For many of us, working life now revolves around a makeshift desk in a corner of our homes and virtual chats with locked-down colleagues (cue BBC-esque child bursting into the room during an important call). And then there’s those for whom remote working has been their hard-gotten reality for years; the lucky few (okay, thousands of freelancers), who can combine their love for travel with a digital working life.
If the coronavirus lockdown has made you broody for a remote working future, now is the time to start planning – you’ve got the time, after all. We’ve built a tool to make it easy to find the best cities for freelancing so that once things settle, you’re ready to jet off to start your new working adventure. From monthly salary and rent to co-working spaces and where the cities stand on the fun factor, we cover everything your freelance working heart might desire.
In the meantime, crown yourself the Remote Working King (or Queen) with some top remote working tech, all detailed below.
Spend a little extra on the basics
First things first – get yourself a powerful, lightweight laptop. When all your work is digital, you’ll need a reliable laptop companion that can handle multiple open apps without losing performance. Try to go with one that has at least an Intel Core i7 CPU (although i5 will work if you’re tight on budget), as well as one with a good display (full HD at 1920x1080-pixel resolution is best).
You may also want to get a smartphone with a good camera (12MP or more) for quickie emails and snaps on-the-go. Noise-cancelling headphones can also be handy to both block out ambient noise (particularly useful if you’re logging on in a busy café or with kids in the background) and keep you entertained without disturbing others around you.
Get some choice accessories
Whether you’re working from home or working from -insert your next exciting freelance city here-, getting the right accessories could make life a lot easier. This could include getting a USB hub with at least 4-5 ports so you can charge multiple devices without worrying about running out of usable ports on your laptop. This will also come in handy if you use a wireless mouse or wireless keyboard.
Another nifty device is an adjustable laptop stand. It’ll allow you to adjust the angle of your laptop and keyboard into the most ergonomic position for you, and can help with posture, comfort and tiredness (unless you like the panda-eyed hunchback look). Look for lightweight, slim options that can still hold your laptop firmly in place.
A universal travel adaptor is the next on your list, particularly if you’re planning on switching countries often. You may also want to get an external storage device with at least 1TB of space – keeping your important files on both this and a cloud storage option so you’re covered if you lose access to either.
Don’t forget the software
Speaking of cloud storage, there’s also a host of software technology that will help enhance your remote working life.
Some great cloud storage options include Dropbox, Google Docs and Microsoft Sharepoint. Don’t forget to stock up on your antivirus software, making sure it’s updated and active whenever you use your laptop. An app like LastPass could also be useful, with the password manager helping you keep track of passwords, so you don’t have to.
Favourites for project management include Trello, Asana, Jira and Basecamp while options abound for collaboration and communication with your remote peers. Choose from Slack, Microsoft Teams, Rocket Chat, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Mattermost and Join.me to chat, brainstorm and hold meetings.
You might also want to add some extra productivity apps such as Google Calendar for time management and scheduling meetings, Superhuman for email, Saent to block out distractions, Grammarly for ensuring your grammar and syntax are on point, f.lux to automatically adjust your screen for eye strain, and Calm for mental health and mindfulness.
Whatever your job entails, if you’re working remotely, the suggestions above should help add some sparkle to your day-to-day.