During the coronavirus crisis, nearly everyone learned to work remotely. As the world reopens new travel opportunities will arise as a result.
Anyone who can continue to work from home is doing so. Employers and employees are learning the importance of setting personal schedules, adding technology to their lives they otherwise wouldn’t use and keeping business moving without being in an office physically.
Many employers were less comfortable with working remotely than they otherwise should be. There was a stigma in some organizations that working from home was less productive regardless of whether the notion was factually based. But like it or not, all employers that could carry on from home had to give it a try and discovered it wasn’t the pariah it was thought to be.
Tim Ferriss discusses this in his kitschy but effective tome, The Four-Hour Work Week. It’s cheesy but delivers salient points around the topic of working efficiently and remotely.
Work rules will change as a result of self-quarantine. Employers will likely be laxer regarding coming into the office in person. Those that don’t meet clients or manage in-person teams will find that they are able to continue working remotely, even very remotely.
Spend a month abroad. Yes, a month. Many that have stayed home have saved money over the last couple of months and may be able to extend their travel budget. Further, when you stay longer, especially in an apartment or home, you can shop at local markets, cook for yourself and spend little time getting to your destination with respect to the overall length of the journey.
Working remotely has completely reshaped Chiang Mai, Thailand. Inexpensive living costs coupled with exceptional weather in Thailand’s northwest rainforest has brought remote workers from across the world. Some struggle with work hour adjustments (opposite to US eastern time) but make it work for them and their employer.
It doesn’t have to be Thailand, maybe the time zone issue is a bridge too far. Airbnb lists condos in Quito, Ecuador for $500-700/month in the city center with views of the Andes.
One of our own readers owns this property, a luxury apartment in Guadalajara. Message him and negotiate a monthly rental, I am sure he would welcome the occupancy.
Selling Your Boss
The hardest part about working remotely, especially when it wasn’t a condition of hire, can be hard work. I have previously sold my boss on what we called “unlimited vacation” but was really the ability to work remotely as I saw fit. This is how I did it:
- Never miss a call, meeting or email.
- Maintain productivity at or exceeding prior levels.
- Bear all of the cost of telecommunication with no additional work for the employer.
- Request it on a trial basis, offer to abandon the practice if it’s not working.
- Offer a reduction of vacation days (you won’t need them anyway.)
Working remotely for traditional office employees was a rare and limited option. Now that many have proven they can work just as efficiently from home, there is a new opportunity to work from abroad in a way that would have otherwise been unfeasible.
What do you think? Has working remotely the last couple of months changed hearts and minds at your employer? Have you worked abroad for an extended period of time before? What tactics worked when selling your employer on the concept?