Despite the promise of Spring on the horizon, we’re in the midst of a cold and bleak spell that makes even the nicest home or office seem a little dreary and drab. So how about embracing the ‘Digital Nomad’ lifestyle, and picking up your business for a short (or long) trip, working whilst you go? Here are my top tips for working effectively from anywhere in the world.
1.) Make sure your business insurance covers you appropriately. Ensure that all of your insurance policies, such as business liability cover and equipment cover, cover you adequately when travelling – it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered.
2.) Make sure you’ve got reliable internet connections wherever you go, and the ability to toggle (connect via a phone or dongle) if necessary! It’s also important to think about the technology you need to use. Do you need a laptop or tablet with good connectivity? Are there any software programs you need access to? Are you able to travel with all of this tech, and access your required software from abroad?
3.) Know where potential co-working spaces are, and plan ahead. Co-working spaces can be a great place if you want to work in an environment with good, reliable facilities (including WIFI), and the background noise is generally more appropriate for work telephone and video calls than the local café (unless your customers are happy with the chinking of wine glasses in the background!)
4.) Don’t forget a VPN – a Virtual Private Network. A VPN allows you to create a secure, private network by using encryption over a public network. Using a VPN to securely access the internet and your business systems can be essential, depending on where you’re travelling. It’s also important that you use secure passwords when logging into public wifi hotspots, as well as using trusted websites in order to protect yourself from viruses or malware.
5.) Be aware of how you access and store customer data whilst you are away, as if you are accessing data from abroad, this needs to be done safely and securely and in line with the company’s policy for data protection.
6.) Consider your options if you are out of range from electricity or wifi temporarily – who will support your customers then? Perhaps you could engage the support of a VA or colleague to help whilst you are away and provide some additional cover, particularly if you think you’ll be out of the office for a few days.
7.) Remember the time difference (if appropriate). Not just for meetings, etc. but if you are handling an individual’s diary or inbox, the time delay or difference could have an impact on this that it’s easy to forget if you are used to working in one specific timezone! Another thing that this can have an impact on is telephone calls and zoom catch-ups… I don’t know how many 2AM zoom calls you’ve had the pleasure of being a part of, but they aren’t particularly enjoyable!
8.) Don’t forget to actually take time out and enjoy the area you are staying in! It’s all very well saying a change is as good as a rest when you spend your days looking out a window at a beautiful location, rather than actually getting out and about in it!
The Digital Nomad lifestyle can be rewarding and is an option for many home-office-based freelancers or small business owners who can deal with their customers and colleagues remotely. Just make sure that you’ve got plans in place so that you can deliver the same quality of business support from ‘out of office’ as you can in the office so that your customers always experience the level of care and professionalism that they expect from you.