Browsing Tag

Telework

Desperately Seeking Travel? Remote Year Seeks Digital Nomads

May 4, 2013


Dreaming about working and living across the globe in a location that will make your Instagram Followers cry with envy when they see your ‘remote’ office?  Well, there’s a new dream gig in town for those seeking a travel lifestyle that blends work, travel, and adventure.

Hello Remote Year.  Launched in 2014 by former Groupon Exec, Greg Caplan, Remote Year “brings together a community of 75 digital nomads from across the globe to spend a year working, traveling, and exploring 12 cities around the world.”

Remote Year sounds like a modern spin on work or volunteer abroad programs, in which you pay a fee in exchange for a lifetime experience.  Instead of providing a job, though, successful Remote Year applicants, bring their digital work and get (according to its website) “all travel between destinations, all accommodations for the year, workspace with internet, accessible 24/7, activities and community events,” in exchange for a cost of $27,000 spread out over a year ($5,000 downpayment, $2,000 month for the first 11 months).

Though the program is not currently set up for families or pets, it sounds like Remote Year could be a great option for an individual or single person who has flexible, telework, or virtual work in place, and is looking to add travel, culture, and adventure to his/her life without having to do the leg work to arrange travel, find apartments/accommodation, research cities or activities abroad. Remote Year does the work setting everything up, leaving the individual to bring digital (remote) work and a suitcase.

According to its website, Remote Year is currently accepting applications for August 2016.

Don’t be discouraged if you dream about travel, but can’t afford the $27,000 price tag or otherwise participate in Remote Year.

It’s entirely doable to set up your own transportation, stay, and find a workplace abroad–at the very least cafes and coffee shops with WiFi.  Lots of people do it everyday, including families.  Many are able to do it for much less–even significantly less. So, if you can’t afford Remote Year or for whatever reason can’t participate in the program, don’t be discouraged.  If you want a travel lifestyle, you can find ways to make it happen.

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Born to Telework

June 12, 2012

Does your DNA have “teleworker” encoded into the strands?  Some employees are seemingly born to telework.  It’s like their personalities, work habits, values, integrity and ethics are programmed to successful telework arrangements.  They are the employees who give “telework” a good name.

Generally speaking, these “successful” teleworkers value their flexible work arrangements and are committed to doing a good job at work, even when work is from a home office, an airport waiting area or Starbucks.  Location doesn’t distract them from their primary goal during the workday: doing the job they get paid to do.  Of course, though flexibility is one of the perks of telework (e.g., walking the dog during a mid-morning coffee refill) employees who are successful teleworkers understand that there is a line not to be crossed.  It’s the line the separates the joys and benefits of telework, namely flexibility, with careless or intentional abuse of the flexible work arrangement (e.g., mixing work and childcare responsibilities during work hours beyond what is customary for employees).  Taking advantage of the telecommuting arrangement, the employer, the boss, co-workers….the whole enchilada!  

While there’s certainly a full spectrum of performers, regardless of whether an employee works from home or is stuck inside four corporate walls, some employees simply make better teleworkers than others.  Some make totally awesome teleworkers.  It’s not that employees are categorically either good or bad teleworkers, it’s just some are more suited to telework.  Some are more capable, more reliable, more trustworthy, more ethical and more appreciative of what they’ve got than to blow it all, especially on something unethical like fudging timesheets, irresponsibly showing up late or not at all because something non-work related vies for their work-day attention, or skimping on after school childcare.  Some are born to telework.

So, how do you know if you are born to telework–or if your employee is well suited to a telecommute arrangement?  Here are a few clues:

-Independent nature; works well with a hands-off approach

-Past telework success–even to the point of “overachieving” (e.g., “extra” hours, proven availability, exceptional responsiveness)

-Proven performance

-Self-motivated, self-monitoring, organized & disciplined

-Good communication skills

-Good understanding of own strengths, weaknesses & job expectations

-Finds comfort in the home or alternative work environment to work productively

-Confidence to know when to ask for help or guidance from bosses, peers or clients

-Wants to work–even loves, loves, loves to work!

-The “right kind” of boss.  Psst….bosses…the kind of boss you are matters…are you flexible in nature? Does your personality and management style allow you to trust your employee and confidently manage with a loose grip?

Are you born to telework?  Why or why not?  Weigh in below….

Work and Play: 5 Awesome Beach Towns For Telework and Family Fun

June 5, 2012

Who says you can’t mix work and play–and get bonus quality of time points with the family?  Be the envy of your peers and check out these beach towns when you need a little escape, but still need to be tethered to work.  Here are five perfect beach towns for teleworking with sand beneath your toes and the breeze in your hair.  Just remember to put down the sunscreen and pick up the phone when the boss calls.

1.  New Smyrna Beach, Florida.  This quiet beach town will let you get your work done and leave time for play.  The white sandy, seemingly endless beach is an instant mood lifter.  Rent an umbrella and sit in the shade with your mobile devices and you’re golden!  Put in a full day of work, while the family plays at the ocean or checks out area parks, historical sites, kid activities and local events.  Catch WiFi at an ocean-side hotel, private rental, or one of the cool local coffee shops or cafes.

2.  Burlington, Vermont.  If a laid-back, organic experience is what floats your boat, pack your laptop and head for Burlington.  Pick from a number of local beaches on beautiful Lake Champlain, like Leddy Beach, North Beach or Oakledge, and enjoy work and fun in the sun.  Bring the family along to enjoy the popular Burlington Bike Path, hiking and trail adventures, shopping and restaurants in Downtown Burlington’s Church Street area, tourist destinations like Vermont Teddy Bear Company and Shelburne Museum, and the relaxing pace of Vermont life, as well as Burlington’s University of Vermont vibe.

3. Cannon Beach, Oregon.  This “artsy” town has what you need for a mini-escape, while still allowing you to get your work done so the boss or your clients don’t complain.  While you work, perhaps from your beach vacation rental, the family can enjoy exploring this small, coastal town known as “one of the 100 best art towns in America.”  You and your family will love the view of Haystack Rock and events like Sand Castle day and the Farmers’ Market.  For an urban experience, the family can take a day outing to nearby Portland, Oregon.

4.  West Palm Beach, Florida.  This vibrant beach town is sure to please, with the makings for that ever elusive, perfect mix of “work/life balance.”  Work the day away, play at night.  While you work, your family can hit the beach, ride the free trolley, catch a movie, shop or dine at CityPlace.  Meet the family on your “lunch break” at a yummy restaurant with an international flavor or take a lunch date raincheck, and work hard so you can quit early and check out the local nightlife.

5.  Solomons, Maryland.  Soak up the views of the Patuxent River in this small, but cute and quiet beach town.  Walk on the boardwalk, check out the historical sites and lighthouses, rent a kayak or take a harbor cruise.  Your kids can check out the hands-on discovery room at the Calvert Marine Museum, grab ice cream at Cone Island and then play ’till they’re too tired at the jungle gym next to the ice cream shop.

Have a favorite work and play, family-friendly beach destination to share?  Would love to know about it….