Are you feeling a little confined by the number of vacation days you’re allowed each year? What about the other limitations of your work schedule, like your amount of paid-time-off? These restrictions keep a large majority of employees from travelling and setting out on new adventures — but it doesn’t have to.
Rather, you can manage to keep your boss happy while planning that month-long trip abroad to that location you’ve always dreamed about with one simple solution: a remote work holiday.
This concept is still extremely new and, in some offices, might not be approved. But if your workplace already encourages working from home, then planning a remote work holiday might be entirely possible.
Going on a remote work holiday gives you the opportunity to work remotely while venturing to new destinations beyond the typical amount of vacation days you’re allowed. Since living abroad is known to strengthen entrepreneurial, creative, and problem-solving skills, it shouldn’t take much to convince your boss that a remote work holiday will boost your development as a professional and an individual.
For instance: you’re planning to attend a week-long symposium in CDMX, Mexico. You ask if it’s possible to add an additional three weeks to the trip while you stay in Mexico and work remotely from a coworking space there. Your boss agrees, and voila! You’re off on your first remote work holiday, where you can now experience CDMX like a local and learn what it’s really like to live in the city.
With your boss on board, you’ll be geared up to benefit from a remote work holiday by:
Growing more independent and self-sufficient
Building an international network
Practising new ways of communication
As you prepare to embark on your first remote work holiday, there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure that your trip is a success. (After all, you’ll want to be just as productive — if not more productive — on your first one, so you can continue to plan more holidays in the future!)
The first step to a successful remote work holiday is bringing along everything you’ll need to have a normal workday. Make sure you pack for remote work. Your laptop and laptop charger are obviously a must, but there’s a lot more to consider to help your trip be a success. It may even be smart to bring a spare charger in case something happens to yours.
Check out this ‘packing for productive travel’ resource from @halfhalftravel for inspiration.
You never want to be dependent on the city you’re visiting for your tech needs; rather, try to account for as many problem-scenarios as possible ahead of time.
It’s also essential to set up several dependable means of communication. Ask your phone provider about their international plans well before your trip, and choose one that’s serviceable in the country you’ll be visiting. You should also coordinate the use of a user-friendly technology — like Skype, Slack, or Zoom — with your colleagues as another option for calls.
If you’ll be staying in a hotel or rental, check (and double check) that there is strong wi-fi available before you book. There’s nothing more irresponsible than asking for added flexibility and dropping off the face of the earth.
If your boss expects you to put in seven hours of work each day, you can’t be scrambling to different coffee shops and hotel lobbies in search of strong wi-fi. It’s pretty unlikely that the staff at a local cafe want you to occupy a seat for seven straight hours anyway.
Instead, finding a dependable workspace that can essentially become your office is a smart move. Thanks to today’s sharing economy, almost every city in the world is home to multiple coworking spaces, like OneCoWork. These shared offices are perfect for remote workers, offering day, weeklong, or monthly memberships and providing high-speed internet, desk space, and other useful amenities (like unlimited coffee!)
Plus, some coworking spaces are also co-living spaces, meaning the space can be both your accommodation and your remote office. Co-living spaces are extremely popular in beach towns or island locations, granting the unique opportunity to work from a hammock in the sand!
If you want to easily locate one of these spaces, Coworker.com provides a full online database of over 13,000 coworking spaces worldwide, including co-living spaces as well.
If you want to be a bit more nomadic on your remote work holiday and travel around a certain country (or several), then it might be worthwhile to look into a coworking pass. Coworking passes are subscription-based memberships that allow you to visit numerous coworking spaces per month.
For example, Coworker’s Global Pass grants five days of coworking per month at over 2,000 locations. If you’re planning on visiting Lisbon, Madrid, and Dublin in a month’s time, having Global Pass would make it possible to use coworking spaces in each of these cities. This way, you’ll always have a productive office space to use, no matter where you are in the world.
Other coworking pass options are available from Croissant and Deskpass, which offer access to coworking spaces primarily in the United States or European capitals.
After you’ve settled into your holiday destination and are ready to get down to business, it’s a good idea to establish a routine that encourages you to make the most of the experience.
What do you like to do most on trips? Whether you enjoy taking a stroll, shopping, visiting museums, or trying local cuisine, find a way to work these things into your routine. Doing so will give you the chance to truly get to know the city like a local.
You can also build exploration into your routine during your typical break-times. If you always take a lunch break, make lunchtime your new adventuring hour. This way, you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds: exploring as you would on vacation, and working as you would at the office. You’ll probably be much more motivated to get your work done, too, knowing that you’ll be free to hit the town later on.
Taking a remote work holiday is a fantastic way to feel rejuvenated about your job and create a new routine that’s both personally and professionally fulfilling. Having this type of enriching experience can lead to improved productivity, as long as you bring along everything you'll need and find a dependable workspace while you’re abroad.
Kelly Konya is the Media Director and Chief Editor of Coworker, the leading platform for finding and booking over 13,000 coworking spaces around the globe. Through her writing, she enjoys highlighting all of the advantages of remote work, shared offices, and coworking communities. Her work has been featured in Coworking Insights, StartupNation, Grammarly, and Coworker Mag.