Tips For An Easier Life As A Remote Worker

We all know the benefits of working remotely – freedom to choose your living location, choose your own schedule, meet lots of new people, experience new cultures – the list goes on.


A remote worker enjoying the sun


Of course, nothing great comes without some sort of compromise, and working remotely is no different. There are plenty of niggles to work around, many of which crop up unexpectedly along the way.


To help you iron out those creases and have an easier life working from, well, wherever you want start by checking out these 8 tips:


1.  Invest In Self Storage

Affordable self storage is an ideal way to help you keep your belongings safe and secure whilst you travel as a remote worker. Whereas it can be useful to keep items with friends and family, storing your belongings in that way comes with its own risks. Are those items safe from weather damage, human damage and theft? Do you have to split items amongst multiple houses therefore adding even more risk to the situation?

The fact is, whilst it is kind that anybody allows you to keep your things at their house whilst you travel, what they offer will never be as convenient and secure as a local self storage unit. Self storage facilities are specialists at keeping your belongings safe, and having a place like that to use between sections of time remote working is invaluable.

2.  Be Proud Of Being A Perfectionist

Whereas being a perfectionist about research and planning for a trip to the nth degree can be seen as unnecessary by some, as a remote worker, it is actually a great thing. Having backups for plans falling through, awareness of important facilities like hospitals, knowing what to do in an emergency in your current host country – these are all great things to know when you work remotely. Don’t be afraid of being a perfectionist, it will save you time in the long-run.

3.  Internet Backups, Internet Backups, Internet Backups

As a remote worker the chances are you rely on the internet a lot. For that reason you should always have an internet backup. Whether that is data you can use temporarily on your device, some sort of portable device you plug in, or even an awareness of a local cafe with WIFI – there should always be a backup to ensure you can get your work done.

4. Have A Packing Routine

Remote workers are often seasoned travellers, and with that comes the need to be efficient at packing and unpacking so it doesn’t end up being stressful or taking up loads of time. The best way to do this is with practice. Have a main backpack, and have every compartment dedicated to certain things – you could even have a diagram you can follow whenever you need to. Part of this process should also be a list of places to check so that you don’t leave anything behind – an extra stress you just don’t have time to deal with.

5. Keep It Lightweight

It can be very inviting to buy lots of items on your travels – so many new things to purchase, items that might also be a bargain price. However, this only gives you more items to lug around, or that you have to waste and throw away as you travel to a new country. Instead, try to minimise how many items you buy, and give anything you don’t want before you leave so you’re always only carrying around what fits in your main backpack. Trust us – your back will thank you.

6. Stay Secure

Unfortunately there are many different types of scams and criminal activities that could cause huge issues for you as a remote worker. Theft of essentials like a passport or other identification documents could be hugely problematic and cause delays. Even worse is cyber crime, which could be highly complex to fix in another country where you don’t know the law or the language.

The average cost of a data breach globally is over $3 million dollars, and whilst that is unlikely to be the cost for you, it will still potentially cost you clients and your livelihood, so it’s not something to dismiss. Invest in physical security gear like zip locks, non-slashable backpacks and Air Tags. Pay more attention to security codes and if you can, use online security software so that as much as possible is protected.

You may not think you need to be cyber-security savvy as a remote worker, but it’s actually an essential way to make your life easier and safer as a remote worker.

7. Utilise Apps

Whether you are working remotely from home, or you’re on your travels, you will need to communicate with your team members, clients and your own employees regularly. This can be challenging when you’re all in different time zones and working to a different schedule. Utilising apps like Slack, Trello and Zoom will make your life so much easier, boosting your chance of successful remote teamwork.

Additionally, it can be really useful to agree how regularly you’ll be in contact with your colleagues so that everybody has their expectations managed. Doing this nice and early saves you time in the long run because you won’t have to sort out communication mix-ups down the line, or worse deal with an annoyed client who thought they would be hearing from you more often.

8. Always Have Wiggle Room To Make Hay

The saying goes ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’ – which means to enjoy yourself whilst you can. As a remote worker, you literally have a monopoly on your time. So if you love surfing and the surfing forecast is great this week, you can reorganise your schedule and enjoy those sets.

If you create a rigid schedule though, you leave no wiggle room to do those things. By spacing your work out accordingly, managing client expectations and communicating on your terms all whilst being aware of all your deadlines, you can effectively prioritise your haymaking 95% of the time.

Being a remote worker is a great thing, data shows that 83% of workers prefer a remote or hybrid work model. But there are ways to make it pay-off even more for you. Try our 8 tips above, and get the most of your lifestyle, for better wellbeing and career prospects long-term.


More Great Advice For Remote Workers


There are so many great tips for remote workers that we thought we’d give you even more… You can’t have too much of a good thing!


Ways To Make A Success of Parenting And Remote Work

Find out about handy and helpful ways to keep your remote work situation and parenting responsibilities balanced well.

Man working from home

An increase in the popularity of working from home, and the Covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of parents have resorted to remote work, at least some of the time, over the last 12 months. Some 13% of parents want things to go back to ‘pre-pandemic times’ when it comes to work, but many others have come to like, at least some aspects, of remote work whilst being a parent.

It offers all kinds of flexibility, extra time at home and you get rid of that killer commute – so, what’s not to love when you’re also raising a family. It’s the kind of extra family time and fluid way of working many people have dreamt of for a long time.

Of course, remote work and managing a family does come with its challenges and those challenges do need to be overcome in order for long-term WFH arrangements to work. This is especially true if working from home does seem to be a long-term arrangement for you for at least one day a week.

To help you, we have some helpful tips to overcome the challenges of working from home and parenting at the same time:

1.  Be Even More Flexible

As a parent you already have to be flexible and work around your child’s needs. Now you work from home too, you have to be even more flexible working around both your job and your child’s needs/ routine. There will be no specific system to suit every family, which is why creating something that works for your family and staying open to change will stand you in good stead.

It’s particularly helpful when your employer is on board as that will give you the most leeway to switch things up as and when you need to. Essentially, you have to be willing to schedule and work in all different ways to get into the right rhythm and routine for your family, but the result is a daily way of being that works for your family, so it’s worth taking away any rigidness and being open to all kinds of possibilities.

2.  Get Yourself A Working Space

A space to work is so important when you work from home. It only has to be the corner of a room if you are short on space, or you have younger children you need to watch whilst you work. Ideally though, a home office would be great. It gives you the setup you need to do your job well, and a place to leave behind when you want to leave work behind for a bit.

As above, it makes sense to be flexible with this. A home office is a great idea for times when your partner is caring for the kids, or they are otherwise cared for by friends or they are at nursery etc. Having a laptop and comfortable ‘moveable’ setup then means when they are home you can setup near them, ensuring they are safe and entertained whilst you continue to get your work done.

If you find you want to create more space in your home quickly, affordable self storage can be handy. Budget self storage, especially flexible self storage, gives you the ability to quickly store spare furniture and create the working area you need at home. It’s also handy when you have little ones for storing toys you want to keep for future children, and for making extra playing room at home by storing seasonal items like camping gear or Christmas decorations.

3.  Be Really Wise With Your Time

When you work and have children at home you need to work smart, not hard. Get the hardest and most important tasks done first, and consider which of those needs your undivided attention AKA the children’s nap time. Then, when you have to watch the children and work, tasks that maybe don’t require you to be on camera or on the phone, or that aren’t particularly attention-seeking will make more sense.

4.  Get Some Space

Time to yourself is even more important now because you may have no time away from your responsibilities if the kids are always at home.

Do take the kids out for a walk in nature for ten minutes. Let your partner have the kids whilst you get some time out. And try and avoid using down time to complete extra work.

If you don’t take timeout and you burn the candles at both ends you could fall prey to burnout, which is bad for the kids and bad for your career – you deserve and need some ‘me time’.

5.  Share

If you are working from home at the same time as your partner, share the responsibilities and work a schedule where you both get to get your work done and spend time with the kids. This could allow you both time to focus on tasks without having your focus stretched, and it enables the kids to get more time with both of you, which is great.

6.  Entertain

There is a lot of shame attached to parenting with toys or electronics designed to ‘keep a child busy’. However, when you are working from home and caring for your kids, these things are essential and there is no shame on leaning on them every now and again. If you know a certain programme or tablet game will keep them happy whilst you take a work call, use that resource. It’s essential to have these tools in your belt when you have certain work tasks that demand your attention. As long as the kids are safe and supervised, it’s OK that they aren’t doing super educational or beneficial tasks all the time.

The tips above can help you get some ideas to help you balance parenting and working from home. It will take some trial and error and sometimes, it will feel impossible to balance both well. However, if you stay flexible and keep a sense of humour, things can work out for the best and you can get into a great rhythm of working and parenting at home without either area of your life having to suffer. The result is better career flexibility and more time with your family, which are really great goals to put the effort into.



How To Create A Remote Working Space When You Don’t Have A Home Office

Are you struggling to find an entire room to convert into a home office for remote working? If you are, this article will help you find alternative solutions.


A home office remote working space


As lovely as the idea of a home office is, it just is not practical or possible for many people. If that is you, don’t worry, there is still a way to create a functional working space that enables you to get your job done.


To help you, here are some ideas for working from home when you don’t have a home office:


The Shed

With a converted roof and renovated insides a shed or summerhouse can work well as a remote office. You can store summer furniture or summer garden tools in your cheap self storage unit instead.

The main barrier will be a lack of electricity, which you could setup if you are willing to make the situation more permanent. Otherwise, utilising external battery charge equipment and remote internet solutions or offline working will be necessary.


Under The Stairs

Can you take the door off the space under the stairs? If you can, it could just be big enough for a desk and a chair. This is perfect for an office space that does not flow into the rest of the home.

A Desk On The Landing

If you have a large enough landing space a desk and a chair could be a good option. Furthermore, a mezzanine would be particularly great as a home office space, especially as mezzanines tend to be very light and airy.

A Kitchen Hub

The kitchen can be a good space to work in, especially if you like to multitask and cook whilst you work. Ideally, you’ll have your own little working corner that isn’t the kitchen table or island. It could even be foldaway so that it takes up no extra space when you’re not working.

A Living Room Desk

The living room can often have all kinds of cubby holes and corners you can scooch a desk into. You could even zone the desk area with a panel or a screen if you want to keep work away from your thoughts when you’re relaxing in front of the TV.

An Outdoor Indoor Space

In the UK the outdoor indoor space tends to be a conservatory or a kitchen with patio doors leading to a patio. However, in Australia and America they do outdoor indoor to a whole new level. Think more, outdoor living rooms and kitchens with complete cover, sinks, elaborate furniture and fun stuff like pizza ovens. If you’re renovating anyway, adding heating, lighting, cover and internet connection to your outdoor indoor space could make it a beautiful office that’s truly integrated with nature.

Cupboard Working

Some people who are super tight on space are putting their winter wardrobes and other items into cheap self storage and instead, converting their closet space into a working space. If you are really clever about the furniture and storage, you can transform a cupboard into a lovely working space.


Where Will You Setup Your Home Workspace?

If you are struggling to convert a full room into an office it could be worth considering all the options above. They may take a little bit of effort to put into place, but the payoff is a dedicated workspace, even if it is compact.



Remote Working From Home? Stop Doing These 5 Things Right Now

If you are a remote worker it is important to stop doing certain things so you can be as productive, and happy as possible.


Lady working from home


Before the pandemic, remote working was becoming the norm for many businesses, with the self employed working this way for many years previous. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, 9 out of 10 businesses have adapted to hybrid working, so working from home is set to stay for a huge amount of us.

Despite your best efforts, the likelihood is that you are probably still getting working from home a little wrong. There are some easy mistakes to make, that you can continue to do without anybody to tell you not to. Until today that is. We’re going to upgrade your working from home situation by telling you to stop doing these 5 things right now:

1. Working From The Bed/ Sofas

Oh, how it is tempting to stay snuggled up in the squashiest locations in your house when you work. The problem with doing this, is, well actually there are many including:

  • Being distracted by other people
  • Being distracted by entertainment temptations, like the TV
  • Getting all kinds of aches from being in a slouched position all day
  • Struggling to separate work/ home life when work stops
  • Lower productivity

It’s time to pop your spare room stuff into cheap self storage and make yourself a dedicated workspace.


2. Trying To Be Too Beautiful With Your Space

It is so easy to fill our work area with items we think make it more beautiful and functional. Several million houseplants dangling in your face, more pens than somebody who never writes notes could ever need, so many inspirational quotes it’s like you have really loud, annoying workmates whenever you read your walls. No wonder you can’t get any work done! Remove those distractions and keep it minimal. As soon as you have stripped it back, you’ll have some physical and mental space reclaimed to apply to your work.


3. Being Lounge Larry

It is a perk that you don’t have to get up and into formal workwear or uniform everyday when you work from home. However, being lounge Larry does not a productive home worker make. It can reduce your ability to separate your work life from your personal life. It can also be a real fright when you get an unexpected video call from a client or your boss.

Try to get your day off to a great start by getting out of your pyjamas or loungewear, and into something a little more suitable. It doesn’t have to be a suit, but it should let your brain know it’s time to work. You can then look forward to your loungewear later, when work is done!


4. Working All Of The Time

It is really tempting to work all hours at home, because you can.

Working all hours doesn’t always mean you are more productive when you do work. There’s a theory that any amount of time we assign to a task, is the time it takes to do that task. If you give yourself four hours, you will fill those four hours with the task. Give yourself an hour, and the same task takes an hour.

Instead of working more hours as a freelancer, try working smarter instead. This helps avoid burnout, and may even boost your productivity. As an employee, stick to a schedule to help manage the expectations of your managers, and to help you maintain work/ life balance.


5. Being Inactive

Being inactive is so easy when you work from home in your comfy clothes, on your comfy furniture and you really don’t need to leave the house. This is a problem because it makes you less likely to move, to be social, to be exposed to nature – all the good stuff you need for mental and physical health.

As hard as it is, you have to force yourself to be more active. A walk around the block at lunch, a wander around the garden in your breaks. Maybe even a run in the park with friends every other morning. Being active, keeps you in great shape for the benefit of your work life and personal life.


It’s Time To Thrive And Level-Up As A Home Worker

If you can change the five bad working from home habits above, you will see a change in your productivity, happiness, health and overall work/ life balance. It might be hard to make a change, but soon enough you’ll wonder how you ever worked differently before.

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