How to Negotiate Remote Work With An Employer

Working Remotely is the Holy Grail for Many Workers

Travel is liberating.  It allows us to experience places and cultural happenings beyond our wildest imaginations.  It puts things in perspective and gives us countless stories to recant to friends and family members who want to know what it feels like to dip their toes in the ocean, live out of a backpack or suitcase, and visit outdoor marketplaces where fruit and vegetables are sold by the bushel and where independent artisans weave rugs, handcraft jewelry, and paint portraits under the watchful eyes of tourists.

Travel lightens our spirits while toughening up our skins.  It teaches us to be patient and resilient and encourages us to live in the moment, a place often void of modern conveniences like BlueTooths and Cheez Whiz.  Travel takes us to new spiritual levels, provides us with fresh sources of inspiration, and forces us to think outside the box and to improvise.

For those that are inexperienced, long-term travel can cause anxiety.  There are a few reasons why people feel apprehensive.  Work and family obligations can limit a person.  Lack of financial resources can also damper an adventurous spirit.

Rather than forgo the trip of a lifetime, why not consider applying the skills and experience that you learned in the workplace to your new life on the road?  You would be surprised at how easy it is to be an excellent employee from any location in the world.

Nora Dunn, a freelance writer and “professional hobo”, enjoys stable income while she treks across the globe.  In addition to creating content for a number of websites and magazines, she has traded skills in order to secure accommodations.  One of her most memorable experiences involved milking goats.  She has also painted murals, led eco-treks, and landscaped yards in exchange for a place to sleep.

She offers this advice to fellow travelers:

Even if you don’t work in trade for accommodation, travel in general is an exercise in flexibility and having an open mind. It may not be a matter of life and death, but it will certainly affect your ability to “survive” the trip and come out the other side feeling fulfilled.

Negotiating a remote work location with your employer is far easier said than done.  It often requires a positive attitude and persistence.  Here are a few arguments to take to the boss:

  • Some people double their efficiency by removing distractions.  You happen to be one of them.  Your track record speaks volume.  Not only are you a valued team player, you also know how to work alone.
  • Your people skills are exceptional.  You know how to communicate with people from all backgrounds.  You may even know a language or two that will help you with your travels.
  • You are irreplaceable.  You know your position inside and out.  There is no sense spending money on recruiting and training another individual when you can do your job from any corner of the globe.

Once you have agreed upon a plan, exceed expectations.  Communicate frequently with your employer.  Meet all deadlines and turn in quality work.  There is no excuse for failed internet connections or downed phone lines.  Have a backup plan just in case you run into any problems while abroad.

Living your travel dreams is possible with some assistance from your employer.  Keep a steady stream of income available to fund your journey by coming up with a plan that allows you to work remotely.  A week’s vacation in an exotic location pales in comparison to years of traveling and living in the country or countries of your choice.

Jeremy’s comment: As Charissa has explained, working remotely can be very rewarding. As you’re reading this I’m doing some remote working of my own. In addition to this blog I’m also a writer for About.com and work with Bundle as an editor, but guess what? I’ve been driving across the country over the past week while still using technology to work remotely regardless of where I am. It’s great! No longer am I bound to the office and I’m able to get all of my work done while enjoying the sights away from home. I know not every job has this type of flexibility, but it is becoming more and more common. At the very least, it might be something worth discussing with your employer if it’s something that interests you. The worst that can happen is they say no.

Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread.  She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.

Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

6 comments
Forex Automatic
Forex Automatic

@Credit Girl
I, too, work online. And that is precisely the reason why I can afford to work remotely at any place I choose.

There are advantages. But there are also some disadvantages. It depends on your work ethics and personality if working remotely is for you.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai

Ahhh, it would be great to work remotely from Hawaii, but alas, anybody who suggests working remotely is generally deemed a SLACKER by every single corporate out there.

Just my honest opinion. It's a career limiting move.

Ioana
Ioana

I totally agree with Credit Girl.

Credit Girl
Credit Girl

Awesome post. One of my passions is traveling.

Since my work is 100% on the web - the thought of working remotely is awesome. One day I'd love to do this.

Credit Girl
Credit Girl

It must be so nice to have the option to work remotely with an employer. Currently, that option isn't available for me but in the future I'd sure hope to have that opportunity. What better way to travel the world while earning an income as well!

kt
kt

at the moment I am working from outside and strangely i was wondering how it would be like to do this all the time. it is just like you said; this is the holy grail- typing away at a laptop while looking at a remarkable view of the city. there is nothing that beats this(workwise)