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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!

 

Bon voyage… 

 

Comments
Super Collector

Thank you for posting such an inspiring story!  This reminds me a little of my days working for Semester at Sea, which was one of the most personally enriching experiences of my life.  Kudos to you and to Polycom for supporting your vision of the workplace of the future!

@cara_dalyYour support means so much! Semester at Sea sounds awesome but I've never done it. My quick explanation for Remote Year (since it's such an unheard of idea) is to say that it's like Semester at Sea, but for adults in the working world. I don't think this experience would be possible or nearly as enriching without Polycom technology. I'm a huge advocate of that and the opportunities it's provided me! 

Polycom Employee

Lindsay - what an inspiring adventure you're undertaking!  I feel exactly the same way - I  jumped into my career thinking...I'll travel someday, but for NOW I have to work hard and make money.  Three kids later, I never got to do it - and I just love it that you're taking this on.  Can't wait to hear all about your adventures - and see pictures from amazing places.  All my best, Laura

@L. Shay thank you for the kind words! This program is an amazing opportunity for me of course,  but I hope it will prove to so many others that you CAN balance your career with travel or any other personal goals you have for yourself. We have the technology to to this, other companies shoudl be following suit! While I'm sure it's hard to do something like this now with your fmaily, I hope that you can still find the time to work while you travel so you can visit places for an extended time :) 

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