4 Tips on How to Become a Digital Nomad
Summer is here and many of you will be setting off to far-flung places around the globe as you look to recharge your batteries and forget about work for a while. However, some of you will be lucky enough to have jobs where you can travel as you work, coding by day and experiencing a new city each night (or should that be the other way around?).
Digital nomads and remote workers are becoming more and more common with ubiquitous WiFi access and understanding management allowing those who don’t need to be in an office to work from wherever they want.
It sounds like a dream, but those who do it will tell you that working whilst you travel presents its own challenges besides the obvious rewards.
Here are 4 pieces of advice to make your digitally nomadic life a success.
Take the tech you’ll need
Makes sense right? You’ll struggle to last long as a digital nomad without the right tech. Clearly you’ll need a decent laptop and a phone (you might have to ditch the second and third screen we're afraid), but also don’t underestimate the value of a good set of headphones for blocking out background noise. Also, consider spare battery packs, plug adapters, and wireless keyboards to make sure you're primed to work wherever you find yourself.
Do your research and book smart
When it comes to booking accommodation and transport, it pays to book smart. Do your research beforehand: Will there be stable WiFi? Are there plenty of plugs? Is there a quiet place for you to work? It’s worth sometimes paying a bit more for a different train or a better room if it’s going to aid your productivity.
You don’t want to waste an hour trying to connect to dodgy internet, not only are you getting behind on work, but you’re also using up time you could be using to explore your new surroundings.
Keep an eye on the time
If you’re travelling outside Europe you’ll have to get your head around potentially confusing time differences. You might be online when the rest of your team are still in bed, and vice versa.
Get organised with the time differences and plan your day accordingly. For example, make sure any calls and meeting are scheduled for times when you’re all awake and online, and take advantage of the times when you’re the only one up to get some serious work done.
Remember that Instagram isn’t real life
As we alluded to at the start of this article, working remotely sounds like a dream set up but can actually be very challenging. Pay no attention to glamourous, over-edited photos on Instagram of people working at the beach or from some Tokyo penthouse (to be honest, pay no attention to any of the nonsense on Instagram).
Travelling and working involves a lot of time and effort planning and researching hotels and flights, not to mention the crappy WiFi signal, delays, miscommunications with your colleagues and so on. Lower your expectations a little bit and accept that it may take a bit of adjusting to.
If you think there's anything we've missed, feel free to let us know in the comments.
Pro Tip: Nomadlist is a great resource for anyone looking to work while on the move.
By the way, if you missed our article Working Abroad - Practical Advice from Techloopers, then feel free to check it out now.