When you first start working abroad as an employee, things will be quite different to how they are at home. No office, no colleagues, a different environment and a different view from your desk are just a few of the things you will have to get used to.
Getting acclimatised quickly involves careful planning beforehand. So where do you start?
Analyse Your Job
The first thing to do is go over all of your daily tasks and duties in your job. Which things will you find easy to do from abroad, and which things will pose more of a challenge? Are there any things that you will not be able to do at all?
Many tasks are now possible from anywhere, but some may not be. Do you deal with physical documents which will have to be posted? If so then this could make things more tricky.
If you come across anything which could be a problem, look for ways around it. For example, with posted documents you could scan and email them instead.
How Much Personal Contact Does Your Job Demand?
This is very important to consider because if your job requires a lot of personal contact, such as client meetings or trade events, this could prove to be a large obstacle in your path.
If you do have such duties, how important are they? For example, can you substitute meetings with video calls or will this not be acceptable?
Explore Technologies in Your Workplace
There are a number of technologies which can help you to work more effectively abroad, and you should find out whether you currently have any of these in the workplace.
For example, you may be able to make use of a VPN (virtual private network) which allows you to connect to a local area network privately from anywhere in the world. Also, will you be able to access your emails from anywhere? Can you upload large documents via an FTP or another method?
Find out what is available to you to help you work more easily from abroad.
Find Out About Your Own Technology Solutions
Skype is one of the most useful pieces of software which you can have up and running before you go abroad, so make sure you download it and set up an account. Using Skype you can speak via phone with any number, make free phone and video calls online and screen share, and if you add a subscription you can set it up to call landlines for free from your new location and provide your clients with a standard landline number to call you on.
GoToMeeting is another popular technology which may be worth looking into. It allows you to carry out web conferencing, online meetings and training as well as present webinars.
Obviously you won’t get far without email, so make sure you can set up an account which you can access from anywhere.
You may also want to consider downloading Dropbox which not only allows you to back up all of your work online but also enables you to send large files with ease.
If you start to do everything at once it can be difficult to get your head around it all, so make sure that you start off slowly. Start by carrying out a bit of work remotely before you leave for your new destination and then you can see how it works out and iron out any problems before you start to work from abroad.
Start to increase your productivity over a period of weeks until you are comfortable that you can do everything remotely and then when you are ready you’ll know it’s time to make the move.
It Could Be Easier Than You Think
Working remotely from abroad is a real possibility for many employees. If you want to try it for yourself then follow the advice above. Start slowly, plan well in advance and you may find that it is easier than you think to move abroad and start working from a completely new country.
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