It’s not always easy cruising but it’s all so worth it!
Trust, Transparency and Thinking ahead – these are the main key take outs for me when summing up the learnings from the last month and the grad finale at the MeetUp with our truly inspiring forward thinking Guest Speakers Yasmin Grigaliunas- who work Australia’s most flexible role and Arthur Freudiger, co-founder of Wanderboss.
Yas was nothing short than shocked when her employer offered her to work fully flexible and remotely – and I don’t mean flexitime but FULLY flexible as in travelling the country and the US whilst remaining a full time employee – when she actually came ‘clean’: she wanted to resign, as her and her family’s dream was to travel Australia in a caravan and teach their daughters another side of life.
Happily accepted and decision made, a few weeks later, their 4 bedroom house was sold, a caravan was bought and off they went to … Ipswich to stay with family, next day they made it to Boona and then… the real adventure started.
579 days later and a lot of experience richer, the Grig family arrived back in Brisbane not even 24h before the MeetUp to share her story. Yas as such an advocate of flexible work and Arthur who enables others this dream of a lifestyle could have probably talked until the cows come home and with one question after the other fired at them, we could talk about it forever but here are some of the main key take outs for Digital Nomads (to be):
1.) 100% transparency and honesty are non-negotiables for both sides, employer and employee as you will face tricky situations that just don’t allow you to work, talk or meet. Letting the other party know about this, takes out the guesswork and doubts and builds trust which is the key foundation for any intact and long lasting relationship.
2.) Know the value you bring: and make it clear to your employer why you are still the best person to do the job vs someone who is in the office fulltime and that you can produce the same – if not a better – outcome when you can choose your perfect work environment
3.) Have a good reason: just putting it out to your employer that you want to work from Spain from next week onwards for the next 6 months won’t quit cut it. What’s your reason to do so and what benefit could that mean? As a Business Developer for example: you in a client facing role that requires face to face meetings with the existing clients regularly or is it actually to build an international potential client pool for which being onsite could work wonders. Think about the extra value this arrangement could bring outside just the standard deliverables that your JD lists.
4.) Prepare and plan ahead: Technology is your best friend when it comes to working remotely as it gives you instant access to connect – if you do it right. Checking out Telstra’s network coverage plan before you stop is one hot tip to stay connected, another one is to always have your devices incl a dongle with you.
5.) Share your story: people live their lives in stories and images and the human brain can’t distinct between a story that happens to them or to someone else. We also ‘brand’ people as this gives us a sense of security about someone. The thing is however, it is your choice to either brand yourself and tell your story first hand, involve those skeptical colleagues and show your story with images so it doesn’t leave any room for others to make stuff up.
6.) Appreciate what you have: we are in a throw away society and we just throw things out and buy a new gadget but living minimalistically teaches you the real values in life: time with family, time for yourself and your health and well being, time enjoying life. Being close with each other also forces you to communicate your feelings and deal with emotions and all sorts of situations but this also means it brings so closer.
7.) Thinking outside the square: having not all luxury available and facing restrictions all the time makes you think entrepreneurial and innovative. Yas gave her kids a budget for a day to plan activities and the kids did their research, gauged the value they get from spending the money vs saving it for something else or bigger but also learnt how to deal with evaluating new environments and people to make the most of each experience.
8.) Be a role model: Yas is the bread earner in the family and her two daughters have seen her work which she really enjoyed as it shows them that anything is possible and that there is nothing like a glass-ceiling when you don’t let it happen. They heard Yas talking on the phone with clients and colleagues as well as got exposed to interactions and behaviours that occur when working with other people.
All up, it was more than inspiring to hear what massive impact the freedom and flexible work-life-arrangements can have on individuals and families’ life and their relationship to each other.
Whilst flexible and remote work is still a bit of an experiential play ground in Australia and especially in Brisbane, we will face these types of arrangements as the norm in the very near future and it is now the perfect time to get onto the bandwagon and embrace the development.