There are of course a lot of great things about living on a beach island where it’s 90 degrees every day, while everyone else is (hopefully) freezing. However, it’s not always as easy and fun as it sounds.
Here are five tips I picked up along the way to make this work for you and your family.
1. You need a daily work routine more than ever.
I thought I could easily just “work whenever” I wanted because I was remote, but I found out quickly that not having a daily schedule was a real bad idea. I found myself disorganized, stressed out and I found my clients more unhappy than ever because I wasn’t getting the same level of work I am used to delivering
2. Create a family routine as well.
Here’s the thing about working remotely with a family. You’re working & on vacation at the same time. Your family, however, is on vacation. So, while they definitely respect that you’re working, they’re also expecting to do vacation things.
Without setting expectations on when you can do things with the family, you’re setting yourself up for a bad time. Let them know when you’re free to do activities with them. Of course, many activities require a full day and not just a few hours here and there. Be diligent about this when building your schedule.
3. Communicate twice as much as you used to.
The best part about getting away is that you’re away from everyone else. You feel like you can be more productive because you’re not dealing with everyone else’s stressors. The hard part about getting away is that your clients and colleagues think you’re out having fun and think you’re not working. This stresses them out, which then turns out stressing you out. The same goes for your family. Over-communicate what your plans are and when you’re going to be doing fun things and times where you’ll be working.
I fix this problem by over-communicating certain activities and letting them know I have a handle on it. I then deliver it on time.
4. Find a location that has activities that can be done without you (if needed).
Working remotely while on vacation can either sound like heaven to you or a miserable time. Since I go for at least a month at a time, I can’t just shut off. The city I chose within Thailand is Phuket. It’s family and tourist-friendly and generally a safe city. This means that not every activity needs me to be present.
Of course, I would like to be present in most of the activities, but if I have to jump on a last minute conference call or do work, I’m happy that my wife can just take the kids and do the things we had planned on doing instead of waiting for me to get off the call.
So, choose your location wisely.
5. Cafe’s with fast internet are your friend.
You know where I’m writing this from? You guessed it, a cafe. Even though I’m thousands of miles from home, I find myself still able to write better when I’m not in my hotel/apartment.
Plus hotels don’t really care if you have fast internet or not. They just care that you have internet some of the times. And when you’re trying to join a conference call, and your clients can’t hear you because the connection is bad, that’s bad for everyone involved.
I’m lucky that Thailand has good internet, and also fast mobile hotspots that I can carry along with me in case I need fast internet in a pinch.
I’m hoping these tips keep your family happy and you productive. If it works for me, it can work for you.