Remote workers have the luxury of being able to move around, work from anywhere, and even travel. If you have your laptop essentials and a stable Internet connection, you can embark on a hush trip to your favourite places without anyone knowing. However, it takes planning and commitment to travel well and keep up with remote work productivity.
Here are some tips on how to travel while working remotely.
1. Thoroughly Plan Your Travel
Travel delays happen. Plan ahead. Assume there will be travel delays. Make sure you have enough time to reach your destination without missing your remote work commitments. You may want to complete some extra work before leaving to reinforce this.
2. Pick The Right Time to Travel
If you’ve got a big project due or you’re leading a new initiative that you know will require more work beyond your normal hours, that’s not the time to travel. You will want to travel when you know you won’t be swamped with work and when you can fully unplug and disconnect during non-work hours.
3. Choosing Your Travel Destination
When you travel, consider what built-in requirements your work schedule has. You’ll want a comfortable workspace, of course, but if the time zone you’re going to be in is noticeably different, and you’re expected on a Zoom call every Friday morning, that can have a sizeable impact on your ability to enjoy your off-work hours.
4. Have the Right Remote Work Tools
There is no remote work while travelling if you don’t have the right peripherals and digital workplace platform. Ensure you have your chargers, headphones, and anything else you need. Also, ensure your chosen digital workplace software is installed on your laptop and offers the functionality you need to communicate with team members, submit work, and organize tasks.
5. Set Up a Time Zone Clock
If you’re in a drastically different time zone, set up a time zone clock on your laptop or mobile device so that you know what hour it is back home. This will prevent miscommunications and ensure you don’t miss important time-sensitive tasks.
6. Set Your Work Hours
There’s no point in travelling if you don’t have those important hours to switch off. To have that, set your work hours with breaks and daily objectives. Then, firmly establish your hours where work is non-existent. Keep these separate. Consider the time you might want to go sightseeing and for relaxation.
7. Minimize Distractions
This can be tricky. Distractions at home are one thing. While travelling, it may be even more tempting to pack in your work and do something else, stay out the night before, or arrive late because you want more time in the morning. Keeping up with productivity and overall work efficiency takes effort. Be sure to do what you can to maintain focus when you have to.
8. Pack At Least One Work Outfit
You never know when you might be needed for a quick video chat. Be ready. Pack a work-appropriate shirt or outfit for your travel. That way, if someone needs to get in touch on Zoom, you’ve got a wardrobe to throw on.
9. Have Alternate Workspace Ideas
When you’re staying, you may find there is not the best setup for an eight-hour workday. Before you leave, research coffee shops, co-workspaces, libraries, and similar environments where you can set up and get some work done while enjoying a little of your chosen destination.
10. Confirm You Have Fast, Secure Internet
A trip to a Caribbean island sounds lovely, but without a secure internet connection, you won’t be able to make your Zoom calls and may give away the fact that you’re not at home working as expected. Do what you can to check ahead and confirm where you’re staying has reliable internet.
11. Stay Connected to Your Team
Remote working, wherever you happen to be, relies on open, timely communication with team members. This is where team communication software is a must. Don’t neglect it. Stay updated and stay connected.
12. Have an Emergency Plan
You don’t know what might happen when you’re travelling. It could be as simple as a down internet connection, bad weather, or something more serious like theft. Have an emergency plan in place. Know what you will do and who you will contact if, for any reason, you can’t make work happen on a given day.
13. Prioritize Your Workload
Load up your most important tasks at the start of your day or the beginning of the trip. Prioritize work based on deadlines and importance. This way, you don’t fall behind even should the unexpected occur. For people who do remote work while travelling regularly, this is the piece of advice you often hear more than anything else. Prioritize!