Traveling the world as a digital nomad is an unimaginable adventure that is incomparable to any other experience or lifestyle. In addition to exploring foreign lands, immersing yourself in new cultures, and connecting with diverse people from all around the world, you also have to make remote work a priority.
Being a digital nomad means you have to master the art of working remotely. Loneliness, adapting to new environments, mastering technology, and being over-stimulated by new experiences are all common obstacles that plague the digital nomad community while working remotely. We’ve rounded up a few key tips, tricks, and best practices for working remotely as a digital nomad so you can focus, thrive, and master the art of working remotely.
Identify Your Working Style
When starting out on your remote work journey or traveling as a digital nomad, it’s important to figure out how you work best. Are you super productive first thing in the morning or do you prefer to get your work done at night? Do you like to work in a busy coworking space, or do you prefer the serenity of a private setup? Determining your working style will help you get the most out of your day so you can benefit from the other perks that remote work has to offer.
Get Comfortable with Tech
Familiarizing yourself with technology that makes working remotely a breeze is a must, especially if you don’t plan to return to an office. There are numerous tools or forms of software that link remote teammates like Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more! There are also tools like Zoom, and Microsoft Teams that make video conferencing super easy. Oftentimes a quick video chat or checkup is much more efficient than an email, Slack message, or even a phone call because it allows you to bring a face-to-face component to the conversation.
Invest in Reliable Tech
Any remote worker will tell you that having a solid WIFI connection is imperative to their success, but it’s also extremely important to invest in reliable tech that you can count on. As a digital nomad, working from your laptop, phone, or tablet is going to be your main source of income so it’s important to work with reliable tech that won’t fail you when you’re on a deadline.
Use a VPN
Securing your data, passwords, and private information is imperative, especially when you’re in a foreign country and working from shared spaces. Using a VPN when you’re connected to a network that you can’t control is a quick and easy way to secure your information. Consider connecting to a VPN when you’re working in coworking spaces, cafés, libraries, and even airports.
If you’re traveling to a brand-new destination, you’re going to want to carve out time to explore your surroundings. If you work for an organization, investigate your break policy so you can make sure you’re following the rules and stepping away when necessary. If you're self-employed, make sure you take enough time away from your screen to stay healthy, and inspired.
When you’re living the life of a digital nomad, it can be hard to turn off. You can be tempted to keep your laptop on at all hours of the night because you may feel obligated or compelled to stay on the clock. For your own sanity, and for those around you, it’s important that you set boundaries that allow you to maintain a proper work-life balance. If you decide to close your laptop at 6:00pm or decide to turn your Slack notifications off at 5:00pm, it’s important to stick to it and set the precedent. Ultimately, you’ll be a much better employee if you have time to unplug and step away from your work.
Choose Office Hours
It’s important that your coworkers know when you’re available to chat and book meetings. You can make sure that everyone’s on the same page by setting office hours that are allocated towards checking in with your teammates and scheduling meetings. Creating a set schedule also means that you will be working consistently which helps to eliminate late nights and unnecessary logged hours.
Make Watercooler Chats a Priority
Working remotely means you won’t have the opportunity to casually run into your teammates or colleagues meaning it’s important to make checking in a priority. If your company is using an instant messaging app or platform like Slack, consider adding a "watercooler" channel to help encourage this type of communication across the team.
Socialize with Colleagues or Coworkers
Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are all common problems that remote workers face, especially for those who are more extroverted. Companies with a remote team usually provide resources like Slack that allow teammates to communicate and stay in touch seamlessly. If you aren’t at a company with a strong remote culture, you may need to proactively nurture relationships with your teammates. If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, consider taking advantage of coliving or coworking spaces where you can interact and collaborate with other digital nomads.
When you’re new to remote work it’s important to check in with your teammates and seek feedback. Checking in with your team and communicating your struggles or successors will help keep a clear line of communication so everyone can progress on the same page.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for digital nomads or remote workers is trust. Your manager or client has to know that you will produce and perform so you can both build a working relationship that is built on trust and transparency. The easiest way to build trust is to deliver by meeting your deadlines and exceeding expectations. A great digital nomad will be eager to learn, grow, and perform.
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