The idea of not renewing the lease on their apartment in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and instead traveling for a year was discussed by the couple when they found themselves working remotely full time.
A technical support engineer for a subscription commerce company says that it was a lot of conversations about the cost of staying wherever we are, the cost of maintaining our car and where the mail goes. We decided to make the move after figuring out a lot of those pieces.
In November of 2021, a couple loaded their two dogs and their belongings into their Jeep and hit the road. Their travels have taken them from coast to coast, changing time zones and scenery while keeping their full-time schedules for their respective employers.
As flexible work arrangements become the norm for a variety of roles and companies, employees who work from home may find themselves with the freedom to visit family or go somewhere else for a change of scenery without taking vacation days.
200 companies were surveyed in technology, digital media and financial services by U.S. News. The findings show that of the 200 companies, 77% offer remote job opportunities, 74% offer hybrid job opportunities where employees are expected to be in the office part time and work remotely part time, and a whopping 85% have offices outside the U.S., opening the door for employees to virtually. Only 5% of companies have flexible work arrangements.
Companies are more open to hiring talent from other parts of the country, which is a great way to bring diversity into the workforce, because you aren’t pulling from the same pool that’s kind of niche to your geographic area It is a benefit for companies and employees in general.
Just because a company offers remote roles doesn’t mean every job opportunity with that company can be done remotely, or that “remote” means working from multiple locations in varying time zones. Before applying for a new job, you should be aware of the expectation for remote, hybrid or return-to-office work associated with that position. Foster’s team at her current company was remote prior to the coronaviruses pandemic, which means guaranteed flexibility, but not all remote work arrangements are created equal.
She says that there are some teams within an organization that are fully remote.
If your company allows employees in your role to work from anywhere, should you travel for an extended period of time? Life on the road isn’t for everyone, and there are some things to consider before taking the plunge
Employees working on the road should have their employer’s support. It doesn’t mean that your job is compatible with a full-time travel schedule if you work from home. If you want to take your work on the road for more than a few days, make sure to get the green light from your employer. Her employer pays for her co-working fees when she uses various locations, she told U.S. News over the phone from a WeWork in Phoenix.
There should be a cushion in your bank account. It is important that you have the money to cover unforeseen expenses when traveling. Taking an extended road trip means putting wear and tear on your personal vehicle faster than if you just use it to commute back and forth to an office each day, which is something McIntosh has experienced over the past few months. It has been a beautiful adventure but we had transmission issues that we had to get fixed. There was a tire blow in the middle of nowhere in Texas. We had to have our windshield replaced because we got hit by a rock in our travels and had a huge crack on our windshield. There are still surprises when you are traveling.
She says that they were not going to consider doing this until they had enough money in their savings to handle small emergencies. If those unexpected traveling things happened without the safety net, it would be a lot more difficult.
You should make a lodging plan that works for you. RV and van life are popular among some travelers, but investing in a vehicle like this might not be the best choice for everyone, especially if you don’t know what the future holds for the vehicle after your trip. Will you be able to find a place to park the RV or camper van if you try to sell it?
Before embarking on their yearlong road trip, McIntosh and her husband looked at a lot of different options, but found that staying inAirbnbs was the best fit. They discovered that if you book anAirbnb for an entire month instead of a few days it will result in a substantial discount.
When we lived in Alexandria, Virginia, our rent was more expensive than it is now. We are going to go to Los Angeles and San Diego. We don’t pay for water, we don’t pay for electric, we don’t pay for trash, and a lot of those things are extra to rent.
The couple usually check out of an apartment on Sunday morning and then drive to their next location so they can log in to work on Monday. They try to reserve their lodging three months in advance to make sure they have a pet-friendly place to stay at each destination.
You should have good internet. You have to be able to do your job while traveling. It’s important that you have a strong internet connection if your job includes video conferencing and responding to emails. You may need to find a different place to stay if your lodging doesn’t provide good wi-fi.
One of the most important things about being remote is having a solid internet. We had to take a last-minute trip to make sure that we both made our meetings, deadlines and our metrics for work, because the internet wasn’t great.
If you work from a coffee shop or other place that has a public wi-fi network, logging on to your employer’s virtual private network can add a layer of security between your work and potential hackers.
Traveling or even working from the comfort of your own home may sound like an automatic way to improve your work-life balance but figuring out the balance that works for you takes effort.
Foster says remote work is a very steep learning curve and should be considered fun. Within the first year, I think my work-life balance actually suffered because it was harder to draw those lines between work and home, even though I know I made a calculated decision. She found that having a home office helps her separate her job from her life.
She says the door between her office and the rest of her house is a thick line.
If you want to fully take advantage of flexible work arrangements at home or on the go, you have to determine when and where you do your best work so you can give the right amount of attention to your job and life outside of it. There are ways to work from home.
Find a work life pattern. Foster has learned that a few days off followed by a few days of work is best for her. She says she would go to the theme park the first half of the week and then work the second half of the week at Disney World.
Some people will work on Monday, have fun on Tuesday, work on Wednesday and have fun on Thursday. She says that being in a new environment makes it hard to work. I know people have different ways of doing it, and I need to prepare myself for work.
There are ways to connect. It is still important to build community despite the fact that remote work eliminates in-person interactions. On her travels, she says doing her job at a co-working space is a great way to meet locals.
She says that people living in the area share their favorite places to get coffee. While you are working, you get to immerse yourself in the area.
It is important to stay connected with your colleagues even when you are not in the same location. You should still be accessible to your supervisor and teammates when you are traveling or at home, and you should contribute the same amount of work as you would if you were working in the office. Your teammates shouldn’t have to pick up slack from you because you’re on the road, and your company likely will evaluate whether the remote work arrangement is a good fit If you have to be offline occasionally to run an errand or make an appointment, give your colleagues an estimate of how long you will be offline if possible.
Foster believes that seeing your coworkers facial expressions and hearing their voices on the phone can help build lines of communication, even though many people are tired of virtual meetings. She encourages people to spend time with neighbors who are also remote workers.
Foster says there are people on his block who work remotely and that is a good way to build community. It is easy to become a hermit crab because you don’t have to leave the house. We are people who love and crave connection so make sure you are fostering it.
When you need a break, take them. It is possible to step away from work when you need to. Go for a walk on a nice day to give your eyes a rest from staring at your computer screen, or go for an errand in your neighborhood during your lunch break.
Foster says to use that 15-minute break to disengage. Check in on your kids if they are in the next room. She says, “It can’t be overstated: Get out of the house occasionally.” Take a walk. Take a drive. Do something different. You can get home fatigue very quickly, just like you can get office fatigue.
On the road, this principle also applies. During the course of their trip, she and her husband have stayed at some places for a week or less, and that’s more tiring than a monthlong stay. They feel like they have to go out and explore after work in the evenings, which means less time to rest, because they are in a city for such a short period of time. A monthlong stay allows the couple to spend some evenings and weekends immersed in their new surroundings, and others to replenish their batteries.
“At the end of the day, we are human, and I don’t think we are built to adventure every single day.” You really need those days to breathe. We have to be able to say that we can just sit at home and watch a show and eat popcorn.
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