I’m participating in the #10DBC #FreedomPlan challenge. This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9.
DAY 9: Location Independence
It’s the second to last day of Natalie‘s Freedom Plan Blog Challenge, and I have to say, the days have flown by! In today’s challenge, Natalie asks us to write out in vivid detail about how we would balance work and adventure remotely in location independence. Natalie uses the example of living in Portugal while working remotely.
Let’s cut to the chase. There are 2 models were this situation would apply: 1) If I was my own boss, or 2) If I was working for someone else.
If I was my own boss, I would prefer to spend my early mornings adventuring & exploring as this is almost always the prime time to experience true local life. This is when you can see the locals opening their shops, holding their early farmers markets, sending their loved ones off to school or to work. I find it to be the most culturally natural time of the day as well because the loud tourists aren’t around yet. Think about it, tourists on vacation like to sleep in, saunter down to breakfast, and get a later start to the day. By beating the tourists, I’m able to see the sunrise in peace, am able to explore the museums, castle, and monuments in a less crowded environment (before the massive buses start rolling in). I’m able to interact with the locals and learn about their culture and soak in the scene at our own pace, not the stressful pace that some tourists provide. Then once 11:00 rolls around, I would seek out a place to eat lunch to again beat the crowds. I would enjoy my lunch, get in and out, and then head back to my preferred work site and start working before 1pm. I would work until 7pm, then head out for dinner. Would return by 9pm, put in another hour of work, and then head to bed to recharge before starting the day all over again. The beauty of it all, I could easily flip the script and open my afternoons instead (however with the Mediterranean lifestyle of slower afternoons where businesses may shut down for a few hours, I find it better to work during these times). In a future blog, I’ll have to provide insights to the different cultural lifestyle that I experienced while living in Spain for a year.
If I were instead employed, the incredible benefit of today’s technology is that through advances video-conferencing, collaborative software, and increased (and hopefully encrypted) secure file sharing, a business is able to work internationally 24/7 via the help of remote centers and associates (one of my favorite examples of this is @Buffer). Because of this, I would approach my location independence with a slightly different method.
I would begin by asking my employer if there was a time zone they preferred that I worked in (meaning if I was in Portugual (UTC +1) but I had to work during specific business hours in Los Angeles (UTC – 7)). Now there are several factors (and thus potential for negotiations) that would determine if I had to follow the same working hours in a specific Time Zone.
Some industries have to surround their work days based upon a specific time zone (example: anyone working in stocks / trading in the US follows the DOW or NASDAQ which operates via the NYSE’s M-F hours of 9:30 – 16:00 EST). I know I can’t call up NYSE and request that they shift their hours of operations to benefit my remote location, so depending on my role, I would be stuck in this scenario. The same would apply if I was a lead project manager for an organizational looking to build a new operations facility: when the executives are having a conference call with the architects and key stakeholders, I have to be on that call to discuss and answer any questions that the executives would have regarding the status of the project.
But there are some industries that pay to have people working in other time zones. An example of this: many hospitals on the East Coast and in the Midwest pay Radiologists here in Hawaii to read scans & images overnight (i.e. Nighthawks / Teleradiology). This allows for hospitals to increase their efficiency and productivity in these departments. This offers me the opportunity to negotiate working on my own time zone as it would extend the productivity hours of the organization (while they’re sleeping, I’m working, etc).
From a personal standpoint, being able to work in any location (as opposed to an assigned basement cubicle) is a HUGE step towards freedom! Even if it meant I was living in Portugal and had to be working normal business hours that aligned with those in Los Angeles, I could make the adjustment. Of course the preferred method is one that allows flexibility where I can work from wherever in the world I want at whatever time I want, as long as I am getting the work done and meeting deadlines.
In closing, I do find myself sharing the following of Natalie’s assessment: while working remotely and independently is the goal, I still see the need to have a main base of operations that I can check into and work from every once in a while. Another way of saying this: although I want to travel the world and work on my own time, given the right office setting and environment, I believe I could still find value in working from a base location. What factors would contribute to me wanting to work from a base location? Office aesthetics (Are there windows with good views, open space feeling, natural light, do I have my own, quiet office or am I placed in the middle of the action) and whether or not I have the tools and resources necessary to do my job (do I have a team to support me, if I need new hardware or tools will I receive it). Does it feel like home and a positive place to work, or does it feel restrictive and is suppressing my productivity?
Finally, what does this photo have to do with this post? This is from a few years ago when I visited the Colosseum in Rome. I love culture and visiting historical locations that I read about in encyclopedias during my elementary years. Having the ability to travel the world and continue crossing off locations from my bucket list would be a dream for me! That is why I wish to live the Freedom Lifestyle and find Location Independence: So that when I want to go see more sites like the Colosseum, I have the freedom to do so and still have a great career that I love!
Have feedback on my post? Feel free to comment below! Be sure to follow along with us as we continue to explore Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9.
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