Those of you who have chosen the life of a digital nomad have already embraced the notion of swapping the dead-end 9-5 office job for technology-based work while exploring the world. It’s a romantic idea; logging into your laptop from the hotel balcony, taking in the views of a beautiful sunset, and knowing that you’ll be jetting off elsewhere next week. Telecommuters are known to have relatively high morale and lower stress levels, so the nomadic lifestyle is clearly one which can pay off. However, it’s important to understand the challenges of remote working when you’re not location-specific.
Freedom versus Self-Discipline
With a lack of commute, there’s no pressure to be ready and on the road in time. You can just ‘plug in’ and start, wherever you are – whether that be while soaking up the views from a beach in Cuba or tucking into a paella in a Spanish cafe. On the other hand, telecommuting effectively means exercising a significant amount of self-discipline. With so many fresh attractions on your doorstep each time you arrive somewhere new, this is much tougher than it sounds.
Combat the powers of distraction by setting yourself daily, realistic targets or schedules for each project you’re working on. There are various time tracking and virtual project management tools that you can use to keep you on track.
Lack of Time With Colleagues
The life of a digital nomad can be somewhat isolating in terms of staying in touch with colleagues. Although you may have the personal company of a fellow travel companion, being able to communicate with workmates is equally important as it enables collaboration over remote projects. Digital nomads may struggle to establish working relationships without that face-to-face interaction. You may also have the challenge of working in varying time-zones to your colleagues. In order to feel like part of the community, you might consider setting up regular Skype or Lync meetings with other team members. Software management tools such as Slack are also helpful in enabling you to connect with colleagues and stay focused on your work.
Looking for more tips on how to stay productive as a digital nomad? Here’s a useful guide to help you get the most out of working remotely while exploring the world.