Working Remotely While Traveling

The advantages of working remotely have been well documented, with many Americans already enjoying the privilege of working at least partly from home.

These benefits can increase even more when combined with the psychological effects of traveling. Choosing to travel to new places, meeting new people and coming into contact with a variety of experiences and challenges can allow you to develop both personally and professionally.

Technological advances in wireless technology and the ease with which you can access the internet from most locations mean working while traveling is easier now than ever before. This is an increasingly popular lifestyle, with many international organizations offering support to those who wish to pursue it. You may be even able to travel as part of a group or join a shared workspace with other remote workers. While this lifestyle is not without its challenges, the rewards for both you and your work can be substantial.

Flexibility and Freedom

The central benefits of working remotely while traveling are freedom and adaptability in your work and lifestyle. A remote job allows you to work when you are most productive, for example, giving those who have unusual work schedule preferences to thrive by working at night, early in the morning or in short bursts. Traveling at the same time means you will also have the advantages of using your free time to explore a new area, country or culture.

The advantages of travel have also been widely discussed, despite the habit many workers in the U.S. have of working even during their vacation days. Travel serves to break your everyday routine, allowing you to face new experiences and challenges. This can have excellent effects on your mental health, as well as giving you greater focus and enthusiasm for your work. By working while you travel, you will not need to wait until you return home for these benefits to take effect.

Technological Improvements

The ability to work while traveling has become accessible only quite recently, as in the past it would have been too difficult to manage most jobs long-distance. With the technology available to you, however, this lifestyle can be surprisingly easy to maintain. High-speed wireless internet is now available at almost any destination, allowing you to keep in contact with your employers or clients.

It is important to remember the crucial role your technology will play in your ability to work, however, and plan accordingly. Part of planning every journey will be establishing how you will be able to obtain reliable internet access, as well as having a way to charge your electronics. Depending on the nature of your job, you may not need a laptop or phone with you at all times in order to work, but you will need at least some guaranteed access.

Increasing Your Professional Skills

Working remotely will always be a challenge to your professional commitment and skills. The challenge may be even greater when combined with the temptation to spend your travel time as a vacation. However, many people who work while traveling do manage to keep themselves disciplined enough to balance work with recreation. If you are able to maintain this balance, you may actually be growing your professional abilities.

The skills most relied on in remote working are communication, time management, self-discipline and problem solving, all of which can be built on through practice. You will have to maintain a professional network from a remote position, relying on effective interpersonal and communication skills, while also keeping up with your workload. You may also learn more about the technological aspects of your work, as you will be in charge of maintaining your own equipment. In addition to these practical aspects of your work, you may also learn intercultural communications skills. Building your abilities in this way can only benefit your career.

Finding Support

One of the major obstacles to a lifestyle of working and traveling at the same time is the lack of a support structure. While many people work remotely from home, working overseas means you will not have the same level of accountability to those around you when it comes to maintaining your work schedule. For some more than others, a lack of close friends or colleagues nearby can also be an issue.

Due to the recent increasing popularity of working while traveling, however, there are numerous ways you can find support in the countries you visit. You may be able to connect with a shared workspace for example, booking a place even before you leave for your trip. There are also numerous services that organize groups of traveling remote workers for community and mutual support. For either a flat fee or monthly subscription, you can be provided with accommodation, Wi-Fi, and local connections, as well as a group of fellow travellers for social connection and activities. You may even be able to find a service that includes the cost of travel within the fee.

Practical Tips

Even if you choose to travel with a group, the practical aspects of working in a different country can seem intimidating. However, many of the challenges you may face often have simple solutions:

  • An unlocked cell phone and an international SIM card will allow you to keep in contact with your friends and family at all times, removing the need to buy a new cell phone or SIM card at every destination.
  • Time differences between you and your employers or clients should always be taken into account. You may need to change a deadline or reschedule a call to fit their working hours.
  • Make network connections before you leave. These can be connections for accommodation, or for work groups you might join. If you are planning to search for jobs while you travel, plan your search beforehand, possibly scheduling meetings and interviews in advance.
  • An international credit card with minimal to no fees can help you keep your business expenses down.
  • International outlet adaptors should be purchased before you reach your destination, as you may be able to find a better deal or more reliable product shopping from home.

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