How to work from anywhere.
There has been a lot of talk about working from anywhere lately – particularly because of the pandemic. We have the rise of work at home, location independent living, telecommuting, tree changing, sea changing, digital nomads and remote working.
But how do you make this happen and how do make the transition so you can work from anywhere? What practical steps do you need to take?
In this post, I speak with two business experts who have made the move to work from anywhere. They’ve found their favourite place and they share their secrets for success.
Karen Porter – Finding Your Ideal Place
Hi, I’m Karen Porter (LinkedIn). I’m the founder of stakeholder engagement agency, Underground Communications, and B Corp consulting firm, The Benefit Consultants.
I have worked in many different sorts of places in my time from the corporate office in the city, to my home office next to the playroom when my children were little right through to my suburban office when I was growing a team.
My favourite place is where I am right now. I’ve recently moved to a new home and it’s right in the heart of my favourite place in the world, which is Manly. I am now two steps away from one of my favourite coffee shops just across the road. I’m two minutes away from the ferry into the city. And if I get lonely, I have a coworking space in the church next door.
I think throughout your working life, your ideal location differs depending on the type of arrangement that you need, what you’re trying to achieve. But right now, where I am, this is perfect for me.
Sean O’Leary – Be organised
I’m Shawn O’Leary (Linked In). I’m a leadership and professional development coach. And I help emerging leaders who are transitioning into new leadership roles, I help them transition and get a flying start in that role and have an impact on the teams that they’re leading.
I really love being able to work from anywhere. But more specifically, I really love working from where I am right now, on our farm in South Gippsland. Victoria. We made a tree change out of metropolitan Melbourne, two years ago. And part of that tree change was transitioning for me out of a corporate role, where I was going to the office every day, into being able to work remotely. The development of my coaching practice has really enabled me to do that.
By setting myself up to work remotely, I can work from the farm, or wherever I am in the world, every day. And I’m really enjoying it – to be able to be here working on the computer when I need to connect with my clients online, over video conference, or taking a break and walking out around the farm.
1 Find the Right Work
One of the things that I recommend to people if they’re thinking of making this change is to really focus on finding that work that allows you to work remotely. It’s tapping into what your skill sets are, what you’re good at, and where you can seek that opportunity to work remotely.
2 Control your Calendar
The second thing I’d suggest is take control of your calendar. It’s very easy here, especially for me on the farm with an endless project list, to be distracted from doing the work that I need to do to keep building my coaching practice. Setting out and controlling my calendar to have set days when I’m working and set days when I’m doing stuff on the farm has been really, really useful.
3 Put your finances in order
The third thing is if you’re if you’re transitioning from a corporate role, don’t underestimate the time it takes you to make that transition and set yourself up in a way financially. You need to manage your finances so that you can ride the ups and downs of that transition. Then with that comfort and that space with your finances in order, it will allow you to work in a way that you want to so that you don’t have to be pulled back to that lure of working just for money.
4 Get Clear
If you’re on the journey to work from anywhere, I encourage you to go for it. Really get clear on what you want to do and how you want to do it and take the steps one at a time to work towards what you want. It’s very rewarding to be able to do it and really control your own time. All the best with your transition to working from anywhere.
Sean’s website: SeanNicholas.com
Some great insights there from Karen and Sean on how to work from anywhere.
For me, what stands out is that it’s not just about one location. In Karen’s example, it’s not just about her home office. It’s also the variations of the café, being in Manly with the ferry and the beach, plus the co-working space next door.
And the same for Sean, it’s this back and forth between the office and the farm. Yes, he’s sitting in his office on his farm, but it’s more about the interaction between these spaces.
In my experience, if you want to work from anywhere, you’ll probably go a little mad if you try to button yourself down to one location. Think about the variations you may want to have a richer work from anywhere experience.
The second big point I’d like to reinforce in how to work from anywhere comes from Sean’s wisdom.
Working from anywhere is not a free-for-all. Instead, you will have to plan and be organised.
Plus, you will have to set up new boundaries. When you attend an external office, you have a more formal on-off switch for work and not work. I believe the key to how to work from anywhere is to create your own boundaries and rules for how that will work. Sean points to this in his calendar using scheduling time for work and scheduling time for the farm.
Your How to Work from Anywhere Rules
For me, I do this a little differently from Sean. I don’t like being boxed into timing, so I don’t tend to schedule things as much.
Instead, the key for me in how to work from anywhere comes down to the informal rules I have set for myself. For instance:
- Work in 25-minute Pomodoro blocks of highly focused undistracted time.
- I do this for 6-12 blocks a day. (Yes, that’s only 3-6 hours a day)
- No work in the evenings apart from reading.
- And no client work on the weekend – but I can work on my own projects.
- Respond to emails once a day in one block.
- Take a break of two hours in the middle of the day – walk, coffee, ride, meetings.
- Schedule meetings or coaching sessions for afternoons.
How to work from anywhere is requires you to find your best way to work. What are your rules for how you work?
Summary: How to Work from Anywhere
Let’s wrap up the three main points here:
- How to work from anywhere includes having multiple locations to work from or at least take a break from your work.
- You need to be organised. This includes planning to make it happen and then using your calendar wisely to keep it working.
- Defining your boundaries between work and not work is important. Sean schedules his time for this whereas I follow my general rules for work.
What are your tips and strategies in how to work from anywhere? Add a comment below and let us know.
A big thank you to Karen and Sean for sharing their insights.
More on How to Work from Anywhere
Here are some related posts on how to work from anywhere:
- Location Independent Lifestyle Design
- 17 ways to work from anywhere in the world
- Lifestyle Design for Business Experts