While my family and I were biking across Europe, I’d check my emails and Basecamp on my phone. It’s work, but it’s only a few minutes every other day. The best part is I’m able to do it in places with the most amazing views.
This is one of the good things about having a remote team. You can work anywhere.
Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted, some of my OFS are also traveling to visit family. Some take their vacation leaves for this. Some don’t because they know they can work there.
My OFS, Jamie, opted not to take her vacation leave when visiting her husband’s family for a month. I was worried that she can’t work there. It turns out she can work anywhere too.
I’ve been working as an OFS for around ten years now, and I have worked in many weird places. I have OFS friends who have worked in odd places as well.
In my case, the weirdest place I worked in was in a ball pit at a McDonald’s. My daughter was attending a birthday party, and I needed to get work done. I don’t know why but the ball pit was the place that had the best mobile data signal.
A grown woman typing on her laptop in the middle of a ball pit with kids running around draws attention. Good thing the other parents more or less understood that I was working. I managed to keep doing that until the party was over.
My husband can sometimes be caught working at parties too. He’s just more subtle because he can do some work on his phone.
I have friends who have worked on tricycles, buses, boats, and jeepneys. I’ve seen Filipino VAs work in cemeteries, coffee shops, airports, bus terminals, seaports, etc.
As I am writing this, I’m working from the dirty kitchen (an outdoor kitchen some Filipino homes have where most of the cooking is done). There’s someone doing laundry just a few steps away.
Don’t worry, we rarely work in ball pits, cemeteries, and public transport. It’s only when we have something urgent that comes up. Thank goodness smartphones are so functional now because carrying our laptops everywhere is unwieldy.
Working in the kitchen, bedroom, garage, or laundry area is more common.
Most of us live in tiny homes, so it’s hard to carve out a dedicated workspace. Where in the house we can work is often dictated by two things:
- Is the internet good in the area of the house?
- Can a computer and a person fit in it?
So we often end up working in the common areas.
When I first started working from home, I would work in the kitchen or living room. After I had been an OFS for more than five years, that’s when my husband and I started investing in room dividers, computer tables, and chairs to make it more comfortable to work. So we now have home offices! Well, home office space in the corners of our living room and kitchen. I got to stay where there’s good WiFi.
Your OFS now has better options when it comes to internet connectivity. It’s nothing like when I started outsourcing to the Philippines.