Running a business from a number of different locations isn’t as hard as you might think. It takes planning and flexibility, but as business owners these are skills we have to apply every day! Below is a list of some of the places we have set up our office from, with some of the pros and cons of each destination. What will your list look like?
Working from Canada was very easy in most respects. We did a house exchange so there was speedy broadband internet and even a printer! It was more of a challenge when we left the home and needed to check emails on the road- it’s expensive to check from your phone abroad and if you are in the French speaking provinces connecting to wifi can be a challenge!
We found the time zone difference between the United States and UK works pretty well, plus it encouraged us to get up nice and early to make the most of the shared international office hours! Car hire can be cheap which means that you can easily explore the country as well as getting a few hours at the laptop in as well.
This is a wonderful destination if the thought of staring out of your office window at gloomy winter days fills you with dread. The long sunny days and outdoorsy way of life can really help create a fantastic work life balance. Be warned though, there may be the occasional early morning or very late night call required! And (especially at the moment) it’s not the cheapest place to spend an extended stay. Luckily, there are always plenty of house-swappers keen to spend a chilly Christmas in the UK with family so we would definitely recommend this as an option for a winter office relocation.
Central America generally has much better internet access than you may expect and there are breathtaking locations to set up your temporary office and get inspired. Accommodation and transport is very inexpensive which means it’s a great place to stay a few weeks longer than you may otherwise be able to afford. The main drawback about Nicaragua was the unreliability of the power supply- it’s all very well having great internet access but it isn’t much good if you don’t have any electricity! So make sure you keep your appliances charged up whenever you can and stay somewhere with a backup generator, as the power can be out for several hours at a time.
The biggest problem here is that there is so much to do and so many beautiful places to explore that we didn’t do as much work as we could have! The difference with this trip was that we only when for 3 weeks, which wasn’t enough time to settle into a work routine. We learnt from this that keeping your trip short can be a false economy- it is worth planning to stay as long as you can in new places so you don’t feel that work interferes too much with enjoying your new way of life!
Our visit to Spain was a bit of a surprise as we struggled to find a fast internet connection more here than we did in Central America! Partly that was to do with our accommodation- we knew it didn’t have internet when we arranged it but we thought we could send and receive emails for a couple of hours once a day from an internet cafe, and work off line the rest of the time. That would have worked well if bars and cafes don’t close for several hours in the afternoon! So, our recommendation- Spain is a marvellous country and we will definitely go back for a month or two, but make sure your wifi is sorted at a reliable location before relocating your office for any length of time!