Updated: Jun 30
While Darin and I are off the road for our new home remodel we are happy to have Julia Merrill provide us with these nuggets.
Critical Tips for Working Remotely from a Van
Remote jobs are a dream come true: You don’t have to commute, deal with dreary meetings, or be chained to a desk. Remote jobs from vans are even better: You can travel as you work, going wherever you want, living wherever you want, and meeting fun, interesting people along the way. Of course, remote work, especially from a van, isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to get organized and be self-disciplined if you’re going to get actual work done.
Here, TheRollingStowes gives you some useful tips on how to remotely work from a van in a productive way:
Pick a reliable van
You want a dependable van – something that is comfortable and can be trusted to get somewhere with good WiFi in time for important meetings. You don’t necessarily need to go all out and buy a brand-new sprinter – you can find fully kitted-out second-hand vans for under $10,000. You can expect the same lifestyle if you get a little creative with the interiors. Outdoorsy offers some good picks.
Set up a workspace
Having a comfortable workspace is essential, seeing as you’ll be spending hours working there every day. You will want a desk, a seat, and some storage space, at the bare minimum. You can connect to the internet through your phone. Some vans have pop-out desks or you can build one yourself as many people do. Some useful accessories are noise-cancelling earphones and backup batteries.
Test things out
If this is your first time working from a van, you should test everything out first. Pack, put your van in the driveway, and work from it for a couple of days. Double-check your electricity and cell phone internet connection. You can also camp out at a nearby campground for a few days. You can get a feel for the lifestyle, which includes showering less frequently.
Make internet hotspots your priority
You will want to connect to the internet via public hotspots as much as possible, even if you have an internet plan on your phone. Phone internet can be incredibly expensive. If you’re working 9-to-5 and often have video calls or package downloads, then it’s a good idea to travel along routes that contain campgrounds that offer high-speed internet. If your work is more flexible, the WiFi at rest stops along the way will suffice.
Consider your power arrangement
You want a reliable power source for all your gadgets and electronic essentials like a fridge. When you’re living off-grid, a solar panel system is essential. Even when you have access to the grid, solar power can be a worthwhile investment. Your other power options, says Bearfoot Theory, are a generator, shore power, and automatic charge relay.
Focus on self-care
Working from a van that moves from place to place can be taxing. You must look after yourself. You need plenty of outdoor time to balance out that indoor time. Designing a self-care routine can help. Some activities to consider are meditation, exercise, eating nutritious food, and having a wind-down routine before bedtime.
Prepare your office for interruptions
When you’re traveling often, things can and do go wrong. You may have to focus on troubleshooting and postpone work. You must be transparent about your lifestyle with your work and make sure they’re okay with cutting you some slack. Also, it pays to learn how to quickly regain focus.
Set up your own business
Becoming your own boss goes perfectly with the van lifestyle, and gives you great flexibility. Starting a business isn’t as hard as you might think nor does it require a big investment. You need a solid business idea, a business plan, funding for a few months, and basic work processes. Market research and a targeted marketing campaign will help you secure success. If you need assistance with this process, be sure to read up on how to start a new company here.
Working remotely from a small space, regardless of whether you work for someone else or start your own business, will take some getting used to. Give yourself a few weeks to settle in. Prioritizing self-care and self-discipline will keep you in good mental and physical shape, which is necessary for securing long-term success.
Image via Unsplash