How To Balance Travelling With Working Remotely

Stuart Cooke

The ability to work anywhere you can bring your laptop and locate a secure internet connection is one of the advantages of remote work.

With this capability, remote employees can travel more regularly, and digital nomads can stay as long as they desire in new cities by blending in with the natives. But to work productively the whole time you travel you need a plan.

It can be difficult to work remotely while traveling, regardless of whether you’re taking a bucket list vacation,  an impromptu trip or living the digital nomad life. You will not have the signals of your regular routine and workspace to put you in a productive state of mind. The novelty of a new location and all of its distractions can easily hinder your concentration.

You may be tempted to adopt a laissez-faire approach to your time away. However, if you fail to plan for the nuances of travel and work in advance, you may not be able to enjoy as much sightseeing, exploring, or memory-making as you would like.

Traveling while working remotely is simple if you plan like a boss. Utilize these tried and tested strategies to work remotely while traveling locally or internationally, and you will be able to maximize your work day and your time off.

Create a work / life balance

You have 16 hours per day at your disposal, excluding eight hours for sleep. How you utilize this time depends on how well you organize your schedule. Start logging your work hours now to determine how long it takes you to perform common work-related duties. Toggl and similar platforms track your work hours by client, project, or activity (such as debugging or answering emails). When you know the average duration of specific duties, you’ll have a general idea of how much time you should allocate in your schedule to complete them. 

Check the operating hours of all locations, attractions, etc. that you wish to visit. It is helpful to create a spreadsheet with all of the open hours during the week for popular destinations such as museums, amusement parks, aquariums, etc. Determine the average amount of time individuals spend there as well as the busiest days and times.

Create a calendar or planner for the week. Now that you know what is on your to-do list and the average duration of your duties, it is time to pull it all together. First, determine which days and times you will be “off-duty”, then divide your work assignments into blocks and fit these in around your travel itinerary. Stick all of your tasks to post-it notes and rearrange them on your calendar or planner to experiment with a travel itinerary and work schedule.

Find Your Space

Even though you can carry your laptop anywhere, not every workspace is created equal. Regardless of how long you intend to work while traveling, you must have an ergonomic space that allows you to work in comfort and without interruption. This means that the desk in your hotel room or the tables in the local café or restaurant may not suffice.

Try to identify a place that energizes and motivates you while maintaining mental concentration. Some people thrive in the buzzing background noise of a crowded, bustling coffee place, others find them too distracting to concentrate on their work or too noisy to make phone calls.

So, which scenario works for you? When unsure, opt for a coworking space. You will have a guaranteed workspace and will never have to compete for a power outlet when your laptop runs out of juice. Many permit daily, weekly, and monthly rentals. Coworking spaces are ideal for solitary travelers and digital nomads staying for a few weeks in a new location. You’ll connect with others in the same position, exchange travel advice, and discover a community. 

Stay Safe and Secure Online

It is a fundamental essential that you verify your internet requirements and your organization’s security policy!

You shouldn’t rely on anyone else’s Wi-Fi, including the free Wi-Fi at your hotel or Airbnb, as well as the Wi-Fi in cafés and public spaces. These may not be fast enough to enable you to be productive but on a more serious note they are notoriously susceptible to malware and some businesses prohibit their employees from using them. Before you travel, you should therefore double-check your organization’s online security policies. 

Consider a VPN, particularly if you require Wi-Fi for data-intensive duties. A VPN conceals your IP address, encrypts your traffic, and increases your Wi-Fi security. Many remote companies require their employees to use a VPN when they are not connected to their secure home Wi-Fi network. Or you could purchase a portable hotspot., allowing you to bring your own Wi-Fi network with you wherever you go. You can connect multiple devices to your hotspot, experience rapid download speeds, and explore for global unlimited data plans.

You may be thinking “Couldn’t I just turn on the personal hotspot on my smartphone?” The answer is “Yes”, but you will deplete your phone’s battery, consume your data, and experience slower speeds. 

Have office will travel

Packing a portable office in addition to your other luggage is most likely the only disadvantage of working remotely and traveling. While traveling, essential office supplies include:

  • Laptop and a slipcover or case for protection
  • Tablet and carrying case
  • Wireless mouse
  • External keyboard
  • Headphones with noise-canceling technology
  • Foldable laptop support
  • Planner, notebook, pens and markers

You should always have a backup option to work on in case a device fails, is lost, or inadvertently ends up in a hot tub. Don’t neglect to pack at least one shirt or outfit that is webcam-friendly.

It is impossible to predict when an impromptu Zoom meeting with your boss or best client will occur. And you do not want to be limited to wearing only beachwear! 

Stay in the zone

Be mindful of time zone differences! Your employer or clients may still expect you to check in and meet deadlines on their time if you will be working in a different time zone.

There are handy apps available ie. World Time Buddy that displays the current time in your time zone and in other time zones. Beginning remote work is an ideal time to review how you use online tools and apps to make the most of your work time, maximize your leisure time and improve your interactions with colleagues to be more productive and collaborative (with less miscommunication) while you’re away.

So, the only thing left to organize is where you will be traveling too while remotely working — will you be city hopping, trying a bit of rural living, experiencing beach life or mixing it up?

Remote work and travel complement each other. You will be productive and get to see all the locations and people on your bucket list if you organize a game plan, coordinate with your team, and locate the ideal workspace.

Now that you understand how to work remotely while traveling, you’re undoubtedly itching to explore.

This blog was originally contributed to Workplace Fairness on June 1, 2023. Published with permission.

About the Author: Stuart Cooke Stuart is the Marketing Manager at My Baggage, which is a luggage shipping service that helps people relocate and work remotely all around the world.

The post How To Balance Travelling With Working Remotely first appeared on Today’s Workplace.

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