By Lyndsey Hall
With the extension of flexible working to all last July, some employees have taken the opportunity to push the boundaries of what constitutes remote working.
Nomading, or extreme telecommuting, involves travelling to far flung destinations, whilst still working remotely from paradise. Wi-Fi connection permitting, this trend has become more and more popular with the increased use of Cloud computing in businesses. Not only does this style of remote working allow employees to see more of the world, without ever missing out on a paycheque, it could also permit workers to live in a lower income country, whilst earning a higher income. Earning an average income from the UK or US could allow someone to live in parts of Asia or Europe and have an extremely comfortable existence; able to afford a more luxurious lifestyle than they could at home, and visit some of the world’s most beautiful destinations at the same time.
With tools such as Skype, remote desktops and internet phones at your disposal, you don’t have to miss an important meeting just because you’re out of the country; however the biggest drawback of extreme remote working is the unpredictable internet connection. Mobile data usage abroad can be very expensive, and in some countries it is not possible to take out an unlimited plan, so costs can quickly skyrocket when free Wi-Fi is unavailable. It’s important to plan for every eventuality before setting off into the sun; your employer will thank you for having contingencies in place should you find yourself without phone reception or an internet connection.
Companies like Foursquare and Buffer are reinventing the remote working environment to help employees feel just as in touch with the team as their co-located colleagues. At Buffer, remote workers wear a Jawbone UP wristband to track their wellbeing, and are encouraged to share their personal goals and achievements on a regular basis. They also update their daily accomplishments to a shared productivity app, allowing them to chat about what each other is up to, just as though they were sitting in the same office.
FourSquare employees are constantly connected to videoconferencing software during working hours, allowing colleagues to start a conversation at will, rather than having to schedule a Skype meeting. You can achieve a similar effect for a much lower cost by using Sqwiggle, an always-on video chat system that uses just your webcam and monitor, and allows you to stay connected to your colleagues at all times.
Does your employer offer remote working opportunities? If you could, where would you most like to log on from? We’d love to hear from you, leave us a comment or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
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