So, you’ve got the remote position you’ve been angling for and you’re all set to work. Whoopee!
Now you have time to read ‘War and Peace‘, master sourdough starters, and trim your houseplants instead of commuting.
Now you can work from wherever, why work from home? Why not work from, oh, we don’t know, anywhere else in the world?
If you’re free of responsibilities and have the funding, now is your chance to cut loose and travel as you work. All you really need to live the digital nomad dream is a laptop and a sim card.
Is it really possible to travel and work as a remote customer support agent? Yep, it is. It’s the best part of the job.
We also know this for a fact because some of us at Cocoroco have lived it. But, before you stuff swimwear into your beach tote, there are a couple of things to consider.
First, confirm your employers are on board with you relocating to another country. Most companies are bound by tax and employment laws that prohibit people from working in countries they aren’t registered in.
If you attempt remote working without telling management where you are, you could be sued. Depending on where you’re from, you could even have criminal action taken against you.
Talk to your manager and clear all official approvals before you take off. Or, find a job with a company that approves your choice to work remotely.
Luckily, there are plenty of jobs offering this today, so it won’t be too hard.
Calculate your total income and do the maths before you start looking up flight tickets. Money is a real thing. This isn’t a holiday you’ve set aside a little cash for to cover a couple of weeks.
Draw up a living expenses and savings budget. Consider savings, proposed salaries, and how feasible it is to live off of these for however long you’re away. You can also include any other income considerations like rent from subletting or other invoices.
Travel costs differ all around the world. If this is the first time you’re travelling for work, it’s worth doing some research.
Once you get the legal approvals and financial considerations out of the way, you’re set to go. ✈️
1. Match your working hours
Travelling to a country in a different part of the world from yours might mean new working hours completely out of sync with your local time.
For instance, the Indochina time zone is 15 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). You’d be waking up at 1 am in Vietnam to catch a morning meeting at 10 am in California. Your 8-hour American work shift will begin at midnight and end just when everyone else is waking up in Asia.
When choosing a place you’d like to work from, check the time difference first. Or request a working shift that complements it.
2. Meet visa requirements
Most visa laws were set up prior to the digital age. That said, many countries now offer digital nomad visas to attract remote working professionals. This type of visa permits you to stay somewhere longer than a regular tourist one.
Most digital nomad visas require applicants to meet certain financial requirements to qualify. This typically involves proof of funds or a minimum income as determined by the host country.
It’s important to note that digital nomad visas are for remote work only and don’t allow for local employment.
3. Figure out your space
As a remote customer support agent, you’ll need a quiet, private space to work. Especially if your job involves phone support. Working in a hostel won’t fly and cheap living spaces get uncomfortable pretty fast.
Determine your budget for a private apartment. This can leave you feeling a bit isolated, sure, but if you’re working from a sunlit casa over an aqua ocean in Barbados, who cares?
You can find apartments on platforms like Airbnb, Nomad Stays, or even Facebook. Most local landlords are active there and you can get a better deal.
NomadList also ranks cities on the demands of its digital workers. From monthly living costs to Wi-Fi speeds, how friendly it is to women, and what the air quality is like. It really helps narrow things down.
4. Ensure you’re connected
As a remote customer support agent, you’ll need a reliable data connection. This can impact your work efficiency, so it’s important to research Wi-Fi speeds for where you’re going.
You can always ask your apartment host or hotel to send you a screenshot of their connection speed using Speedtest.
Alternatively, you can look into how to get a 4G sim from 2-3 local providers. It’s good to have a backup, after all. Even in cities where free Wi-Fi is available, you may get stuck in an Airbnb with connection issues.
If you’re planning on using a coworking space, keep in mind that, in developing countries, simple things like rain can knock out the Internet for an hour or two at times.
Remote customer support work may involve video calls, teleconferences, or Zoom meetings regularly, so do your research.
5. Find a social circle
Whatever corner of the world you’re in, and regardless of how little English is spoken there, you’ve got a friend in social media.
Look at Facebook, Instagram, and online networks like Slack or Reddit to find digital nomad groups and communities. You’ll be surprised by how many other nomads live in your area and would be happy to meet you.
You can also ask your family and friends to introduce you to people they know. It speeds up the process of making friends and helps you settle in faster, too. From a safety perspective, it’s always good to know someone trustworthy. Someone who could help you out in a pinch.
The strongest case for getting you out there with a backpack and a set of flight tickets is how important travel is for your brain.
Navigating a new environment and adapting to complex change induces neurological growth. It increases brain capacity and attentiveness and has been linked to reduced health risks.
Basically, travel is good for you. 😊
So, now you’ve got the lowdown on the how and the why, what are you waiting for? Break out those funky luggage tags and spin the globe to find your new spot in the sun.