During my second month of Remote Year in Belgrade, Serbia, I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with one of the founders of Remote Year, Sam Pessin, and heard firsthand about his passion for connecting with people globally through the program. He provided insights and thoughts about the future of digital nomads and shared best practices for working remote.
The Beginning of the Remote Year Program
Sam Pessin grew up traveling the world. These experiences as a young traveler inspired Sam to eventually think differently about the way we look at work and travel.
Over one year ago, Sam Pessin and fellow Remote Year co-founder Greg Kaplan were in Chicago and had an idea about the concepts of work and travel. Sam had previously been a consultant and Greg started his own company. Together they created a website to gather data from professionals who enjoy working and traveling. Based on the results from their site they realized that there was an abundance of interest in this topic. This interest led to the formation of Remote Year. The inaugural program included a 12-month itinerary including locations to facilitate co-working environments and an application process; the first group launched June 2015.
The purpose of Remote Year is to connect professionals, from all types of organizations and locations with different backgrounds, cultures and customs; through the program participants are immersed in communities around the world. Remote Year enables professionals to continue working while traveling.
Technology is a critical component of being a successful digital nomad. Essential tools include a laptop, reliable internet and a platform for communication with your team and company.
Another technology tool that Remote Year employees and participants use to stay connected is video conferencing. Remote Year instituted a policy that requires everyone on the Remote Year team to have video. Video conferencing helps to facilitate productivity, builds rapport and helps teams stay connected even though they are dispersed across many countries.
Sam’s Three Tips for New Digital Nomads
At the beginning of any digital nomad journey, over-invest and build trust with your manger and team to start off on the right foot.
Be organized about your communication – communication is incredibly important and builds on the foundation of trust that has been laid.
Bring the things you learn to the table
Learn from other people and cultures and translate that into value for your company. Demonstrate that value to yourself then to your team and company.
The future of Digital Nomad
Sam strongly believes in the benefits a co-working environment can bring to the workplace, including much needed diversity and cultural understanding. Working with people that have significantly different backgrounds than the typical HQ office environment is quite powerful. Sam has seen companies embrace the benefits of co-working spaces by actively participating and sending employees to take part in Remote Year.
Remote Year helps to create a dynamic work environment for companies, providing new ways for their employees to grow. Polycom is a case study, I am the second person from Polycom to participate in this program which demonstrates the workplace of the future and that productive work anywhere is possible!
Follow me on this journey as a #digitalnomad! #workAnywhere