Quitting your 9-5 job and becoming a remote worker will be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. It is not a decision that you should make overnight, it takes planning.
There are aspects of this lifestyle that you must prepare for or risk losing everything you’ve worked hard to try and achieve.
Technology plays a critical part in remote working.
There are many issues that occur but one example could be, that you’re working on a time-sensitive project and the internet goes down and you’re unable to make the deadline. You lose the trust you’ve built with the client and lose out financially because they stop hiring you.
The solution is not to rely on anyone for access to the internet – it’s your livelihood, your responsibility, so make sure you have at least one backup – purchase a MiFi device that is unlocked to all networks and buy a local sim card with a sufficient amount of data for you to work.
You’re working in isolation so looking after your mental health is important. Travel can be exhausting with the issues that are thrown at you as you move from one place to the next. Combine that with working 8, 9, 10 hours a day, and within a few months of working remotely, you could be burnt out.
This is going to mean that you’re physically and mentally exhausted, resulting in not being able to perform to the best of your abilities. It could lead to time off work due to ill-health, which as a self-employed freelancer or contract will result in no income.
When you first start on the journey of being a remote worker, you will want to visit everywhere and travel every couple of days or a week.
You’ll find out quickly that this is not sustainable, and instead, the best solution is to spend two to four weeks in a place, have days where you unwind and particulate in activities that you’re passionate about.
Health and wellbeing
When working remotely in countries abroad you stand a higher chance of contracting Dengue fever, Malaria and other diseases. Then, there’s increased the risk of food poisoning and other illnesses that you can contact as you consume food and travel from one to place to the next.
The last thing you want is to spend time in a hospital in a foreign country where they do not speak English, and while you are laid there recovering, the cost of the treatment is increasing hour by hour.
As a foreigner, you do not have the luxury of the NHS treatment when travelling abroad. The cost of hospital treatment can spiral out of control and the savings you had in your bank can quickly disappear.
As you’re unwell, no money will be incoming and what was a dream lifestyle can become a nightmare.
It’s important to have all of the appropriate travel inoculations and plan ahead to think about what countries you are going to be spending time in. Purchase travel and/or medical insurance so that you’re financially covered. Have regular medical checkups either when you’re back in your home country, or, as you’re travelling in English speaking countries.
Lack of work and income
As a freelancer/contractor there will be a time when work will dry up, and you need to be prepared for this because if you don’t, there’s a chance that you will lose everything that you’ve built while working remotely.
While working for clients it’s important to be looking for the next project that you can work on. While working for clients it’s important to be looking for the next project that you can work on.
Don’t focus on the one client, make sure you plan in time to network and secure the next project, so you can jump from one to the next. Never rely on one source of income because if that client takes their custom elsewhere, you are on your way back home on the next plane.
It’s critical that you have a savings account with at least six months of income to allow you to live comfortably and give yourself time to find a new project without being stressed out.
It sounds crazy planning for unexpected circumstances but things happen without warning. Rainstorms could flood your accommodation, ruining your laptop and hard-drive full of work projects.
A fire could break out in your apartment, and leave you without your passport, bank cards and no access to your money. Flights could be cancelled – power in your apartment could be cut, there are a ton of issues that could spring up from nowhere.
Dealing with all of these situations is in the planning. Make sure you have accommodation with an emergency generator for electricity, keep all essential travel documents and bank cards in a bag, which you can grab in an emergency.
Check the local news for any issues like extreme weather, protests, and crime.
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged when travelling so you can make changes in plans like rebooking on other flights or booking last minute accommodation.
Not planning for these unexpected circumstances can lead to you being affected emotionally, physically and financially.