Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors own.
Considering 80 percent of U.S. employees prefer to work from home at least two days a week, there’s no question that hybrid and remote work is here to stay. Many startups are capitalizing on the remote revolution, and management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. says such changes offer a rare opportunity to rethink how they work. Virtual shifts are great news if you love to travel.
As we enter the third year of the epidemic you are probably feeling a bit burnt. The good news is that you can (and should) work from anywhere, even on vacation Research shows that people are more creative in the weeks following the holidays. Combining a new position and a vacation-like experience in your career can boost your creativity and help you feel refreshed.
Related: Remote work being stale? Here’s how to make it fresh
Turn work into a permanent vacation
As an entrepreneur, investor and travel expert, I have worked from afar around the world. In the first two years of the epidemic, I lived and vacated remotely for one to three months at a time in more than 15 places, including Cabo Beach, a shipwrecked hotel on the skeletal coast of Namibia, and a small island in Mozambique. It was inspiring and allowed me to tick off my bucket list places without taking a day off. The great news is, thanks to the remote work, you can do the same.
Although a trip is fun, it can be tedious if you don’t plan ahead. No one wants leave from their vacation. For example, when I was working in Mexico, I made a list of the top things I wanted to do and checked out the list every weekend. It gave me a sense of satisfaction to explore the place where I was without feeling overwhelmed. During the week, I made a point to focus on work, exercise, mental health, and my general weekly tasks. Sticking to my routine has enabled me to explore the weekend (and avoid the fear of burnout and getting lost).
Ready to travel and work remotely? Here are some tips to help you maintain your routine:
1. Start with your old routine, then add it
When in my permanent home, I get up at 6:30 in the morning, use the gym, have breakfast and then start working. At night, I make dinner, take care of daily chores and then dive into downtime and reading. When I travel, I try to keep the same routine. If you are constantly changing things, your “home” may not feel like a place where you can be productive at the moment. As they say: consistency is key.
I would recommend starting with your existing routine and then changing things as needed. For example, when I was on a beach, I started working outside to see the scene. I set aside 30 percent of my meeting time when I could walk and talk because – let’s be honest – your coworkers don’t need to see your face all the time. Think about what you can add to your schedule that will not hinder the habits that will help you succeed.
Related: Why you need a remote work schedule
2. Take a quarter at a time
In my experience, three months is the right time to stay away from work. When staying somewhere for 30 days, you feel like a tourist who will never open your suitcase. You are constantly trying all the sights and jams every tour, shop and restaurant you are there for a few weekends. But within three months, you have the opportunity to unpack, make some friends, travel on weekends, and see others. You’re not in a hurry, and you have time to appreciate where you are.
So take a quarter of things at a time. Give yourself 90 days to settle down and fully explore. Taking so much time off work is not always an option, and according to the US Travel Association, 55 percent of employees have already admitted that they do not use all their holidays. But when telecommuting, you can move away from your permanent address for a long time while maintaining your output. Be sure to check if this has any tax effect for you and make sure your company will allow you to leave the country for a specified period.
3. Make friends wherever you are
Life is better with people. When I find myself in a new place, I use the dating app in friend mode to meet people and get local tips. It’s a great way to meet interesting people, hear what’s going on, and see places in an authentic way. It’s also helpful to post on social media whenever I’m new: I ask friends to introduce themselves to others they know.
I’ve made friends almost everywhere, and we keep in touch. These friends have even gone on future trips with me. I have many fond memories of my remote travels, because it was not just about me but the journey I had with others I met along the way.
Related: 3 tips for navigating the future of work and travel
Change your scenery, check your bucket list and use the flexibility remote job offers to see the world. Make sure you maintain your routine to ensure a completely successful trip.