If you dream of finding a job that affords you the flexibility to work and travel the globe, then this article is for you.
Partial telecommuters do not work from home 100% of the time. They may have a home-based office and a centralized, onsite office at their company headquarters; they may work from home the majority of the time, but be required to travel to consult with clients or attend regular onsite meetings, or they may function as I do: I work from anywhere life takes me.
I’ve been working remotely and traveling the world full time for more than three years. This lifestyle isn’t one that I would ever describe as easy, but the professional and personal freedoms I enjoy outweigh the stresses.
Here are the basic rules I’ve developed during my years as a partial telecommuter for maintaining a harmonious working and traveling partnership.
Don’t Overlook Yourself
If you have even the slightest doubt that you will be able to meet your work deliverables, scale back on your travel plans. The right remote position can be difficult to find, and you don’t want to sacrifice long-term earnings for one fun excursion that could easily be postponed.
Schedule specific times and days to accomplish your work requirements just as you would schedule tours or travel activities. And when it’s time to focus on work, take it seriously; after all, keeping your telecommute job is what allows you to live the life you want.
Strategize Your Wi-Fi Access
A viable Internet connection is essential for any virtual position. Before taking off on a new adventure, do your research. At home in America, Wi-Fi is essentially everywhere. Every corner coffee shop or restaurant in the United States boasts about its free Wi-Fi access, but in many places around the world Wi-Fi isn’t so reliable; sometimes Starbucks doesn’t even have Wi-Fi! Gasp! Therefore, never leave home without a Wi-Fi backup plan that utilizes hardware like the following:
- Data SIM card that allows you to access the Internet from nearly anywhere in the world, and at discounted data rates
- Aircard, which is a USB-friendly cellular modem that allows you to access the Internet via cell signal
- MiFi, Novatel Wireless’ brand of Internet solutions, like USB hotspots, routers, and mobile hotspots, that give you fast, safe Wi-Fi connectivity
Carefully Select Your Work Environment
Seek out safe, distraction-free locations for work. If your productivity is easily compromised by the sights and sounds of your environment, your hotel or a bustling shopping center won’t be the right work location for you.
When traveling to tourist-heavy destinations, visit the city’s library or work from a quiet coffee shop or book store. No matter how attractive a location seems, above all, be honest with yourself about whether or not the atmosphere will allow you to work without distractions.
Protect Your Equipment
I cannot recommend enough purchasing travel insurance to protect your electronic devices like your computer, smartphone, and tablet. Travel is messy and full of unexpected surprises. When your electronics are your livelihood, you must protect them and, in turn, your income.
Bonus Tip: Don’t keep your external hard drive and your computer in the same bag; that way, if one bag is lost, damaged, or stolen you won’t lose both items at the same time!
What telecommuter tool do I think is the most critical for remote work? A productivity playlist!
Create a digital playlist of music that puts you in the mood to work, then every time it’s time to don your professional hat you’ll instantly be transported to the right state of mind.
Freelance positions typically offer the greatest scheduling flexibility and allow you to work and travel at your own pace, seeking out and accepting projects based on your monetary and travel demands. Perform a “freelance” Keyword search at Virtual Vocations.com to view current freelance telecommute job openings in categories like the following:
- Creative Design
- Graphic Design
- Information Technology
- Internet and eCommerce
- Medical Coding
- Social Media
Merge Passion and Paycheck
Bottom line, the most important thing to remember when setting out to travel while telecommuting is to find a position that interests you, not just one that provides a paycheck.
There will be times when your job necessitates that you miss out on a trip or an activity. During those times, it will be a heck of a lot easier to remain productive if you are passionate about your work.
Do you want to be able to work and travel the globe like Megan? Share your telecommuting story when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you!
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