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The Complete Guide To Remote Work

Being a remote worker is a privilege. Take advantage of it.

by Emma Bousfield • Nov. 22, 2023 • 5 min read

What is remote work?

Remote work is as straight-forward as it sounds, it’s the ability to do your job from anywhere in the world. As a remote worker, you aren’t constrained to traditional office spaces or on site locations, so oftentimes, a lot of these jobs are what would have formerly been considered “desk jobs.”

A bit about remote work culture

Remote work culture is unique. Until a few years ago, it was unfathomable that anyone could pick up their work, drop down to Costa Rica, and continue selling software for a few weeks on the beach. Here are some of the key features of remote work:

Remote Work & Community:

The sense of community that one feels as a remote worker is unparalleled, and it’s truly unique the lifestyle. Sure, in an office or on-site job you may build relationships with coworkers, but as a remote worker, the connections you can build are much stronger. In a coworking or coliving space, you’re not guaranteed to meet people who work in the same industry as you, and so you’re more likely going to connect with people based on shared interests, hobbies, values, and experiences.

Remote Work & Diversity

Remote work is a lifestyle that oftentimes brings together individuals from around the world, creating a melting pot of perspectives, skills, and backgrounds. As a digital nomad, you're not just another name at a big corporation, you’re much more than that. You represent somewhat of an ambassador of your own unique culture, you contribute to the diversely rich communities that are formed in coworking and coliving spaces. Embrace this opportunity to be surrounded by diversity, learn from it, and let it fuel your creativity.

Importance Of Work-Life Balance In Remote Work

Remote work culture isn't just a relentless pursuit of productivity, the 9-5 grind to meet goals and hit targets; it's actually a delicate balance of work and play. As a remote worker, finding this balance can be tricky - but it’s honestly a necessity. Coliving spaces, with their blend of work-friendly environments and social amenities, are often great at fostering this balance.

What is the remote work environment like?

Two friends looking at a phone at the dinner table. Candles are lit, the table is set. A bottle of wine on the table.

Coworking Spaces: A remote worker’s safe haven

Coworking spaces are oftentimes where you’ll land as a remote worker. Most major cities have a few to choose from. Coworking spaces are essentially office spaces that are free for anyone to rent from. There are usually options. You can work at a hot desk, you can rent an office, you can book meeting rooms, and so much more. Coworking spaces offer digital nomads a place to work from. They’re attractive due to their high-speed, reliable wifi, their ergonomic work stations, often free beverage stations, and a space for remote workers to connect and interact with other digital nomads.

Coliving Spaces: Home for remote workers

Coliving spaces goes one step further and provides remote workers with places they can both work and live from. Coliving spaces are a great option for first-time digital nomads or remote workers, because they’re a surefire way to make friends wherever you land. Coliving spaces offer shared and private accommodations, shared amenities, community events and gatherings, as well as coworking spaces. Using colive values is a great way to find like-minded remote work communities wherever you go!

How I found community as a remote worker

Four friends smiling together. Three women, one man, dressed in summer clothes. There are palm plants around them.

I started my remote work/digital nomad journey in 2022 after graduating my master’s. I headed south to Sayulita, Mexico. A bit in over my head, my first few days were overwhelming. I was lonely, I knew nobody, and didn’t even know where to begin making friends. it didn’t help that we were in the middle of a hurricane and so socializing was virtually impossible. But when the clouds parted and the sun emerged from the clouds, I decided I’d also emerge from my little one-bedroom casita. Here are ways I made friends and lasting connections:

Coworking Spaces: From fellow remote workers to best friends

I needed wifi, as many digital nomads do, and the first few days my apartment didn’t have any. So, I found a coworking spot. it was in a Selina Hostel, a tiny little room with desks. it felt like a bit of a fishbowl room - windows everywhere, but in that first visit I made two friends. Those two friends I still keep in touch with, in fact, I visited one of them in Manchester 8 months later.

Bumble BFF: Remote workers don’t need to use dating apps just to date

Dating apps may or may not work for you in the dating scene, but for making new friends, they’re pretty effective. A good friend of mine, Molly, and I met on Bumble BFF. She was spending a month in Sayulita, and thank goodness we met in the first week she was there, because we became inseparable the rest of the time she was there.

Exploration: Remote work doesn’t mean all you do is work

I met a lot of my local friends just through getting out and about in town. My friend Gabe worked at the Ramen shop, my friend Jay was a local surf instructor, my friend Armando taught expats and digital nomads Spanish, the list went on.

How I prioritized my social life as a remote worker

As a remote worker, maintaining a social life during my digital nomad experience required me to act intentionally and creatively. I found myself an active participant in discussions happening at coworking spaces, I took advantage of invitations to lunch and dinner, and did my best to step out of my comfort zone an introduce myself in new social settings. This not only helped to to foster stronger connections but also opened doors to in-person activities and gatherings. Balancing productivity at work with the necessary social life of a remote worker is far more than just being a scheduling issue; it's about fully immersing yourself into the remote work lifestyle. Being a digital nomad means work and socializing should just intertwine seamlessly, but it doesn’t happen on its own, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

How to minimize stress as a remote worker

Being a remote worker can sometimes feel like juggling a lot of things at once, but it is important to remain calm and balanced in order for the lifestyle to work. Firstly, tether yourself to the remote work communities in your area, whether that be coliving spaces or coworking spaces – the people you meet here are resources, offering you tips as needed as they understand what it’s like to deal with the ebbs and flows of the remote work life. My own remote work journey taught me that the real secret of work-life balance is setting boundaries, not just for work tasks but also for moments when you just need to get outside, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. But above all, remember that simplicity is your ally; keep all of your tasks bite-sized and embrace any and all of the supportive communities around you.

What are remote work communities?

Or otherwise known as coliving communities are shared accommodations where digital nomads stay and work from. These communities are can sometimes act like your support squad, offering you that sense of belonging you’re looking for when you travel to a new place. In my experience as a remote worker, remote work communities were a lifeline. These spaces aren't just about work; they're, in a way, about creating a family, a place to turn to when you need advice, or to celebrate wins at work, or even just to simply share the ups and downs of the remote work rollercoaster.

Who are remote work communities for?

For digital nomads & remote workers… really for anyone that can work from anywhere in the world as long as they have stable wifi.

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