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Taking Remote Working on the Road

working remotely
Allianz - working remotely

Remote working used to be synonymous with working from home. You know, buckling down in your home office, maybe mixing in a load of laundry or walking the dog in between conference calls.

But today it can be a zig-zagging lifestyle. A growing number of digital nomads roam from hotspot to hotspot — creating quarterly Excel reports, seeing the sights, and building robust social media followings of folks who aspire to do the same.

Making a vacation out of remote working doesn’t need to be a nonstop trip or a lifestyle — far from it. It’s simply not practical for everyone. Instead, it can be a trip here and there, scheduled without worrying about when the weekend ends or how many vacation days you have remaining.

We have put together some tips for mastering the remote working getaway, so that you can work from a home away from home without sacrificing your productivity.

Who Is Remote Working?

More than one in three workers in the United States are freelancers — a number that’s growing. These musicians, photographers, consultants, and analysts are often untethered from the traditional brick-and-mortar office. And when you add full-time workers who have the flexibility to work from home at least part of the time, there are more Americans remote working than ever.1

A 2020 VRBO survey put the number of Americans who say they can work from anywhere at 48%. And as more and more teleworkers realize that “anywhere” means they don’t need to be working from their home or even the coffee shop down the street, they’re asking the question: where should work from?2

Choose Your Remote Working Spot Wisely

Before plotting a cross-country working road trip as a digital nomad or simply deciding to spend a few months at your sister’s house two time zones away, there are a couple of considerations to make. These include:

  • Is your family on board — that is, all the people making the trip alongside you?
  • What’s the plan for your pets?
  • Is there a chance you could be called into the office or need to be at a client site, lickety-split?
  • Will you be able shut out distractions and be productive?
  • How does a working vacation fit into your budget?
  • Does your destination carry your favorite coffee, that special brew that you absolutely need to start your engine in the morning? Or will you need to bring a dedicated suitcase?

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to consider your remote working essentials. The great thing about remote working is that you can work virtually anywhere. Depending on your profession, a smartphone and tablet or laptop will usually get the job done. Reliable Wi-Fi (and even a backup plan, such as a Mi-Fi mobile hotspot) is also must-have. And you’re going to ensure that your mobile Carrier has strong coverage at your destination of choice (You can find coverage maps here.)3

Finally, when you’re considering potential destinations to virtually work and play, make certain you have a place conducive to doing your best work. Maybe it’s a spare bedroom in a rental vacation house, a hotel lounge or lobby, a deck that doubles as a scenic overlook, or even a beach blanket under an umbrella. Having kids romping through a kiddie pool or the lure of ski slopes in plain sight may not be the best idea.

Getting There

Sometimes, the most stressful part of travel is the trip itself. And when you’re bringing your job on the road, you don’t want to get tripped up by unforeseen detours and delays.

If you need to be productive en route to your destination, consider the train. Amtrak Business Class seating comes with plenty of room to wheel and deal as well as onboard Wi-Fi. And if you need more peace and quiet, consider upgrading to a private room.3, 4

If you’ll need to stop and work on a dime during the journey to your destination, you may choose to take the wheel yourself, in which case renting a vehicle might make the most sense.

Consider the mileage and potential wear and tear on your vehicle. Also, different trips call for different rides. You may want to upgrade to a van for extra space, four-wheel drive for adventure travel, or even a luxury vehicle if you’re looking to make an entrance. No matter what vehicle you rent to get from Point A to Point B, the best way to enjoy the open road is not having to worry about scratches, dings, dents, or worse. With Allianz Global Assistance’s Rental Car Damage Protector, you’ll get the coverage you need for the right price.

Head Off Extra Stress With Travel Insurance

Take a moment to think about why you’re considering breaking away and remote working away from home.

It’s to escape routine. To get a change of scenery. And to kick back and relax without all the worries and distractions that live under your roof.

So, why would you add more worries or distractions? A travel insurance plan from Allianz Global Assistance packs peace of mind wherever you make your virtual office. Festering fears over canceling a trip, getting delayed, losing your bags, or even sustaining an injury away from home can be quelled with the right plan. And if you’re thinking about bringing the office on the road multiple times each year, an annual or multi-trip plan can save you money, too. It just makes sense.

Get On Schedule

Maybe you’re expected to be remote working 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Or perhaps as long as you get the work done, you can play while everyone else is working.

Either way, consistency is a key to managing your remote work schedule. Not only does it get you in a productive groove, but it also established a rhythm with your colleagues and clients of when you’re available. Just remember: even if you make your own hours, and love burning the midnight oil, you’ll likely want to establish some availability during traditional business hours for calls and real-time tasks.

Here’s a bonus tip for travelers seeking to play more than work once arriving at your destination: get ahead. In the weeks and months leading up to your getaway, squeeze work into downtime to lessen the load down the road.

One last word on establishing a routine when working during a getaway: stick to a healthy sleep pattern. Vacations tend to push back bedtimes, and that’s without taking into account new time zones and unfamiliar beds. Similarly, when you’re in paradise, there’s no difference between a Monday and a Saturday. Exercise discipline with your nighttime routine and the daytime will be that much better.5

We’ll leave you with this: you never know who you’re going to meet, whether you’re using your breaktime to explore a local bazaar or bellying up to the coffee shop beside your hotel. It could be your next client, employee, boss, or even a fellow digital nomad you can bounce ideas off.5

Remote working on the road doesn’t just provide a real-life, postcard-worthy Zoom background. Like all travel, it’s a chance to meet people, expanding both your professional and personal networks.

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