How many times have you sloped in to your office after the commute from hell, sunk into your swivel chair and thought: “Do I really need to be here?” Rose Dykins reveals a new way of working.
These days, many office-based employees require little more than a laptop with the right software and an internet connection to get their job done. Thanks to technology, there are now an estimated 53 million freelancers working across the UK as we speak – probably in their pyjamas.
But why stop there? Never mind eschewing the confines of a nine-to-five work schedule, what about abandoning Greenwich Mean Time altogether?
Digital Nomads – a new breed of traveller that holds down a career while seeing the world – are on the rise. You see them more and more on the road: cafes, bars and hostels across the globe are their offices (provided they have free wifi); their laptop is their everything and the world is their oyster.
Tapping into this trend is Remote Year – a community of digital nomads who travel the world together for one year, working as they go.
The idea is that participants – a merry band of 75 freelancers and entrepreneurs who are able to work from anywhere and pay the US$2,000 monthly fee (plus the US$3,000 deposit) – spend a year working in office space across the world together, seeing the sights along the way.
Covering 12 cities in 12 months, Remote Year’s 2016 programme will kick off in February in Montevideo (Uruguay) and finish in Ho Chi Minh – while Christmas would be spent in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh (click here for the full itinerary). More than 25,000 people applied for the inaugural Remote Year, which started in June 2015.
“Remote Year is a group of interesting people traveling together while working remotely,” reads Remote Year’s website. “Now unshackled from their permanent desks, they are ready to give up the permanence of a home for the excitement of life on the road.
“These two sweeping cultural shifts happening today, productivity moving to the cloud and the rise of the sharing economy, have culminated in Remote Year.”
“The community will connect with local cultures and business ecosystems, forming lifelong, borderless personal and professional relationships along the way.”
Remote Year’s monthly fee covers all travel and accommodation costs, as well as the hire of 24-hour workspace in each city and activities including tours, trips, “community impact days” and funding visits from motivational guest speakers.
Compare that with how much staying in one place costs you – how much of US$2000 (£1,300) is eaten up by your rent and bills alone each month?
The catch? We’re not sure there is one, apart from maybe that participants are expected to commit to the full 12-month programme – although, of course, they can come and go as they please if they want to visit family or take a break, and rejoin the group afterwards.
What’s more, you have to have a job that allows you to work remotely before the programme begins, but there are several jobs sites that offer such opportunities.
Tempted? It’s not too late to apply…
Rose Dykins is an award-winning freelance travel journalist. She tweets at @rose_dykins