Ever wish you could just pick up and travel the world? I have, too many times to count. Ever since I put off studying abroad while in college, I told myself I’d do it after I graduated. But then I jumped right into grad school. And then, working life. After that, the thought of ever being able to travel seemed like a distant fantasy, something I kept pushing aside so I could focus on growing my very new career.
I’ve noticed I’m not the only one… I think it might be symptomatic of the millennial generation. We’ve entered the workforce at an interesting time, when technology allows us to be more connected than ever to the world around us, giving us more opportunities. But at the same time, it gives us a lens into the great big world that we’ve never touched.In a time when post-grad jobs are no longer a guarantee, the pressure to “hold a steady job” seems to have increased. The traditional nine-to-five job never seemed more oppressive.
The Rise of the Digital Nomad
But not all companies are binding their employers to this traditional schedule. More and more companies are realizing the benefits and importance of flexible work. Some new companies even operate with 100% of their employees working remotely. And it’s predicted that by 2020, half of the workforce will be working remotely. Luckily for me, Polycom is one of those companies that is shaping the workplace of the future.
In less than a week, I am joining the inaugural class of Remote Year, a program that facilitates extended travel for professionals who can do their job remotely. The program takes 75 participants to 12 locations in 11 countries, all in one year. Designed for the digital nomad, Remote Year provides all accommodations (including work spaces) in each country and allows for “bursts of stability” in each location. The program brings together people from 15 different countries from a wide range of industries and professions. Finally, work and travel will join harmoniously together!
Does Working Remotely Really Work?
I can’t help but think how impossible this venture would be without the technology I currently use in my job every day. Because of the power of Polycom’s technology, I’m able to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. And not just that, but I’m able to transition into this new work style seamlessly. Yes, there will probably be some late night calls with my team back in the States. Yes, there will probably be those moments where I’m frantically searching for a good Wi-Fi connection. But at the end of the day, it’s pretty amazing that I am equipped to do my job just as I do now, while working completely remotely. All I’ll need is my laptop, phone and Internet.
A New Type of Collaboration
Technology isn’t the only piece though. I can’t overlook the support of my incredible team and extended colleagues. Behind all of our great technology is the power of human collaboration, the relationships I have with my team and how we work together. This is what I think I’m most excited to explore and grow from, both within my team and by learning from the other remote workers in the program.
Over the next year I’ll share my experiences, learnings and adventures here and also on Twitter. I feel incredibly fortunate to have this unique view into the workplace of the future and I hope you’ll follow along!
Look out for my next post, which will come from Prague!