrounding, culture and climate has a magical effect on me.

So, whether you’ve recently started to work remotely or you are exploring if this model is in line with your preferences, keep in mind that your priority is to keep your work life and productivity level stable, no matter where you go. I’ve learnt a lot of lessons over the past year during which I’ve travelled to Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and many cities within Turkey.

Here are 6 quintessential tips to help you find the balance between working remotely and travelling.

Have a plan for your internet connection

This is a no-brainer, but I repeat: make sure you are able to find stable internet connection. The internet infrastructure is not at the same advancement level, and it won’t help to assume you can get the same speed or connectivity everywhere around the globe. Take into account the speed you need to get your job done. If you just need to connect to your emails once a day, that’s a different situation than having multiple video conferences and content uploading. Make sure to do your homework from multiple sources about internet connection and know where you can get the best service. Relying on coffeeshops might not cut it. I personally didn’t take into account that Bali was an island(!) and that I shouldn’t have taken the connection stability granted before I moved there! Every time there was a tropical rain shower (and it poured every day for half of the day), the internet connection would start breaking up.

Know your best performing work hours

Some people work best between the standard 9–5, some people are night owls and simply cannot focus during the day. Or some prefer working non-stop for longer sessions, while some find productivity methods like the Pomodoro technique that suggest to take breaks 25 minutes to be more efficient. Well, good news! You’re going to love working remotely for the flexibility it gives you in this sense. Choose whichever method works best for you, but make sure to choose one and really know when and how you perform your best. Also, it is commonly suggested to establish daily routines to keep a mental and physical clock for your body and mind. After you figure out your most productive hours, then work around a routine to boost your performance.

Music — make a playlist

If you work better in pure silence, skip this one. Otherwise, if you’re like the many who are more focused and creative with a background music, I suggest you create or find some playlists and have them handy when you’re working. Studies show that music boosts performance and efficiency through improving our mood and I certainly fit into this group. However, shuffling through songs and trying to find those that are not distracting our attention takes time. Instead, try to make a playlist that really gets your creative juices flowing or a more easier option is to follow some great pre-made playlists on tools such as Spotify. ‘Your Favorite Coffeehouse’ is one of the most followed ones with 2.5+ million people!

Socialize

Honestly, the biggest downside of remote work for me is the limited socialising aspect. As a person who has worked in very large companies with hundreds and thousands of people, I was very used to the feeling of belonging to a group. Daily conversations over coffee and lunch, or the afterwork activities were a big piece of my daily life. As much as I enjoyed working individually, I liked to be surrounded by people. When you transition into the remote work model and from the comfort of your home, you might soon find that you don’t go out as much or socialise with big groups of people. Make sure to find time to interact with friends, join new networks and find people that share similar interests and challenges with you.

Note the time differences

As soon as you start travelling, you need to be mindful of the time zones of the people you work with and make sure this doesn’t effect your work output. The big time difference between Asia and North America can cause a lost work day if you’re not aligned and arrange your deliveries ahead of time. It’s also important to note this because you might need to shift your work hours to the morning or later evening if you need to have overlapping times with your colleagues. Soon after I started working for Wings4U, a global and virtual B2B digital marketing agency, I got into the habit of checking the time of wherever my colleague was located. :)

Be flexible and transparent

If you know you will be travelling or if you have something coming up, it’s really helpful to be upfront and inform your colleagues about it. Letting them know that you’re changing time zones or that you won’t be able to connect via calls or access internet for a few days, will help them. It will be important to establish trust between you and show that you are in fact taking responsibility. Well, no one wants to work with people who just disappear from the face of earth for unknown periods of time! :)

What other tips would you suggest or follow by?
I’d love to read your notes in the comments and hope you find this piece helpful. If you do, please share! ❤️