When you’re working remotely, sometimes the scenery of your home office doesn’t quite cut it. It can be tempting to take your home office on the road. After all, working from anywhere while working from home can be a great way to reclaim some work-life balance while keeping PTO to a minimum.
Although this idea may seem great on paper, depending on your job responsibilities and employer, you may want to give this idea a second thought. Here are some things to keep in mind before taking your home office on the road:
1. Will I Have a Workspace?
Having a workspace such as a desk, an area with proper lighting, and access to the resources needed to perform your job successfully are essential. If you are not able to recreate your workspace, your productivity will suffer.
2. What’s the Wi-Fi Like?
If you’re thinking of staying at a vacation home in a secluded area for a chunk of time, be sure to verify you’ll have a functional internet connection at your destination. A lagging wi-fi connection can impede your ability to work successfully and cause frustration.
3. Can I Get My Eight Hours In?
If your travels take you across state lines, it is important to consider different time zones. If you live on the east coast and take a trip to San Diego, this means your 9 am start time is now 6 am. It’s important to ask yourself if your working hours are something you’ll be able to maintain, wherever your travels take you.
4. How Far Can I Actually Go?
Even though you may have the ability to work from anywhere, if that is not the entirety of your responsibilities, working outside of your typical commuting radius might not be realistic.
Murphy’s Law is a force very much alive in 2020. If there is even the slightest possibility that you might be called into the office, asked to make an emergency equipment run, or even travel to a client’s facility, working somewhere other than your home may prevent you from performing an uncommon, but essential, part of your job.
5. Do I Need to Inform My Employer?
When you have worked from home as long as some of us have, it’s easy to forget that your work computer is still the property of your employer. In situations where there could be some liability (or security concerns) in traveling with company equipment, it’s always a good idea to ask for permission instead of forgiveness.
6. Can I Really Do This?
Before you leave, create a checklist to ensure that you are prepared. The question at top of mind should be, “Will I have the ability to perform my job successfully?” If the answer is anything other than a resounding “yes”, perhaps a more traditional vacation using PTO is best.
Temporarily relocating your workspace can be refreshing, but it is important to account for the factors mentioned above. Just because you can plug-in from anywhere, doesn’t always mean you should. At the end of the day, regardless of the reason, if you’re not able to work your scheduled hours and/or maintain the level of productivity your employer expects of you, take the day off, and don’t try to power through.
If you are thinking about relocating your workspace, it’s never a bad idea to give your employer a heads up beforehand; they may have some resources available to help you be successful in your home away from home.