Small business owners and employees working on-the-go: here’s what you need to have setup for a smooth virtual work/vacation time.
One of the biggest benefits of technology is that it allows those of us who want to work virtually the ability to work from anywhere – that’s definitely our favorite part! We get to have amazing relationships with our accounting and tax clients while exploring more of the world. Are you thinking about a long trip but are unsure of what you need to do to plan ahead?
There are many factors to consider before you set off on your journey; it’s important to think of all that can and likely will go wrong before you leave so that you are able to really enjoy the trip without any silly hangups. Here’s a few thoughts we’ve gathered to consider before you embark on your adventures:
- Internet connection is very important.
Whether you are able to work completely off of a hotspot from your cell phone or you use a WiFi mobile router, you need something to stay connected with your team and clients. If you are off on your own account (i.e. not staying in a place with WiFi) there are many resources that can offer you WiFi on-the-go. We’ve found a lot of great mobile WiFi devices on Amazon, but you can also look into options from your cell phone provider.
- You need uninterrupted time.
Having uninterrupted time to work is absolutely necessary to be able to complete work no matter where you are. If you are traveling with family, particularly children, it’s important to set boundaries for when you are working. If you have decided you will work for three hours in the mornings, make arrangements to ensure you will have minimal distractions during work time.
- Unscheduled calls are a no-go.
Though you are traveling, you want to maintain professionalism and that isn’t easily achieved with screaming kids, barking dogs, or general noise in the background of your calls. You will need to schedule your calls ahead of time to avoid getting a phone call while you admire the Eiffel Tower (or less glamorous…while your kid is having a meltdown). Any unscheduled calls should go to voicemail and you will be able to get back to them during the time you’ve alloted yourself to work.
- Anticipate what your teammates will need from you.
Though you are traveling, you are still a necessary part of your team. You should think about what your teammates usually ask from you and touch base with them about how you’ll be able to still fill this role while you are gone. By doing this, you are increasing everyone’s confidence in the arrangement and getting yourself organized to anticipate their needs.
- Plan your work ahead of time.
Create a “master plan” of what each day will look like, just as you plan a travel itinerary. By doing this, you will be better able to enjoy the rest of your time with your family or travel companions. You need to have the master plan before you leave as to not waste time on the trip figuring it all out. When unexpected things come up, it won’t feel so overwhelming.
- Actually enjoy the vacation.
You are on vacation for crying out loud, enjoy it! When you’ve finished the day’s work, put it away and don’t worry about it anymore. There will likely be days where you are not working; give yourself permission to walk away from work and enjoy that time. If you’re going to be unavailable for more than 24 hours, you will need to give clients contact information for someone they can contact.
Having the freedom to travel whenever and wherever through virtual work is seriously the bomb. We highly encourage it! Join us in our journey as we document one of our own, Janette Lowe, on a month long road trip as she works and vacations simultaneously. Should be a great time!