My job takes me all over the world—which is awesome—but also has its own set of challenges. While it is exciting to work abroad and technology makes it easier and easier to work from just about anywhere in the world, it is not always simple and it requires one thing in particular: DISCIPLINE.
Here are my five tips on successfully working abroad.
#1. Set your office hours and stick to them.
I’m currently through week 2 of a 5 week stint in Europe. Each week, I have days and blocks of time set aside for work, some for tours and play, and other time for just chilling. It’s easy to blow off office hours with so many tempting activities around (currently in Lisbon and there is ALWAYS something new to do and someone who wants to go out and play). Staying committed to your business is important for growth anc success!
#2. Make sure you have STRONG WIFI.
It’s not enough to just have WIFI, you need to make sure you have a strong signal. I use Skype for a lot of my calls and that requires some bandwidth. Make sure where you are staying has a strong signal. Read reviews from other visitors or inquire about the upload/download speed before booking your stay. In Europe, this isn’t a huge problem, in Indonesia… that was a whole nother story!
#3. Use a calendar management app like Acuity to schedule calls across time zones.
I use this even when I’m not abroad since I work with clients all over the world, spanning at least six different time zones. Self-booking apps like Acuity make scheduling and rescheduling calls easy for everyone. Set your available times and let others book when it works for them.
#4. Check your email regularly and respond.
Don’t go completely dark! If you are on vacation, be clear about that and put up an “out-of-office” message. Let your clients know you will not be available. If you are working while abroad, check your email as you would if you were working like normal. This helps build trust with your clients that even though you may be abroad, you are still working for them.
#5. Schedule downtime that is not work time.
This was a tough one for me at first. I’d plan a full day of touring and then schedule 4-5 hours of work time in the evening. Make sure that you give yourself a little time in between so that you can transition from play to work.