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.
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 – checkout 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 Anal
Whereas being anal about research and planning for a trip to the enth 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 anal in this way, it will save you time in the long-run – one day it might even save your life.
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, 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.