Working from home can be a dream for some and a nightmare for others. Some of us crave the freedom of remote working, while others love the routine of waking up in the morning and commuting to the workplace. This summer, I worked away from home in Albania, whilst I regularly worked from home; this was my first experience working abroad. My experience allowed me to learn a lot about my working style, I will share some of my tips and pointers to working abroad.
1. Make sure you have a good wifi connection: One of my main concerns when I was thinking about working abroad was whether I would have a good internet connection. l would suggest asking people you already know who live there what is the internet connection like and if they know of any cafes/working spaces that have good internet connection. Something else that I did was get a local SIM card to put in my phone so I was able to pick up the phone from any of my colleagues and clients at any time. Communication is absolutely key when working remotely, whether that is at home or abroad.
2. Ensure that you have a working space: This doesn’t mean just having a plug socket and somewhere to sit. This means having a comfy and private space without distractions where you are able to get work done, concentrate and take calls.
3. Adjust your schedule to the local time: Luckily, where I was, there was only a one-hour time difference, so I didn’t have to change my schedule or work different hours. However if you are travelling somewhere where there will be a big difference in time, then I would definitely suggest asking to adjust your working hours to suit you, otherwise you may end up working at 3 am, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want.
4. Limit distractions: being away from home and in a new country, it can be so easy not to be focused and feel like you’re on holiday. I would suggest to try and keep fun activities on the weekend and limiting too many weekday activities, which will tire you out for the work day and distract you from your work.
5. Keep contact: If you have experience with working remotely, then you would know how important it is to have face-to-face time with your colleagues. When you’re working abroad, this becomes even more evident. One way that can help this is setting up catch-ups with your colleagues and getting involved with team meet-ups, even if it is online.
6. Ask for help: just because you are working abroad, it doesn’t mean that you’re still not part of the team or that you will not run into issues and struggles. Remember that your team is always there to assist you, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.
Working abroad is an amazing experience, and I would say to anyone who is thinking about it do definitely go for it. However, keep in mind the points stated above to make sure you have a smooth and better experience. It is also amazing to be part of a company and team that are so supportive and forward-thinking. If you would like some tips on working from home, then read one of my previous articles tips for working from home.