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2 min read

Remote work doesn't have to be from home

By Robert Hubbard · September 27, 2021
Hero image of a van looking out over a beautiful view

Remote work isn't just for pandemics or digital nomads. It's for anyone who values flexibility.

I joined Zapier in 2018. My wife is a school teacher, and we have three school-aged children, so full-time travel isn't something we've ever wanted to do. But l still enjoy the flexibility of remote work. Here are the three things I appreciate the most—and I suggest you do if you "work from home."

Work from wherever you want to that day

I'm lucky enough to have an office space at home, but working there every day can get lonely and boring. So at least a day or two a week, I try to get out and work somewhere else—a secondary workspace (pandemic permitting, of course).

There aren't any co-working spaces where I live. So instead, I'll often rotate through a few local cafes. But I also love the outdoors, so you're just as likely to find me working from a picnic table in a local park, hotspotting from my phone.

This year we purchased a camper van, which has become my office on wheels. We're lucky enough to live on the edge of a national park here in the UK called the Peak District. Some mornings, I'll drop my children off at school and head to the Peaks. I get to work with beautiful views out my "office" window and go for some amazing lunch runs. It sure beats staring out a drabby office window.

Take long weekend trips

This summer, I took four vacations away from home with my family, but I only took one week off of work. The trick: we did three long weekend trips. I worked on Friday and Monday, while everyone else went out and had fun. But we all enjoyed family adventures on the weekend in new places.

Note: if you have children, do some research ahead of time on what the rest of the family can do while you're working. My personal experience is that "We'll figure it out when we get there" doesn't work.

Visit long-distance friends

I live over 4,000 miles away from my two best friends. Technology can help bridge that gap, but there's nothing that beats sitting in the same room with them. Thankfully, I've been able to leverage the remote nature of my job to make that happen without using all my vacation time.

I usually do this kind of travel during the week. Mid-week plane tickets tend to be cheaper, which is a nice bonus. Personally, I book the travel days off, but others might be able to work productively on a flight. (I'm all in on watching six hours straight of B-grade movies.)

My friends appreciate that they don't have to take a week off when I visit because I'm working as well. Instead, we spend the evenings and weekends together, just as if we lived in the same city.

Remember you work remotely, not from home

The news cycle over the past couple years has referred to the rise of working from home. But to get the most out of a new work dynamic you may find yourself in, remember that you don't work from home—you work remotely. And working remotely doesn't just offer the flexibility to make a massive change to your life. It also gives you the flexibility to make changes to how you live and work each day.

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