Remote Work & Travel: Navigating Time Zones, WiFi & More
As we become increasingly interconnected, remote work has become a more popular option for those wanting to work with a greater degree of flexibility and freedom. It’s not just a way of changing how we work but how we live, allowing us to work from anywhere we want without being constrained by location or time.
However, some people struggle to adapt to the different time zones and connectivity issues that come hand-in-hand with working remotely, and this can make a seemingly fairytale solution quickly turn into a nightmare. These are all issues that digital nomads must grapple with to succeed away from the traditional office.
Navigating Time Zones
One of the critical obstacles of remote working is being able to adapt to the different time zones you and your colleagues might be in. The goal is to always be in sync with your team and your clients, but if you receive an urgent call from your client as you’re about to sit down for your evening meal, it can leave a sour taste, especially since it’s not their fault that you’re a few hours ahead.
Here are some tips to help you navigate the problem of being in different time zones:
Organization is vital, and having access to a good calendar will help you more than you can imagine, making it easier for you to plot key events and organize meetings with others, more so if your calendar is visible to your colleagues.
Use World Clock Apps
While this might seem simple, it’s easy to forget that others may not be working at the same time as you — which is where World Clock apps can be helpful. For example, traders need to be aware of the different trading areas and time windows, so tools such as TradingView can be very useful.
Set Universal Meeting Times
If possible, see where the different working days overlap, and make sure to communicate that these times are best for meetings and catch-ups. While you might have to be flexible, it should help reduce friction.
Communication and Transparency
If there are changes to your availability because of your location, be sure to communicate this so you can manage expectations and keep everybody on board.
In our digitally connected world, a reliable internet connection is a must — and it’s a non-negotiable for those working away from the office. A bad reception can spell disaster and needs to be avoided and mitigated at all costs.
If you’re finding it hard to stay connected, here are some tips that might help:
Before you apply for a job or move away from the office, be sure to do your research and check the local internet speeds, as well as how well-connected your chosen accommodation is.
If you can’t get good internet access with WiFi, consider using your mobile hotspot with a local sim with a lot of data added to the plan. A good 4G/5G connection is often good enough to bridge the gap until you find a more stable connection.
Offline Document Download
If you’re on the move and anticipate not having good reception for an extended period, notify your team and download any files and tools you may need. Ensure they aren’t solely saved on a remote server or cloud platform.
Wi-Fi Speed Test
Even if your internet speed is good enough for day-to-day tasks, video calls can push it to the limit and reduce the quality of the call, so be sure to check beforehand and let the other person(s) know in advance.
To thrive in a remote work setting, finding the ideal work/life balance is critical. If you find the two are not balanced correctly, it may take a hit on your mental and physical well-being.
To get the balance right, here are some tips that might help:
This is super simple, but being set up with the right equipment will have a substantial long-term impact. While many nomads might be demoed to work in their hotel bed or beside the ocean, this can cause significant issues for your back and neck.
Short, Regular Breaks
Many office and remote workers use the Pomodoro Technique to manage their time better, taking a quick five-minute break every 25 minutes, with a more extended one midway through the day.
Being stuck at your desk all day isn’t good, especially if you’re in a makeshift office without access to ergonomic equipment. A stop-gap solution is to stretch your limbs at regular intervals and get your blood circulating.
While your working day might be less than standard from half a world away, you should still avoid relying heavily on caffeinated drinks and junk food. While it might fill a hole, it’ll likely have a worse long-term impact on your body.
In the ever-changing world of remote working and travel, finding the perfect balance between enjoying your trip and being able to work effectively is the goal. You may need to overcome numerous obstacles, but if you can do this, you will have a more enjoyable time with much less stress and hassle.
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