Want to Work from Your Favorite Vacation Spot Year-Round?
Many of us find ourselves enraptured by daydreams of exotic locales. You close your eyes, feel a breeze run through your hair, take a deep breath, and begin to relax when you open your eyes and suddenly realize you’re still at your desk.
Good news: it’s not just wanderlust, and you most likely don’t need to quit your job to have access to a healthier, more pleasant work environment. Time and studies have shown that remote working is indeed working for many.
Yes! There is a common misconception that remote workers aren’t actually working, but the truth is that working from home--or coffee shop, or location of your choice--actually has the potential to be much more productive.
Some call it working from home, and the most technical term may be remote worker. Marketing and management expert Kari DePhillips prefers to describe the work-from-anywhere life as “workationing.” A recent study from And Co reveals that an increasing number of workers are and will be untethered from any office space.
Mike Del Ponte, founder of the water filter company Soma, was inspired by his own workation experience to implement a “work from anywhere week,” or WFAW, throughout his company. One week every quarter, Soma employees can work anywhere they choose. Del Ponte spent his first WFAW in Australia, where he worked in cafes during the day and explored in the evening. He quickly discovered the benefits of untethering his team from the office.
Del Ponte explains that working from anywhere means drawing inspiration from new sources, whether that be immersing oneself in another culture or spending more time with family. Ultimately, he realized that if even if his team was only 80% as productive during WFAW, the insights and innovations they could return with to the workplace were just as valuable.
In fact, Del Ponte discovered that his team was actually more productive during WFAW. And Co found that less than 7% of the remote workers surveyed had trouble being productive without a manager. Meanwhile, the leading productivity blocker turned out to be overworking and not being able to shut down at the end of the workday.
Where To Start
So, evidence shows remote working is becoming more popular and proven to be effective. How does one get in on this workation trend? The truth is that it’s not as easy-breezy as it sounds, but it can be done!
There’s a wide variety of work that can be done remotely. Kari DePhillips advises choosing one occupation or activity that you truly enjoy. She suggests honing in on one skill that can easily translate to a work-from-anywhere job. Popular options include web design and writing, though there are more options than you’d think. The remote workers surveyed by And Co came from mostly Creative/Design fields, Marketing, and Engineering.
Any remote worker will tell you that working from home doesn’t mean quitting your day job right away, despite how glamorous and simple Hollywood makes that look. In many cases, there’s work that you already do that could easily be done remotely. And Co found that 37% of remote workers came from companies that had teams partially remote and partially on-site. Don’t pack your things until you know what all of your options are.
Get to Networking
Remote workers also explained that they relied heavily on communication tools, which leads to another key aspect of working-from-anywhere: making connections. It would be nice if workationing really meant sipping from coconuts with a laptop open in front of you, but the reality is that remote work takes a lot of networking, and networking takes of time and energy.
DePhillips reminds those interested in workationing that getting remote work can often feel like a “numbers game,” especially if you choose to freelance. She notes that it’s okay to start simple, whether that’s going to Craigslist, LinkedIn, or leveraging connections you may already have.
Know Your Tools
Fortunately, since remote working is on the rise, there are a wide variety of tools available to those who want to work from anywhere. Don’t be afraid to use them!
There are apps to track your time spent on various projects, and programs like Prodoscore to give you productivity measurements that will keep you motivated and on task. Files can be saved in the cloud so you’re not tethered to a desktop. Task and project management apps provide endless options to keep track of your progress and allow you to collaborate with others from the comfort of wherever you choose.
In this increasingly connected world, it really is possible for you to work from anywhere!