Being stuck at home while witnessing the global healthcare system collapse during a highly unprecedented pandemic, is definitely not fun. As inhabitants of this planet, we were dragged into an endless loop of vaccination, lockdowns and Zoom calls! This was supposed to be an easy thing to do since we’re basically working from the comforts of our home, which would eventually provide us with some form of security.
However, no matter how comfortable working from home is, the thrill and desire of working in a new environment would always supersede the prospects of solace within the 4 walls of your own home. Albeit the fact that the world is slowly opening up, and international travel restrictions are slowly opening up due to the rapid global vaccination rate, there’s still your 9 to 5 job getting in the way of your unfulfilled dreams of travelling.
Well, what if there’s a solution to this? You could actually have a full-time remote career while travelling to any of your dream locations. While it might sound like a dream come true, it might be a daunting task to uproot yourself to another country, with all your work equipment in tow. Fret not, because here are 5 tips to kick start your remote working career from abroad!
1) Pay Attention to the Entire Process of Planning Your Trip
While the prospects of travelling abroad while working remotely might be a fun, exciting and probably, a new thing to do, there might be unforeseeable issues that you, as a freelancer or remote employee might come across. However, with some good and realistic planning, these issues could be tackled with ease.
One of the most important aspects to look out for when planning to travel while working remotely would of course be, the location of your destination. The three most important factors when choosing a destination would be cost, language and safety. Unless you’ve been living in a bubble, now would be a good time to read the news on the current happenings in the country that you’ve intended to work from. Do keep in mind that when it comes to the context of safety, crime rates are a vital component too.
The next step would be to calculate the total cost of shifting from your home country to the country that you’ve picked. It might be important to note that it would be cheaper to move to countries such as Thailand, Mexico and Vietnam in comparison to countries like the United Kingdom, Singapore and Japan. It would also be useful to note the main language spoken in the country that you’ve chosen. You wouldn’t want to add the inability to order a cup of coffee in the country’s native language, to add on to the stress of working in a new environment, would you?
2) Pack Appropriately for Work & Travel
While it might be tempting to load your luggage with cute outfits, do keep in mind that the purpose of this getaway is to work in a new country so, it’s time to pack appropriately with work-related things too. Ensure that your work devices are fully functional as the cost to repair them in case of any unprecedented issues, in the country of your choice might be relatively high.
On the technological side, a few important things to bring along, that might aid in your freelancing or remote working journey would be your laptop, wireless mouse, noise-cancelling headphones, laptop stand, wireless keyboard and pen-drives.
Coming to the conversation of attire, apart from the cute outfits that you’ve picked out to take photos to upload on Instagram or Facebook, packing up professional attire such as the usual outfits you’d wear to the office would be helpful when attending Zoom meetings, where you’d most probably be asked to turn on your video camera.
Medications are a huge priority when it comes to travelling while working remotely as adapting to a new environment might take a toll on your physical health. Hot climates could cause headaches and dizziness while cold climates might make you susceptible to coughing or to contract the flu.
3) Pay Attention to the Time Zones
While working from a foreign country might even look adventurous since you could unleash your inner Dora The Explorer, by micromanaging your travel needs while working remotely, sometimes, the transition to a different time zone would not work in your favour. The undesirable after-effect of jet lag would drastically affect your productivity due to the dramatic shift in your exposure to light and misalignment of your body’s sense of day and night. A sudden shift in time zones would disrupt your circadian rhythms especially, if you’ve chosen a destination that is too far away from home.
If you’re a beginner in travelling while working remotely, try to avoid choosing a country that takes more than 4 hours to reach. Instead, opt for neighbouring countries. However, if you could handle the jet lag that comes as an after-effect of long air travelling hours, go ahead, and have fun! It would be best to inform your clients or your employers of your decision to travel and hopefully, they’ll be accommodating enough to understand the high chances of you suffering from jet leg.
When it comes to working, post-recovery from the jet lag, please ensure that the clock on your devices have been set to the time zone of the specific country that you’ve chosen. This would ensure that you wouldn’t miss out on work-related deadlines as a freelancer or remote employee. It might take some time to acclimatize yourself to the entire situation but, you’ll get the hang of it, soon enough!
4) Join A Co-Working Space
Now, when one pictures the concept of travelling while working remotely, it would be tempting to sit in a cafe and work while sipping a cup of coffee, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the new country but, your productivity rate might be impacted to a great extent. Minimal work could be completed when one’s productivity rate is compromised so, you’ll end up accumulating ton of work by the end of the week and you wouldn’t even get to spend time travelling.
That, literally beats the purpose of travelling while working remotely. Sitting in a cafe is just full of distractions especially, when you need to attend numerous Zoom meetings and working from your accommodation might just make you lazier.
Perhaps, you could find a co-working space with a good WiFi connection, nearby your accommodation and immerse yourself in a situation with minimal to zero distractions. You’ll even be surrounded by individuals who are embracing the remote-working experience too. This way, you could make new friends and those friends, could probably be your travel buddies for your next destination!
5) Don’t Travel Too Fast
Well, once you’ve experienced your first work while travelling experience, it might be absolutely tempting to immediately uproot yourself to another country. Well, hold your horses! The transition from your home country to another country is indeed difficult, let alone to another country. Your body would have to reset itself to the other country’s time zone and get accustomed to the climate, temperature and food among many other things.
Once you’re done travelling while working remotely, the best thing to do is to return to your home country and unwind. Probably, after a few months, only if you’re in the right headspace, try planning another trip to perhaps, a country that has longer flight hours to reach it. Try pushing your boundaries for your subsequent travels. This way, you could challenge yourself and your mental resilience.
In a nutshell, travelling while working remotely might seem impossible at first due to personal and work-related commitments but if one puts their mind and soul into it, it could become a reality. With a proper understanding of the concept of travelling while working remotely, freelancers and remote employees would no longer have to go through a boring schedule of staying cooped up within the four walls of their respective homes and they could start embracing the new normal of working from any part of the world, provided that they have their trusted devices and a good WiFi connection.