Join the ranks of the digital nomads.

Whether you want to work from home, from an RV traveling across North America, or from a jungle lodge in the Amazon rainforest, modern technology and collaborative software has made telecommuting possible from nearly anywhere. But it can be a challenge to stay productive when you make the switch from a traditional workspace to a home office or other remote working situation.

If a flexible schedule appeals to you and your digital communication skills are good, you may be curious about a shift to full-time remote work. But before you peruse remote work job postings — or invest in that RV — take a look at the ins and outs of working from anywhere and pick up some tips to help you in your journey.

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What does it mean to work from anywhere?

You might have learned that remote work is becoming more popular and you’re interested in trying it out. By the end of 2022, 25% of all professional jobs in North America are expected to be remote, so the opportunities are plenty. But remote work is not necessarily the same as working from anywhere.

What is remote work?

Remote work encompasses several different kinds of working situations, including hybrid work, which has become especially popular with 74% of US companies using or planning to use a hybrid model. You might be able to work at home or from another location for two or three days a week while you’re still expected to be in the office on the other days.

Remote work can also mean simply working from home. Even for jobs that don’t require any time in the office, many people prefer to set up a comfortable home office where they can get into a consistent daily routine and have reliable access to all the technology they need to communicate with colleagues and clients. Employers might still enforce location restrictions for legal and tax purposes, or they might need teams to be working in the same time zone.

What to know about work-from-anywhere jobs.

A job that is truly work-from-anywhere will provide even greater flexibility than other remote or hybrid situations. Working from anywhere means that there are no location restrictions and that you can travel easily or rotate locations rather than working in the same home office. That lifestyle is easier if you are in a digital line of work such as web design, software development, copywriting, social media marketing, data science, online teaching, or consulting. Freelance work is conducive to working from anywhere, but it’s also possible to find full-time and part-time positions that allow this type of flexibility.

While working from anywhere grants a kind of freedom, it also requires that you find a way to stay focused and accountable for your own productivity. Working from anywhere doesn’t mean that you are always on vacation. You’ll have to know how to responsibly balance work and play. You’ll need to be tech-savvy and have top-notch digital communication skills. Digital communication methods are the only way that you’ll be able to stay in touch with colleagues, supervisors, and clients.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who has a career in a completely digital line of work — they can get all their work done on a laptop. Not only do digital nomads work remotely, they also often roam. They might work in libraries, coffee shops, trains, or sitting on park benches. Being a digital nomad describes a lifestyle, and it requires a certain kind of personality.

Digital nomads embrace variety and new experiences while also practicing a degree of self-discipline and consistent healthy habits. It can be a great way to keep your mind and skills fresh, to get new ideas, make new friends, and even to be more productive. Spend some time learning about what this type of remote work really looks like before you decide if it’s right for you. There are plenty of books, articles, and podcasts available on the subject. Find a community of like-minded people you can learn from. Plan your time and expenses carefully.

Is remote working really an option?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to adopt work-from-home (WFH) practices, the benefits of remote work led more companies to post work-at-home positions. With a computer and Wi-Fi, collaborative apps and video calls can bridge any geographic gap between co-workers. Plus, when location doesn’t play a factor, companies can open their employment pool to the most qualified job seekers from across the globe — not just from their own backyard.

Remote work also allows companies to save on real estate and office management overhead. That’s another reason why businesses — from startups and tech companies to call centers — are looking at remote work solutions. WFH isn’t just a trend. In fact, one 2015 study found that work-from-home positions resulted in a 13% productivity boost.

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Consideration for remote workers.

From full-time employment to part-time freelance gigs, keep these things in mind during your job search.

Set your work mentality.

While remote jobs usually allow a flexible work schedule, it can be easy to fall into bad habits for working outside traditional 9am–5pm hours. And if your employer is in another time zone, your job might just require that. That’s why it’s important to make a work schedule and stick to it. It’s key for work-life balance but also a crucial line to draw with bosses and co-workers. Ensure people know when you are on and when you are off so you can keep fixed hours.

Connectivity matters.

You can’t be on the clock from anywhere in the world if you can’t get online. Whether you’re in a home office setup or co-working from a hotel alongside a travel partner, do your research to make sure you have a reliable connection for your computer and other devices. Managers and recruiters alike need to know your remote nature won’t affect your ability to do the work.

Note: If you plan to work internationally, look into what international data and calling rates may be on your cellular plan.

Delete distractions.

Working outside an office means you may not be able to control your environment. Headphones can help you hear better on a business call and they can drown out noise when working from a loud park or bustling coffee shop. Consider removing social media apps from your work devices to stay focused.

Expect the unexpected.

Along with distractions, remote work locations can throw a wrench in your work plans. Make sure you have backup batteries and hard drives to save offline work in case of power outages or spotty Wi-Fi. Most cell phones can become wireless hotspots as well, so look into how that may help you in a pinch and how your cellular plan charges for data usage.

Understand your employment.

Different companies handle remote workers and freelancers in different ways. Talk to human resources to understand how your remote employment may affect your taxes, healthcare, or other benefits.

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Work from anywhere with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

The right tools make remote work fast and easy, and Acrobat has them all.

  • Collaborate. Share editable PDFs to work remotely with any team, anywhere, at any time.
  • Communicate. Annotate PDFs with notes and comments. Highlight, strike through, draw on the file, and more.
  • Edit. Make adjustments to your PDF right in the file, and apply those notes in real time.
  • Answer. Use Fill & Sign tools to add information to PDF forms so paperwork never sits idle with any respondent.
  • Sign. Quickly add your own signature to any document, or request signatures from others with Acrobat Pro.
  • Scan. Use Adobe Scan to add paper documents, pictures, and more to digital work streams in Acrobat.

Access workflows in Acrobat from any desktop or mobile device, so even when you’re on the road or you take your lunch break on the hiking trail, you can ensure that documents keep moving and you keep in communication with your team.

If remote work seems like a good option for you, get the tools you need to stay connected and prepare to take that leap.

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