Running a business from your phone isn’t impossible anymore. Plenty of people really are ‘digital nomads,’ working from beaches, hammocks and airplane seats – even if plenty more are just trying to give that impression.
But if you normally run your business from your home or an office, and you’re travelling, how can you ensure that you keep everything on track?
With this five-point checklist, that’s how.
1: Create a schedule
Take into account that travelling is time-consuming and exhausting. Business trips or visits to far-flung family involve lugging baggage across airports and negotiating unknown cities or rural roads; don’t try to timetable every second of the journey. But do create a schedule you can stick to that lets you get a minimal amount of work done.
Again, be realistic about this: look at what can’t be pushed or cancelled, and schedule that, then see what you’re left with. Remember you often won’t have internet access on planes!
2: Let everyone know in advance
Tell all your clients, customers and team that you’re on the road. They’ll understand. Give them plenty of warning, so if clients have urgent needs you can meet them before you’re wheels-up and incommunicado for 14 hours.
It’s the same with your co-workers or employees: check whether they need anything before you leave, so you don’t find out that they can’t cope when you can’t do anything about it.
3: Use it to your advantage (if you can)
How much travelling are we talking about here? Because if this is a six-day business trip, skip this section. If you’re on the road for good, or moving regularly between multiple locations, you need to read this.
Taxation and regulation are based on ‘domicile,’ not ‘residence.’ It’s not possible to not have a domicile, but your domicile doesn’t have to be where you’re from. If you’re a US citizen and you’re spending the next two years primarily in Hong Kong, Australia and the air between them, consider domiciling yourself in South Dakota: your domicile is where you file tax returns, except in South Dakota, where there aren’t any. Told you it was worth reading!
4: Guard your data
Just because you’re hunched over a laptop in a branch of Wagamama’s at 6AM doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for increasingly stringent data protection laws. And business travellers who move significant amounts of money around digitally are the perfect target for scammers eager to steal your financial details.
Follow a few simple rules and you should be OK: assume public wi-fi is insecure, turn on mobile data to make financial transactions, and use a VPN to keep your data encrypted and safe.
5: Manage time zones
If you’re moving between time zones, you’ll have more to contend with than jet lag. (Though that is real.) Clients may only be available to communicate a few hours a day local time, and this can be true of employees too. Anything you need to collaborate on might need a little more planning than you’re used to. Use a tool like world time buddy to check what time it is back home wherever you are. And remember to enjoy the time off!
Travel – pixabay creative commons
Time zones – pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
James S. Roth
James S. Roth is a tech writer. He covers issues around privacy and security for VPNAdviser.com. Find him on Twitter: @JamesRo61552286