As I sit here typing, I can literally see my tan vanishing from before my eyes … it’s sad, but I’m a big believer in life that we ‘blossom where we’re planted’, make the most of wherever we are and whatever situation we’re in.
So, whilst I’m back in the UK, I am very happy to be able to experience:
- Aldi prices,
- Countryside walks without the need to sweat profusely
So, grab a cuppa, and sit here for a few minutes with me whilst I reminisce on my Top 10 Tips for working abroad!
1) Have the right equipment!
This may sounds obvious, but what I mean is … if you’ve been toying with that laptop upgrade .. now is the time to do it! I know it may seem like the wise thing to do is to take your old stuff, in case it gets lost, or broken etc … but it depends on your circumstances. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time working on the move – on a plane, a train, a bus, a boat, the back of an elephant – you’ll want good battery like and a screen that’s comfortable for you to look at.
2) Make the best use of your time!
When you’re travelling, likely there’s things you want to do and see at your destinations! So, make the most of your actual travel time! I’m lucky to not get travel sick, so when we were in the van, anytime we were driving, I was working, meaning that when we actually got to the spot we were headed, I was free to go and explore!
3) Invest in the internet
Whether it’s van-living around the UK, travelling in Europe or further afield, make sure that the sim card in your phone is capable of receiving good internet service, and of being a mobile hotspot for you to connect other devices to. This way, you’re not tied down to being on WIFI when you want to work!
4) Make the most of the internet when you have it
If you know you’re going to be on a plane, for example, and won’t have access to the
internet, get your emails and bits that require internet done FIRST. Then, maybe you can
download a training video, or get on with something else that doesn’t require you being online
during the flight.
5) Be savvy about your days off
If you’re limited to a set number of holiday days, don’t rush to take them all. How many of
your activities can you book for the weekend, or do in a half day etc? Don’t take all your holiday
immediately and find yourself tied to work later down the line when another opportunity comes
6) Have an ‘out of office’ on
One thing I love doing is customising my out of office message. When you take a few
minutes to explain to your clients what you’re doing and why the possible delay in response,
many times they come back really happy for you that you’re having that experience, and are very
understanding that you may reply in a day or 2. Even if you’re working ‘normal hours’, be aware
that you could be in a very different time zone, so they may get your reply very late at night, or
early in the morning. Setting an out of office reply just to explain that will keep everyone on the
7) Make your work day part of the vacay!
Most recently, when we were in Panama, we were lucky enough to be living in a
community with a pool … so, even when it was a work day, I could bring my laptop down and sit
by the pool, soaking up the sun … and suddenly, the work day didn’t feel quite so work-y! And
you know if you’re ever in a city, there’ll always be a cool coffee shop or somewhere you can sit
and work from … working doesn’t have to be form your desk!
8) Manage your expectations
Let’s be real for a second – if you’re having the opportunity to work abroad, then you’re incredibly fortunate! But probably it’s ONLY the fact that you have this job or this business that’s enabling you to do that. If you want to keep doing it, you need to keep your level of work to a high standard! So, it cannot ALL play and no work! You may well have to have a down day to take some meetings, or you may be getting up early or staying up late for a meeting in a different time zone … but it’s definitely worth it for what you’re getting to experience!
9) Don’t be afraid to talk about it!
There can be a bit of a culture where we’re afraid to let our clients know that we’re on holiday, or that we’re doing something fun – in case it seems like we’re not taking our work seriously! But I think that the truth is on the flip side – if clients see you, or your staff, being able to live their best life, having the freedom to do whatever it is they want to do, they’ll see the real values at the heart of your business – that it’s people you care about!
10) Enjoy yourself!
As we’ve said, of COURSE your work is still very important … but how often will you get this opportunity? Life can change at any moment and travelling may no longer be an option .. so, even though getting up and working early before that amazing trip to the monkey sanctuary, or getting up to see the sunrise on the beach and then having a full day of work may be a little tiring the time, this is never something you’re going to look back and regret doing, promise!
At PPF, one of our core values is Lifestyle, and Cheryl proves how important this is to her time and
time again with both the staff and the clients. If you’re interested in working with a people-first
accountant, get in touch!
Interested in getting some handy tax tips? Take a look at PPF’s YouTube channel.