As a coworking space in Wellington - a major travel and lifestyle centre - we see many remote workers come through our doors. It can be an incredible way to work. Advancements in technology now enable countless jobs to be done remotely, which means that you can save explore the world, or even your own backyard - or eliminate travel and commutes altogether! All while getting productive work done.
The great thing is that we now have the infrastructure to support it - you’d be hard pressed to find a developed city or town now without a coworking option of some kind. So if you’re just passing through a place, a serious globetrotter, or you want to live somewhere different while you work, or you want to live somewhere that's not in the same place as HQ, remote work could be a fantastic option for you.
Here's 7 hot hacks to help you make the most of your remote work life.
#7 Figure Out Your Style
Do you have a job you’d like to keep, but figure that it could be done remotely? Talk to your boss! Some business owners are perfectly open to having their employees work remotely, so long as they keep up communication. If they don’t currently have anyone working in this style, you can ask them what their reservations are, troubleshoot them together, or see if you can be the test subject.
If it works well, they might decide to implement it on a larger scale, and save office costs.
Alternatively, perhaps you already work from home, or have your own gig. Can you take it on the road? If so, what’s stopping you? Any job that only needs an internet connection can be done from anywhere that… has an internet connection.
#6 Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Since you can’t just call out to your coworker (or client) across the room, it will be up to you to ensure that communication is regular and everyone knows what you’re up to and what to expect.
If you’re on the other side of the world, you might have some issues with time zones. This can also be an advantage, though - you can get things done while your coworkers are sleeping.
Pick a video conferencing app, and a workflow management app as well, and keep it up to date so that your colleagues can see where you’re up to, and to minimise back and forth.
#5 Find a Good Workspace
If you have your own airbnb, you might be okay to just work from there. But if you’re a hostel-type, or squashed into a tiny hotel room, you may need to look elsewhere to find a spot to work.
As mentioned earlier, a coworking space is a great option - you’ll have everything you need, and you’ll be surrounded by other people who are working - just like a real office!
All you’ll need to bring is whatever you’re working on, and yourself. Most coworking spaces can also have local knowledge about things like parking or public transport.
#4 Manage Your Time
One of the trickier things to get a handle on as a remote worker is time management. If you’re travelling, there will be loads of options for things to fill your time, but just keep in mind that the work you’re doing is ultimately what’s enabling you to be there in the first place!
Make yourself a schedule - it’s usually best to make your work time the same as the people in the place you are living - 9 to 5, local time. Of course, you’re going to stray from this from time to time, as opportunities arise, but the key is planning. If you take a day trip, make sure to factor in those hours somewhere else.
If you’re working for someone in a different time zone to you, keeping a regular schedule will also help them to know where you’re at, and when you’re available. If it changes, let them know - they’ll definitely appreciate it.
#3 When You Log Off, Actually Log Off
One of the best things about remote work is that you really can do it at any time, but the pitfall with different time zones is that coworkers back home may think you're always available. Thing is, they will be working during your offtime.
Here’s how to avoid the appearance of being “always available”: As mentioned, let everyone know when you’re available in their time zone. Then, make sure they have a way to contact you if it’s urgent, but otherwise switch off your work notifications (including emails) during your offtime.
If you’re in an industry where people are constantly emailing or assigning each other tasks, it can be really easy to feel like you’re working all the time. So, just switch it off, get on with your downtime, and look at it when you log on again.
#2 Sort Out Your Tech
Generally speaking, most remote jobs can be done with a Wi-Fi connection, but that will probably be the first thing you check off the list when you arrive in your new location, so we’ll assume that’s a given. What else is going to help you get the job done?
Noise cancelling headphones are an extremely sound investment for a remote worker. You might find yourself in a situation where you need to get something done, and access to Wi-Fi, but in an environment not exactly conducive to work - like an airport, a bus station, or a hostel. Pop your headphones on, and it’s like nobody else is there.
Just make sure to set the appropriate alarms if you need to be somewhere at a certain time.
Pick a good video conferencing tool so that you can maintain communication with the people you need to. With good video conferencing, distance simply doesn’t matter. We recommend Zoom video conferencing.
If you’re not there in person, you’ll need an easy way to show coworkers or clients what you’ve been up to. If writing a massive email at the end of the day to advise everyone what you’ve done doesn’t float your boat, you could consider a task manager like Trello, Monday, or Asana. Or do a 2-minute loom video
#1 Finally: Enjoy the Lifestyle
We’re lucky to have the option of remote work, so make sure you make the most of it! Get exploring, meet people, and stay social.