Call it what you want. Location independence. Nomadic entrepreneurship. Wanderlust. Freedom. Choice
We live online, we increasingly study online, why wouldn’t we have the expectation to have the freedom to work, at least in part, online? Us Millennials are intrepid world travelers and it’s pouring into our day-to-day, as work-life balance is being rapidly replaced by work-life fusion.
And companies are more likely to be comfortable with you working anywhere, since that in the end cuts costs on office space and creates a more BYOD—bring your own device—atmosphere. Add to that, employees find this increasingly a motivator, which leads to happy workers who are even willing to be paid less for the freedom to work from anywhere.
But this doesn’t mean working from anywhere in the world is easy, in fact, far from it! Here are some tips to help you look before you leap!
Internet: “Find out about the broadband first, don’t take it for granted if you’re used to urban fibre speeds!” recommended Maya Middlemiss who runs London-based Saros market research company from a tiny village in the east of Spain. Indeed, one of the toughest things to deal with is not having constant Internet access.
Snail Mail: Try to digitalize and “go green” with as many things as possible, but, without fail, you’ll still need mail. Corbett Barr, CEO of Fizzle online consultancy for entrepreneurs says that for shorter times, you can have your mail held, but otherwise you can use a confidential service like Earth Class Mail which receives your mail and scans and sends it to you, then depositing or shredding anything you need.
Backups of Backups: Not only do you have to be prepared to be offline, you need to be prepared to be off the grid. Molly Sears-Piccavey collaborates with her corporate teammates based in Madrid while she’s in sunny Granada. She spends her free time traveling and writing her popular travel blog, teaching her to back up everything. “I use Pocket to file articles for reading offline and have a great portable hard drive. I’m never without my portable power bank either.”
Timezone Awareness: Being able to work from anywhere often means you could have clients from anywhere. This means, like me, you could really be working almost 24 hours a day if you are constantly on. Make sure to make use of tools like Doodle to find times convenient for anyone and try to keep your working day with clear boundaries. Particularly, when you are self-employed, maintaining balance and a fixed schedule (even one that your clients learn) can be key.
But how can you work from anywhere?
Not sure what you want to do, just know that you want to do it from anywhere? You can always follow Tim Ferriss’ four-hour work week, which focuses on a lifestyle change to not defer life until retirement (because you never know, right?). This potentially most famous figure in the modern nomadic life focuses on DEAL or Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation to refocus and trim back on your work week—although I don’t know anyone who has gotten it down to just half a day a week.
We also really liked this list of 25 career ideas for a location-independent lifestyle and this one of 64 ways location-independent people earn a living. But really, besides taxi driver and surgeon (at least for the foreseeable future), most jobs and teams can work together from anywhere. Just because you are location-independent, doesn’t mean that you have to be job independent. There are plenty of companies with distributed teams, like Product Hunt, which may have you relocate to their HQ temporarily but then let you live and work from wherever.
And while Millennials are choosing to be location-independent more than ever, there’s no reason it just has to be a trend for the under 35. To paraphrase Gandhi, be the change you want to see in your own world as you want to see the world! What are you waiting for?