Digital Nomad. Errmm … working where?

The year is 2018 … right? Good, just checking. Yet again, another day of absolutely smacking my head against a wall about people’s response to working from home (WFH) / remote working. Seriously … Can we all just grow up and move on that this is not only the future of work but has been acceptable for about 10 years now? So much so, let’s rather talk about Digital Nomad. I think startups are the worst culprit for this – if you aren’t physically in the allocated office/space putting in the hours and I mean like 10-14 hour days then you are being jumped by usually by the CEO that you “don’t want this enough” or “aren’t grafting”, I’m sure you have heard the endless overused phrases.

The option to work flexibly, or from home, makes you feel like more than just a number, and that maybe your boss realises you’re only human – Fiona Thomas

It also wasn’t until recently when I realised how much the weather personally affects my mood and motivation. Here in London in the past couple of weeks it has gone from snowing to glorious summer sun (yes in April, Spring), and I have always joked I was fuelled by the sun, but seriously, on the sunny days my body was getting up at sunrise and way before my alarm, plus I just felt overall happiness regardless of what was thrown my way, whereas the darker days I find it a lot harder to motivate myself to even peel my body out from under the duvet. It’s interesting as I was reading Sherly Sandberg’s book, Lean In, last year and she made an interesting comment about how people also encourage work/life balance when they have a family, what about the people who are seeking this stage before? It’s true, it usually is more acceptable for people with families or are “older” to be “allowed” remote working “privileges” – True story, I’ve been asked to take annual leave for some ridiculous situations instead of WFH; dentist app (20mins app near home), sofa delivery (it took 30mins for the actual delivery), and my best for public transport failings. They are just to name a few and trust me, there have been worse, but this is the reality, employers not being human about examples like that do not have any flex in my book to then contact you “out of work hours”.

This isn’t however what I actually am able to do, I am always online and contactable and am a firm believer in output not hours. The ultimate goal for me personally is the nomadic life (yes this may surprise some of you) which I am determined to achieve comfortably in a few years, especially after seeing my wonderful friends Rosie and Faris do just this since 2013! For now, the plan is a Digital Nomad life working with some cool clients and then see where the wind or planes take me!

Digital nomads are a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles – Wikipedia

Whether you are an existing Digital Nomad or looking to join the tribe – here are a few communities you may want to join to keep you company for networking or tips and advice:

A few tools that will enhance your Digital Nomad experience:

  • Slack – Virtual workplace and probably more used than emails
  • Google suite – I mean literally everything; docs, spreadsheets, email, hangouts, drive et al
  • City mapper – For all your travelling requirements
  • Trello/ Team week – Depending on your time management style
  • Docu-sign – Who physically kills trees to sign nowadays?

Ok so these aren’t tools but good “additions” for any Digital Nomad:

  • Alexa – Everyone needs a bit of company/music/reminders
  • Nespresso machine – Coffee. Enough said.
  • Re-useable water bottle – Need to keep hydrated!

A few tips for keeping you motivated:

  • Listen to your body, set your hours
  • Don’t get distracted by Netflix (too much)
  • Open a window to make sure you get fresh air
  • Get changed out of your pjs so you aren’t tempted to “nap”
  • Make sure you step away/move for a lunch break
  • Keep an eye on your snacks

I’m sure you get the idea by now of what being a Digital Nomad is, having said that, I do like and need an actual work from home environment, so if you are considering the life of freelancing or fancy a spruce up of workspace, fear not, I have a pinboard (of course) with lots of inspiration.

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