You’re adventurous and take every opportunity to dive into a foreign culture. You’d travel more, but work keeps you chained to a desk… or at least a single city. Maybe you travel for work from time to time, but that turns out to be more about conference rooms and airports than a new environment.
Some lucky people are able to break these chains and find a job that they can do from any location in the world. Estimates say that these independent employees, popularly known as “digital nomads,” may number as many as 4.8 million people. They have written their own rules about where they get the job done and then their weekends, evenings, and sometimes late afternoons become their own to use to explore a new environment.
In addition to the freedom it brings, a digital nomad’s lifestyle can also pay decently for those with the right profession. Writers, tech workers, graphic designers, remote personal assistants, and other professions with the right attitude can easily work from just about anywhere. It does take the right technology to pull it off, however. We’ve got information to help you establish a portable remote office that will give you optimum connectivity to work at your best.
Start with a strong, reliable internet connection
If you’re going to be working from home, be sure that your internet connection is in great shape. Evaluate what kind of connection you have and run test speeds to validate that you have what is best for your working situation.
Some industries, like marketing and graphic design, may have larger file sharing needs and you’ll need an extremely strong connection. For times when you’re working from home, it may be worthwhile to pay for the highest speeds possible.
Get to know the right communications apps
There are several apps that you’ll probably want to have so that you can easily communicate with other people. These include well-known video conferencing services like Skype or What’s App and chat instant messaging tools like Google Hangouts or Slack.
For sharing larger files and keeping on track with work teams, you may want to use a tool like DropBox or Google Drive. For project management and internal communications tools, a program like Teamroom, Slack, Basecamp, or one of many others can work particularly well and don’t necessarily have to cost too much.
Find out which of these tools your employer likes you to use and then become proficient on them. It may take some practice so that you can jump onto them easily and troubleshoot problems. Once you get used to them, things should be smooth sailing. You should also be able to easily let your boss and other team members know when and how is the best way to get a hold of you.
Set up privacy and convenience tools
You’re going to be working in a lot of environments and its a good idea to make sure that your virus protection and other privacy apps are up to date. You also may want to have a good set of noise-canceling headphones in case you’re working from a coffee shop, between flights at an airport, or any public space where you can’t control the noise.
Line up tech support
If something goes wrong with your computer, your work can be completely derailed. Don’t let that happen to you. Before any problems crop up, identify who you’ll go to for tech support. Computer manufacturers have online hotlines that may help. Your employer may also have someone they want you to use. If none of these work, try to identify someone in the community you live in or are working from who can help in a crisis. Be sure to check out their costs and be sure they’re someone you can trust.