How do you fancy never having to cram yourself into an overfull train at an ungodly hour of the morning, just to make it into a drab office, with people you really could do without seeing every day? Well, many people are doing just that. They are trading their tied-to-the-desk job for a work-from-anywhere-I-damn-well-want job, and why not? The world of work is now more open to flexible and permanently o.o.o (out of office for the uninitiated!) lifestyles. There are more than 4 million people in the UK who work from home, the highest it’s ever been, and there are certainly no signs of that slowing down.
But it’s not always ass easy as it sounds. Let’s have a look at some of the misconceptions about not being tied to an office, and what you should consider before you take the plunge.
There’s no overhead
This just isn’t true. No matter where you work from you will have to pay something – think about it, even if you de-camp from the office to a coffee shop, you still have to grab a drink or a bite to eat whilst you are there. If you plan to travel whilst you work then you will need to have a power source and internet connection, which you’ll have to pay for!
You can work from anywhere in the world
In a way this is sort of true, however it comes with caveats. You’ll need consistent access to a power source and a reliable and strong internet connection. If you want to work from the middle of nowhere then think about how you can make it work. Sometimes it’s just not feasible.
You can work whenever you want
Nope, again not completely true. If you have a contract with clients, your boss or your customers then you can count this little fact out. You will have time constraints on your deliverables, just like you had at home, except now you are possibly in a completely different time zone which might see you having to wake up extra early or stay up late to get work done to back home hours.
You can set up office wherever you are
Again, this is a nice thought but the reality is much harder. The one thing working from an office has a benefit is consistency. Having a set space where you can organise your desk is great. It means you have a comfortable area that you can really get your head down and concentrate. Trying to work whilst on a sun lounger on a beach might sound idyllic, but you’ll soon get frustrated when you need power, sand is on your keyboard and your internet connection keeps dropping out – not to mention the dodgy tan lines you’ll get from having a laptop on your legs all day!
Getting new contracts is a breeze
Managing to secure yourself new work can be difficult if you are not present for interviews. Despite the rise in nomadic workers, most companies are unfamiliar with staff never being there in person, so it’s difficult for them to trust that you’ll get the job done. Setting up calls and skype meetings can be tricky in different time-zones and also trusting that you’ll get paid on time is also not a barrel of laughs!
Even though these difficulties are real and you should definitely think about them before you jet off, you shouldn’t automatically scrap your dreams of becoming a digital nomad. With some careful planning and advanced problem solving you should be able to travel the world and make some money without too much stress.
Photo credit: szwerink