I’ve been working from home for many years, long before terms like remote jobs or digital nomads were in the lexicon.
I’ve worked from home both as a self-employed entrepreneur, and as an employee.
I’ve tried working from an RV, Airbnbs in multiple states, other peoples homes through housesitting. In 2022, I left a great remote job so I could work and travel in Europe.
Over the years, I fielded many envious comments from people who would say, “I wish I could work from home.” Not all types of jobs provide that opportunity, but whenever possible, I’d encourage them and share resources and tips I found helpful.
Most remained wistful, but one of my close friends took a resource I shared with her and ran with it. She left a miserable job and created a successful work-from-home business that is thriving several years later.
And then of course, 2020 changed things for so many. Suddenly the world of remote work didn’t seem so foreign and crazy.
My goal is to share resources I’ve found helpful in my journey. I don’t want to recreate the wheel here.
I am a writer by trade, though, so I will include my own experiences when I think they will be helpful.
Sign up for my email list below, and I’ll share a curated list of resources on topics related to remote work, location independence and the digital nomad life. Since I’ve been both a remote employee and a location independent entrepreneur, my tips will be a mix of both.
Remote jobs and the digital nomad lifestyle aren’t for everyone. Being a location independent entrepreneur or working a job from a completely different time zone can be incredibly challenging.
But if you feel the pull and want to start or stick with remote work, you at least owe it to yourself to try. I hope you’ll find these resources helpful.
I’ve had some unforgettable experiences working from amazing locations, and some epic fails. (The zoom speaking engagement from a dusty gravel parking lot outside a fast food joint in rural Alabama using crappy internet from my hotspot was not one of my finer moments.)
Mostly, though, working from home, or somewhere else, has just been the way I work. If you want to do the same, I want to help you make it happen!
You need a job or skillset that allows you to work remotely, or you need to find one. When it comes to jobs or freelance work, some of the most popular are:
But if your job requires to you be physically present at work, don't let that discourage you. I've met people who take time to travel to their work location or their business, put in a lot of work, then take time off to travel. I know a nurse who works several months a year then take several off, for example.
Or you may put your head down, work and save money, then start traveling and figure it out. There are many, many possibilities if you are determined to find a solution.
It may take a little while to figure out a flexible arrangement but there are more people who work this way than you may realize.
As an example, you’d think managing a restaurant would be one of the least flexible jobs or businesses you can imagine. But my neighbors at an RV park in Florida were a couple who operate a successful restaurant on the water near Chicago during the summer. When winter comes, they close it up and head south for some R&R. They had a really nice RV so it appears that works very well for them.
I want to acknowledge that not everyone has a passport that makes it easy for them to travel to other countries, or family or economic situations that make it feasible. I'm privileged to have dual passports, including an American one, and the experience to land well-paying remote work.
Again, you need two primary elements to work from home:
1. Space and equipment conducive to remote work
2. Work that will pay you regardless of where you are located.
Some US employers who shifted to remote work during the pandemic won't allow you to work from certain states due to employment laws, or from countries outside the US, for example.
And you need to find work that doesn't require you to be physically present, at least some of the time.
Again, maybe. Not everyone is cut out for remote work. It requires self discipline. It can feel lonely at times.
There’s the issue of working with children at home, if that applies to you. I was already firmly established in the work from home world when I got pregnant with my daughter, and I thought it would be a piece of cake to do so after she was born. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
And if you’re not going to work for yourself, you’ll need an employer who is comfortable with having employees who aren’t in the office. Fortunately there are many more options now post-pandemic. There’s never been a better time to work from home if you want to.
Tip: If you haven’t checked out Flexjobs, take some time to review the opportunities listed there. You may be surprised at the types of remote and flexible work opportunities out there. They include part-time, entry-level as well as higher level positions.
The best way to work remotely is the one that works best for you. I know that sounds a little “cute,” but I mean it.
I’ve worked in a remote job with specific working hours, and it’s not my favorite way to work - but I've made it work. I have friends who work in remote jobs who love structured days. They know exactly when they will be at work and when they are done they shut off the computer and walk away to enjoy the rest of their day.
Here at RestartRemote.com, I’ll share resources to help you find the best work from anywhere opportunities.
That’s what Restart Remote is all about: the how of remote work and working from anywhere!
I have been doing remote work since before my daughter was born, and she is now getting her Master‘s degree (in Europe no less). For many years, I ran a freelance business that supported my family, and later I transitioned to a full-time, remote job from home.
But more recently, when I worked a full-time job from an RV for several months and then became a digital nomad in Europe for several months, the challenges exploded overnight. In an effort to help other remote workers shorten the learning curve I‘ll offer resources I've found helpful, as well as a few tips and insights from my own experience, to help you work from anywhere, whether it is in your home country or halfway across the world.
For the majority of my career, I worked from my home office in the U.S. as a writer, speaker and spokesperson. I’ve been a self-employed entrepreneur for well over a decade. And I’ve worked remotely as an employee for about 15 years. Here are some specific challenges I’ve encountered:
Working with clients or coworkers in different time zones can be challenging. Time zones are hard to keep track of no matter where you are working from, and I’ve messed up more than once. There are various apps you can use to manage your schedule, but since I’m plugged into the Google ecosystem I find Google Calendar to simply be the easiest and cheapest option.
I can set up my calendar with two time zones for each entry, and use the world clock function to show me what time it is in other parts of the world.
Note to my calendar tool Calendly: please implement future time zone scheduling!
Having reliable and fast wifi is one of the most important things you need for a remote job. When we were at our home in the U.S. it was relatively easy to get reliable wifi. But when we traveled in the RV I had two different hotspots and three phones, all through different providers. There were still times when I could not get an internet connection.
In Europe, our internet speeds varied quite a bit. I became obsessed with testing internet speeds using Ookla, and I shared my results in my Airbnb and hotel reviews. I wish more travelers would do that! And I really wish Airbnb would make that mandatory in listings.
I had Google Fi and that worked pretty well in most places. I also purchased an internet hotspot from Skyroam Solis. It helped a few times but overall I found that if I couldn’t get service through Google Fi I probably couldn’t get it with the hotspot either.
We usually had good enough internet that I could do video conferencing, podcasts, writing, and more.
Don’t forget to download a VPN before you leave the US. It lets you connect as if you are back in your home country and it lets you browse safely on public wifi. You’ll need it. Trust me.
Before the pandemic, I had what I considered the ideal remote job. I would travel to the office for a week once every 6-8 weeks. I loved my time with my coworkers and I also loved working from home. Then came the pandemic and everyone was working remotely. Now that company I worked for is 100% remote optional (within the US).
It’s harder to truly connect with your coworkers when you are remote. I try to set up coffee chats on Skype, Slack or Google Meet. I try to make a better effort to reconnect with business colleagues since we aren’t running into each other at conferences as we used to.
Because I was in Europe during the pandemic I wasn’t able to take advantage of coworking spaces, but when I get back I fully intend to use them both to get out to a workspace from time to time, as well as to connect with other digital nomads.
Work-life balance is tricky no matter what job you have, but working from home has allowed me to be flexible in a way I truly love. The pandemic has shown many companies that remote jobs are the future of work for many. They tend to offer a more flexible schedule, provide companies with more applicants, let workers live in areas with a lower cost of living, reduce the personal and environmental stress of commuting and more.