Navigating Life as a Traveler Who Works From Home
What do travelers do when they aren't traveling? Unless traveling is part of their livelihood, they likely have a job where they work remotely or from home. Technology advances make lifestyles where people balance travel and remote work more common.
Going back and forth between these extremes can be difficult, from setting up your home for effective work to scheduling work on the road or in the air. Discipline, organization and flexibility are a few pillars of an accomplished home-based traveler. The following tips can help you navigate work on-the-go and in the comfort of your home.
1. Establish Successful Habits at Home
Remote workers who travel need a trustworthy routine that stays consistent at your home-base and in new countries. While you're not in a structured office, you can still set yourself up for success. Try the following tips:
- Don't work in your pajamas — get dressed.
- Keep consistent office hours.
- Take breaks, especially to do an activity that gets you moving.
- Get to know your remote coworkers.
- Intentionally find times to be social during the day.
It helps to know your strengths and weaknesses when you're trying to form healthy habits. Figure out what time of day you work best and what conditions help you stay on task. Most people have better cognitive and analytic abilities in the morning, but it certainly depends on the individual.
Once you know what will get you to the end of your workday in your home, replicate these conditions when you're half-way across the country in a hotel room.
2. Create a Productive Environment
When you are back from your travels at home, don't let your kitchen or dining room table be your office desk. A productive setting will help you make the most out of a home office. With the number of American workers operating from home and the amount of time they do so continuously on the rise, creating a workspace at home is a wise decision.
Whether you revamp a closet space into a mini office or move a desk into your guest room, section off a part of your home as a "work zone." Organize your work area so that when you return from that trip to Europe, for example, you won't miss a beat before jumping back into your remote work.
3. Balance Work and Life
Balancing work and life as a traveler who works from home can be challenging. It's been debated whether remote workers accomplish more than traditional office workers, but 91 percent of remote workers personally feel they are more productive at home. Tendencies at home that disrupt life and work aren't the same as those that come with travel.
When you travel, you'll have to limit your tendency to overwork, so you can enjoy the different culture and attractions around you. As much as possible, stick to your office hours when you're visiting a new place, so you don't miss the sights and experience.
At home, however, distractions like your after-work hobbies or your to-do list of chores might draw your attention away from work. Avoid distractions that will be on your mind when you're trying to get through your workday. Make a schedule for your week and factor in after-hours time for your chores and interests.
4. Manage Remote Work on the Road
Getting work done while traveling requires forethought, focus and flexibility. You'll have to account for different time zones and what you have access to in different countries.
If you need to make phone calls for work when you're traveling, you need to ensure you can on your phone, especially if you're abroad. You can use various apps for messaging capabilities, and you can consult with your phone carrier for international packages. Also, invest in international outlet adapters, so you can charge all the technology you need to get the job done.
Ensure you have access to Wi-Fi by creating a hotspot with your smartphone or locating internet access at places on your travel itinerary. If your remote work allows you to work manually rather than online, you can store a notebook and writing utensil or just use an offline program on your laptop to continue working.
5. Make the Most of Your Travel and Work
Remotely working from home and traveling abroad is a versatile opportunity. Alternating between these settings requires an established routine, balance and environment. Set up your home and travel habits to increase productivity and produce success.