More people than ever are working for themselves, and more employers than ever are accepting people working for them remotely. This means that there is a significant part of the workforce that can be more flexible with their schedule and work from the comfort of their own home. For many remote workers, this gives them the opportunity to spend more time at home with their family, reduce the time spent commuting to work, or indeed, travel while they work. If you are considering the move from the office 9-5 to a more nomadic approach to your work life, then you should understand what this might mean for you. While there are many personal factors to consider before making the decision to pack up your laptop into a carry-on and board a plane, there significant arguments that everyone should be aware of, both for and against working while you travel.
You may dream of jetting off to a specific location for an unspecified period and look forward to the perks of working remotely, of which there are many. However, as well as being incredibly organised and self-motivated, you will also have to be able to adapt to the new environment you find yourself in and the various difficulties you may encounter. Below there are several pros and cons of travelling which you should think about before taking this step.
You can work from anywhere in the world
The desire to wander from place to place exploring, also known as Wanderlust, is the biggest reason people choose to travel while working remotely. You can decide to work anywhere you like which means getting to explore amazing destinations and visit all the wonders of the world if you so desire. With the world more connected than ever before, visiting and exploring our earth is much more possible than before. It is very convenient if you are in a long distance relationship or if you want to find somewhere where you can eventually settle down but don’t know where. Working abroad or even in a different city gives you the opportunity to get a feel for a place which you wouldn’t be able to do if it was a holiday.
Travelling is more affordable
Working when you are travelling or even on holiday can make it that bit more affordable and means you don’t feel guilty for splashing out. Unlike many travellers who use their savings to get around the globe, you will not have to worry about a diminishing bank balance as you can pay your way through various cities or countries with the security of having a regular income. You will also be saving money that you would have spent commuting or buying lunch and coffee at work. Furthermore, instead of spending money on work clothes, you can save money by choosing to wear whatever you want to, or only wear something smart when you need to video chat with someone.
Better balance between work life and personal life
This is true if you can switch off from your work. Giving yourself a schedule that you stick to will help you to structure your time and balance your time spent working with your downtime as you will not have to spend time getting ready and commuting to work. The good thing about working while you travel is that, if you stick to a good working routine, you will be able to spend more time doing the things you like and visiting the places you want to go to. Getting to decide where you will work from is a huge plus, and means you can work in between your travels or vice versa.
You will learn so much as you travel
Immersing yourself in another culture is a hugely enriching experience which will provide you with an understanding of humans and sociability that no other experience could give to you. You will meet people from all kinds of backgrounds who will be able to impart some of their world-views to you, and you will hopefully be able to do the same for them. Learning about other people is one benefit of travelling, and you will also find yourself becoming more resourceful and capable of dealing with stressful situations, probably from sheer necessity! Becoming independent and able to communicate with people from a wide range of backgrounds will be skills that you will be able to carry with you throughout your life.
You may fall in love with a place you visit
Where we are born is not always where we will end up living, and the more you expose yourself to other places the more you can find the perfect place to live. When you travel, you get to see so many cultures and ways of life that can help you shape the way you want to live your life and the place or places you want to do so. Many people who travel experience better satisfaction with their life overall and this is partly to do with the fact that they get to decide where they spend their day, rather than being forced to stay somewhere because of job commitments. You may choose to remain in a new environment as a result of travelling, which you may not have even considered before embarking on this adventure.
You will have to be very independent
Not everyone is comfortable being on the move and adapting to life in a new city. You will have to find a routine that works for you regardless of where you are in the world and which. If you are someone who gets homesick or needs to be surrounded by familiar faces, be that at home or even by your colleagues in an office environment then remote working and travelling may not be for you. You will have to adapt to a different culture and language as well as sorting out accommodation and acclimatizing to your new environment. Getting used to change is something that you will no doubt have to deal with, and you will either sink or swim very quickly.
You will have to have a backup plan
Having poor wifi or a stolen laptop will make working that day very difficult indeed! Get good insurance and hopefully an understanding employer! If you work for yourself, you will probably have more flexibility, but there may be other people relying on you or deadlines that you have given yourself. Even if you are an incredibly organised and resourceful individual, you are likely to find yourself in a situation that puts a stop to your work. If your work requires you to meet deadlines or be online at certain times during the day, then you may have to consider only travelling to places that have reliable internet access and carry a smaller electronic device that you can use such as an I-Pad.
May be hard to ‘leave the desk.’
When you don’t have to go in and out of an office setting it can be difficult to set yourself clear boundaries when it comes to your working hours and your hours. If you are a workaholic, it can be all too easy for you to work long or unsociable hours when your desk is wherever you want it to be. This may mean that you will not enjoy your travels as much as if you had a better routine with clear cut working hours or if you simply took a holiday from work where you could better engage with the travelling experience.
Sorting out accommodation
When travelling from place to place, you will have to go through the process of finding a new home each time or staying in a hostel or a hotel. This can often feel very impersonal and may make it difficult for you to properly settle or feel comfortable in this new environment, which in turn may impact your work. Renting a property is an excellent way to avoid the impersonality of hotel rooms, particularly if you are staying in a city or country for a longer period. Fortunately, It is easier than ever to find accommodation wherever you are in the world, using property rental websites. There are many websites specific to different regions and countries, and if you are looking for an apartment for rent during your travels, then it is worth choosing this option over hotels or hostels.
Security and privacy issues
There are a lot of potential dangers to look out for when you are travelling, particularly when you are taking electronic devices with sensitive information on them. You need to consider if your job is suitable for work on the road and if you can risk having things lost or stolen. Certain countries are more dangerous than others, and if you are a solo traveller, you need to be aware of potential risks and take suitable preventive measures to keep yourself safe. Always let someone know where you will be travelling to, and providing them with an address of the accommodation your will be staying in for your security, as well as ensuring that your laptop or electronic device you carry with you is kept secure, password protected and can not be hacked or stolen easily.