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10 Steps To Working On The Road

10 Steps To Working On The Road
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Backpacker

    Even if your work doesn’t need to be done in an office, it can be very hard to work when you travel. You may be a freelancer, you may own your business, or you may telecommute, but there are ten steps you need to take to prepare yourself to work on the go. They’re especially key for long-term travel, but if you’re only going for a week, consider making the effort: these steps will not only simplify your current trip, but they’ll make it easier to prepare for future travel as well.

    1. Downsize your equipment. Sure, you can’t do your job without half a dozen gadgets and ten reference manuals. But do you really want to carry all that stuff through airports, hikes or whatever travels you have planned? Look for places to minimize: your reference manuals may be available as PDFs and you might be able to find one gadget that does everything. As a general rule of thumb, if you can fit in your luggage, you’ve got too much stuff to travel comfortably.
    2. Plan your schedule carefully. You can be spontaneous and wander off into the wilderness if you want, but you should make sure that your clients or employer know that you’ll be unavailable for contact during your wilderness wanderings. Furthermore, most of the wildernesses that I have visited have not offered reliable internet access: schedule yourself to be places with internet access when you need it.
    3. Check your insurance. Not all insurers cover travelers for even little things like lost laptops. Especially if you’re going for a nomadic lifestyle, make sure that your insurance covers all eventualities — like health care in a foreign country or coverage for a broken computer. Many insurers offer special long-term travel packages, such as Insure and Go’s Long Stay offer.
    4. Automate as much as possible. Even on the road, you’re likely to have bills, such as your insurance payment. Schedule payments ahead of time through your bank to reduce worry. You may also be able to answer most email questions with an automated email, or handle other business details. Going to the full outsourcing plan advocated by Tim Ferriss may be further than you need to go, but simplifying your obligations as much as possible will make your business run smoothly while you’re on the road.
    5. Inform your clients of your travels. Things go wrong, no matter how hard you try, and you don’t want your clients to find out that there’s an issue by you missing a deadline. You’ll get more leeway if a client knows that you’ll do everything you can than if you leave your client in the dark.
    6. Double check prescription medication. If you require prescription medication, it’s up to you to make sure that you can get a refill wherever you go, especially if you lose your meds. You may face some problems, though: TSA regulations may prevent you from caring your medication with you if you fly, or you may be visiting a country where certain medications are restricted (to check, you’ll need to contact the embassy of the country you will be visiting). Your medications may be more of a personal issue than a business matter, but you won’t be able to work if you’re not feeling so well.
    7. Keep records. You’re not just a traveler, you’re out there doing work for your business. You’ll have the same need for itemized receipts when you do your taxes if you’re in Timbuktu as you would in New York. Personally, I like a small notebook that can serve as a holding place for receipts and other bits of paper, though I know plenty of people who use their wallets as catchalls as well. Consider keeping track of contact information and other details in the same way.
    8. Bring nice clothes. You never know when you’ll find an opportunity, but you might not get the chance to talk to a potential contact if you’re wearing cut-offs or camping gear. Stick one dress-up outfit in your gear that you can pull out and wear immediately. Avoid things that need ironing or special care, like dry cleaning. Personally, I’ve found that sweaters are often the best tops, especially light ones that won’t overheat you in a warm climate — they don’t wrinkle and, if you wear them with undershirts, you rarely need to wash them.
    9. Choose a backup plan. Travel presents hundreds of opportunities for you to lose key equipment, such as a laptop. You’ll want to back up your data on a regular basis to a central location — that is, one you aren’t carrying with you. You’ll also want to have advance plans of how you might obtain new equipment. If, for instance, a certain type of cellular phone is vital to your work, could you have a new one shipped to you quickly? Could you make do with another phone?
    10. Adapt as needed. A traveling lifestyle is full of surprises. That’s half the fun, after all — getting out and doing new things. If you’ve managed to automate the things you’d normally worry about, and you know that issues like insurance and Plan Bs are taken care of, you have the opportunity to relax and go with the flow. Sure, you’ll still need to find some time to take care of your work commitments, but that’s why you planned ahead.

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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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