Over the past year, many Canadian workers have found themselves doing their jobs remotely. Before COVID-19, most companies had less than 20 per cent of their workforce working from home, however a newer report sent out earlier this year by the Conference Board of Canada suggests that now two-thirds of Canadian businesses have at least 60 per cent of their workforce working remotely.
"It seems remote work is here to stay, or at least the majority of us want it to be," said Heather Haslam, vice-president of marketing at ADP Canada, a human resources company.
RVing was once viewed as a retirement lifestyle, however a combination of the recent pandemic and modern technology has started to change this view. Now, more and more working professionals are trading in the traditional lifestyles of urban living for an RV.
“Living the dream.” That’s how many describe RV life.
If you are thinking about taking your life (and job) on the road, here are five simple tips to help you maximize your fun and productivity while working remotely from your RV.
1. Set Up A Dedicated Workspace
Whether at home or in an RV, it is important to select a designated spot for work. Consider a space that will allow you to lay out your computer, smart phone, and papers in one place while remaining somewhat separate from other living areas.
DO NOT work from bed. Working from bed won't only lower your productivity levels, but it can also lead to physical issues related to extended periods of poor posture.
We also highly recommend setting up shop close to a window. A naturally lit workspace will help you to be more productive.
Did you know that increased natural light during the day, can help you sleep better at night?
2. Wi-Fi Is Wonderful, Until It Isn't
The Internet is what makes all this working remotely from an RV stuff possible!
Some RV resorts & parks will have terrific Wi-Fi & internet connectivity, while others (especially ones located further away from urban centers) can be known to have spotty reception, which may cause your devices to lag while trying to complete tasks that require more bandwidth.
Consider investing in an external wireless adapter. These devices plug into your laptop via USB and contain powerful antennas with much better reach than the one found within your device. This will allow you to keep stronger, more reliable connections.
Remember to shut down any background apps that you aren’t using. Many of the handy apps you’ve got installed on your device can end up being a major contributor to your slow and laggy connection.
A good rule of thumb is to always have a decent phone plan with roaming/hot-spot capabilities, just in case.
3. Set Clear Working & Travelling Times
Most remote jobs will offer a more flexible schedule than your traditional 9 to 5. This degree of flexibility is amazing for travelling and working from your rig, but it is important to still set a schedule and stick to it...most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day can help remote workers maintain a much healthier work-life balance. Avoid burning out and truly enjoy the benefits of working from the road by structuring your day around the hours that your clients and coworkers are typically active and be sure to take regular breaks to help keep your mind fresh.
RVers will tell you that travel days can be EXHAUSTING. You should not plan on having an overly productive workday after you've been on the road for more than a few hours. Set aside dedicated travel days! It's important to account for the time you will need for setting up/taking down, gas stops, and other essential duties during a travel day. A three-hour drive can quickly turn into five or more quite easily when all things are considered.
If you and your family are planning on moving from place to place, rather than remaining at one resort, consider staying put for longer stretches to ensure that you have enough time to enjoy the location and complete your work tasks.
4. Backup Everything
Whether you’re working on the road full-time or taking your work with you on a seasonal basis, there’s bound to be a technical bump or two in the road.
Do yourself a favour and backup your data regularly to the cloud or an external secondary drive.
When travelling or working from an RV, keep in mind that cloud-based storage will rely on internet connectivity, which may or may not be available everywhere. Saving your work to a backup device daily is an inexpensive solution that will give you invaluable peace of mind.
5. Stay Organized & Focused
Each time you sit down to work, take a few minutes to clean the space by removing any unnecessary clutter around you. Decluttering the area will help to declutter your mind, and this will lead to a much more productive day. Consider setting up a storage solution that will allow you to quickly pack up your workspace at the end of the day and unpack just as easily the next.
If you are traveling with a partner or family members, be sure to set clear boundaries. You or the other members of your family may need to leave the RV during particular times of the day for you to get some work done. If you are someone who gets easily distracted, or if you will be working alongside others in your RV, we suggest purchasing a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones to help keep your mind focused on the task at hand.