Category

Remote Worker

Best Coliving Spaces in Spain

By | Javea, Remote Worker, Travel | No Comments

Digital nomads, location independent and remote workers are on the rise. But have you ever wondered how people can travel and work, long term? 

Travelling while working requires a high level of organisation to find apartments, cafes with good wifi and people to connect with. That’s why having spaces that support this lifestyle is key: coliving spaces offer all this under the same roof, taking away the hassle of having to organise all the travel-and-work logistics. It doesn’t hurt that most of them are also set in beautiful locations, with fast wifi and stylish workspaces, as well as local community managers to hook you up to what’s happening in the neighbourhood.  

Spain is particularly popular when it comes to coliving and coworking spaces. And that doesn’t come as a surprise. Sunshine all year-round, great food, rich culture and friendly people… what’s not to like? So if Spain has been on your bucket list of countries to check out, here is our curated selection of the best coliving and coworking spaces around!

Sun and Co., Javea (Costa Blanca)

Obviously 🙂 Over the years, Sun and Co. has become one of the leading coliving spaces in Spain and in Europe. Set in the charming, historical city of Javea (or Xabia, its original valencian name), Sun and Co. has been around for almost 4 years, welcoming over 300 location independent workers from all over the world. And while we are the very first coliving and coworking community in the whole Mediterranean Coast, we are certainly not alone! 

Bonus tip: if you’re looking for a place to call home while waiting for Sun and Co. to re-open on September 3rd, at the end of this post you’ll find the codes to get a 5% discount when staying at these coliving spaces 👇🏾

ReStation, Las Palmas (Gran Canaria)

ReStation first opened its’ doors in October 2016. It all started with Maria’s vision of creating a business hub under the sun and an amazing community of like-minded people. Since then, the community multiplied and so did the spaces. By 2018 they’re running a coworking space and 3 coliving houses, each one with its’ vibe. Las Palmas is also a great spot for fellow digital nomads and remote workers, here’s why.

Nine Coliving, Tenerife (Canary Islands)

The story of Nine Coliving starts with Anne, a dutch girl that, after spending a year travelling the world on one of the Remote Year programs, decided to transform an old Canarian house into a place where digital nomads live, work and meet. Surfing, hiking, local culture… for such small island, it is incredible how much Tenerife has to offer. Go explore! 

Sende, Senderiz (Northern Spain) 

Travelling entrepreneurs and educators, María and Edo decided to build this cozy, rural coliving and coworking space located in a village of only 20 (that’s right!) inhabitants, in the mountains of northern Spain. After six months of hard work, Sende was launched in July 2014. A year later, they had already hosted more than 500 persons from 20 countries. If you love mountains, hiking and biking, this one of a kind place is your jam! 

 

Are you ready to explore Spain and these beautiful coliving spaces? Use these codes when booking at ReStation, Nine and/or Sende this summer to get a 5% discount: ReStation: 5SUN ///Nine Coliving: 5REFERRALSUNCO /// Sende: SENDESUN5

 

 

How To Stay Productive During The Summer

By | Food for thought, Productivity, Remote Worker | No Comments

Whether you are working from an office, or somewhere remotely, chances are you sometimes find yourself daydreaming about vacation instead of staying productive at work this summer.

Sounds familiar? You’re not alone! In fact, there’s even a name for this well-known phenomenon: the summer slump. The summer slump encompasses everything from feeling guilty when the weather is glorious, but you can’t go outdoors; to experiencing envy when envisioning all your coworkers having time off. It’s a mixture of lethargy, boredom, and restlessness, brought about by melting temperatures outside, freezing temperatures in the office, plenty of summertime distractions and a burning desire to drop all tasks at hand.

We hear you! So we came up with a list of tips to survive the hottest months of the year and still get work done, which we hope you find useful. Happy reading, and happy summer!

Work at an Optimal Temperature

The summer weather is a primary reason you find it so hard to focus in this season. When it’s so hot outside, air conditioning becomes your best friend. But go easy on it! Studies show that above 76°F/24°C productivity starts to decline, while below 68°F/20°C discomfort and the error rate become increasingly acute. Not to mention the risk of AC to send you straight to sick leave, if it gets too cold. Setting the right temperature at work can induce greater productivity, but it is a narrow margin to navigate.

Tidy up

If your working space (or your life) is a mess, take advantage of the quiet time when your coworkers are on holiday to do some tidying up. This can come in the form of unlearning bad habits, eliminating distractions, or even physically organising your life to prepare for a more productive fall. If you’re looking for a summer reading, plenty of books have been written on the topic of physical organisation (our recommendation: Marie Kondo’s bestseller ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’). 

Exercise

Maybe it’s not the best idea to go running outdoors in the boiling summer heat, but summer is a great time to sign up for a gym membership, participate in a group exercise class or hit the pool. It’s proven that exercising can improve your mental capacity, including better concentration, sharper memory and faster learning. 

Do you still have trouble getting started, because your work schedule is too busy – or at least that’s your excuse? A Harvard Business Review article goes so far as to recommending that you reframe exercise as part of your job!

Set your goals for the future

Perhaps you have been planning to ask your boss to let you work remotely for some time? Or you would like to take a workation in the fall? Or why not trying coliving for the first time, if you are looking for new inspiration and fresh ideas? 

Now that you are mentally organised, physically ready and working at a comfortable temperature, take advantage of the summer quiet time to figure out your goals for the upcoming months, reevaluate your path and plan for meaningful changes. 

Take time for yourself

You do not have to be on a faraway island to make time for yourself. If you can’t take time to go travelling just yet, an evening stroll through the park or a weekend hike can be just as rejuvenating, if you consciously choose to unwind. Try meditation, catch up with family and friends, and when your work schedule is not as hectic, pursue the activities that you have been meaning to try for a while. 

And if you’re looking for your next destination to recharge and disconnect, remember Javea is at its best during September, October and November 🙂 Check out our booking page to see our availability in the fall: https://sun-and-co.com/book/.

What is Coliving at Sun and Co. – A Day In The Life

By | Community, Digital Nomad, Remote Worker | No Comments

While community housing and communal living have been around for awhile, coliving is still a fairly new concept. Even as a remote worker, it can be hard to understand what we mean by coliving at Sun and Co. if you’ve never experienced it. 

Generally speaking, coliving can be described as a shared housing model. Tenants (aka ‘colivers’) live in a home where common areas like kitchens, living rooms, office spaces, laundry facilities, and sometimes bathrooms are shared. The fee you pay include all your utilities, high-speed internet, weekly cleanings, fully equipped kitchens, furnished common and living spaces, constant restocking of your kitchen and essentials including coffee, tea, seasonings etc. And if you are at Sun and Co., a coworking space accessible 24/7.

But this is only the technical definition. There’s an entirely different aspect of coliving, which we will attempt to describe in the next few paragraphs, that can’t be priced.

So let’s start from the basics!

What coliving is NOT

Coliving is NOT a hotel. When you book a hotel, you generally know what to expect: a room for yourself and pretty much no interaction with other guests. Good if you’re a tourist or just travelling through a place.

Coliving is NOT a hostel. If you are travelling solo and/or are looking for some more human interactions, hostels are certainly a better option than hotels. However, hostels attract all sorts of people. Which means, while you are looking for a work-life balance while on the road, your hostel buddies might just be looking for the happy hour!

Coliving is NOT an AirBnB. As a remote worker, AirBnB can look like a good compromise for your work-and-travel lifestyle. However, there’s no guarantee that your host will be sociable and willing to connect you with the locals. And if you’re looking for a place to work from, it is rare (and time consuming) to find a fully-equipped workspace with solid wifi.

What IS coliving then?

A ‘coliving space’ like Sun and Co. can be defined as a modern form of housing designed to support a purpose-driven life, where residents share living space and a set of interests, values, and/or intentions. People choose to stay in coliving spaces as they’re visiting the location to keep a healthy work-life balance, meet like-minded people, and discover a new place too. 

So who are these people, you ask? There are mainly three types of guests at Sun and Co.:

Digital nomads, aka location-independent workers travelling full-time.

Remote workers, who might have a base somewhere in the world, but due to the nature of their jobs can work remotely for some time.

Professionals, who have a full-time job in their countries, but want to get away and/or aspire to become location independent and are looking for inspiration.

The average stay is between one week and two months. The minimum stay we recommend in order to get the most out of the coliving experience is two weeks.

Javea + COliving COworking COmmunity = Sun and Co.

Javea – the charming little town we call home on the east coast of Spain – provides the ‘Sun’ all year round. We just had to add the ‘Co.’s to create the perfect home for location independent workers!

We covered COliving, let’s have a look at what COworking and COmmunity mean.

Both the coliving and the coworking spaces are under the roof of a renovated 19th-century house, with three floors and over 200 sq meters of common areas, including a huge kitchen and a patio. We offer up to 20 workspaces, 3 working areas, a conference room and 24/7 access (plus free coffee and tea!). We also have printer, projector, LCD screens and oh yes, 300 mbps/300 mbps internet fiber connection!

But what makes Sun and Co. really famous around the world is its community. It is true that spaces like ours attract a certain type of like-minded people. However, behind every great coliving community there is always a great host that works hard to build it and promote strong shared values. We are a team of four hosts here at Sun and Co., and every day we work hard to make sure our guests have an amazing experience. Judging by our Facebook Reviews and Google Reviews, we ain’t doing a bad job! 

Why We Love Mondays

Part of our job is to make sure that everyone feels welcomed and included in the community. This is why every Monday at 7pm we run a ‘Family Meeting’, when we all get together to introduce one another and talk about who we are, what we do, what we value in life and a few fun questions. We also ask everyone to come up with a skill that they’d be willing to teach to the community, and a skill that they would like to learn. And if anyone has a particular life or work-related challenge they’re currently facing, we encourage them to organise a mastermind to find a collaborative solution.  

During the meeting we also come up with a calendar of events for the week ahead. Expect a lot of learning with professional events like skillshares led by colivers on any kind of different topics, from online advertising, to cyber-security, coding, storytelling, and much more. The goal is to mix professional and social events and to balance the time, so that we can still get work done while making the most of our time with the community and in Javea. Work smarter, live better is our motto, after all!

A Day In The Life At Sun and Co.

Living with another 15-20 people all under one roof doesn’t mean you need to do things together all the time. At Sun and Co., nothing is mandatory and everyone works and lives at their own pace. Having clarified this, here’s a sneak peek into a typical day at our home!

7.00am – 10.00am 

Wake up at your leisure, then go for a morning hike, a walk/run on the beach, or a morning surfing session. Or just cook breakfast with the other colivers and kickstart your day with some interesting conversations (and coffee!). Perhaps you feel like doing yoga in the patio, or read? Hitting the snooze button over and over is ok too! 

10.00am – 1.00pm 

Grab coffee or tea, settle into any of our inspiring workspaces and get to work to own the day. 

1.00pm – 2.30pm 

In typical Spanish fashion, there’s always time for lunch! So take a break, cook something yummy with the other colivers, bond over lunch conversations in the patio or attend a lunchtime skillshare session!

2.30pm – 6.00pm 

You choose. Continue working to hit those deadlines? Hold your afternoon calls in the Skype room? Take a break and explore Javea? Go to the beach? If too many options are making you tired, remember when in Spain… Siesta is always a good idea!

6.00pm – 8.00pm 

How about learning a new skill before dinner? Skillshares and masterminds are a great way to harness the power of our diverse community and take your personal and professional growth to the next level.

8.00pm – 11.00pm 

Time to unwind. Go out for tapas, or stay in to cook dinner and chat with your housemates over a glass of wine. Then why not watching a movie, or playing games. Or just head to your room for some quiet you-time, and get ready for another full day tomorrow!

Coliving is something that is on the rise and we believe is the future of remote working. Now that you know more about coliving at Sun and Co., will you be willing to try for yourself? 

If you’re ready to take the next step in your life and career, be in a new environment, connect with other like-minded people and spend your days inspired by where you are and what you’re doing, head to our booking page and book your stay with us! 

How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely

By | Business, Digital Nomad, Remote Worker | No Comments

Latest researches show that remote work is here to stay. Thanks to digital communication improvements, people from many different fields are now able to work remotely. Yet, many employees are still dreaming of a flexible work-life balance and the ability to determine when, where and how they work. There’s just one thing stopping them: their current job.

Too often, we look at our current situation and see no way of changing the traditional 9-5 schedule, confined to the four walls of a conventional office. You might love your job, but crave the flexible lifestyle that you know you can have.

Before you start updating your resume and beginning to search for a new position, have you ever considered pitching the idea of a remote position to your current employer? Of course this may require some preparation on your end before initiating the conversation, in order to help your boss feel comfortable with the idea of you becoming a remote employee.

Here are five top tips that will help you to convince your boss to let you work remotely.

Choose The Right Time

If peak season or a particular busy time is coming up, this might be the best time for you to approach your boss. Why? Many times managers will be looking for employees to put in some overtime to meet deadlines, so the argument can be made that instead of spending time commuting, you can complete extra work in a space with no distractions.

Know Your Worth and Document All Your Wins

At least three months before you talk to your manager, start documenting all of your contributions, performance results, and what you’ve been doing that benefits the team and company. If you can quantify your value to your boss, you will have greater leverage when making the argument that you will be more productive and creative while working with more autonomy.

Do Your Research

Preparation is the key to success, so come to the table with research to back up your ask, i.e. bring a list of the pros and cons of remote work, particularly when it applies to you and your company, or do some research on how companies that allow greater flexibility with their employers could help attract and retain talent.

For example, a recent survey by the Society of Human Resources Management found that of those who work remotely at least a few times a month, 77% reported greater productivity while working offsite, and 30% said they accomplished more in less time. And LinkedIn data show that 51% of professionals say they are proudest to work at companies that promote work-life balance and flexibility.

By creating a well-informed case that shows how allowing you to work remotely is a win-win for both parties, you can convince your employer to grant you greater flexibility.

Suggest a Remote Work Trial Period

When you’re ready to start approach your boss, decide on a trial time frame that works for you based on your job and workload (one month, three months, six months, etc.) and ask what they think. Giving your employer an alternative to an all-or-nothing proposition makes it a lot easier for them to say yes.

Put Your Employer’s Interests First and Be Flexible

Before introducing the subject of remote work to your boss, you need to be ready to explain how personal benefits – flexible work schedule, work-life balance, less time commuting, a more relaxed job environment etc. – will translate into benefits for your employer.

Think about the “why” of why you want to go remote, and focus on how your “why” will help the company. By digging deep into your motivation for moving to remote work, you’ll also be able to anticipate concerns your employer might have and respond to them proactively.

Finally, let your boss know that you’re flexible and open to compromising. For example, you could agree on something like sending a full report of what you plan to do and accomplish every week on Monday. Or you could offer to come in for face-to-face meetings throughout the week, perhaps moving it to regular video calls once your boss becomes more accustomed to the idea of remote work. Accommodating your employer when asking for a remote arrangement is critical, especially at the beginning or during your trial period.

These are some of our top tips that we hope will help you to present your case for remote work to your current employer. If your manager is open to trying it out, congratulations! You now just need to make sure to keep yourself organised and productive, so that your boss will let you transition into even more remote and flexible work over time.  And if they’re not, you won’t have lost anything by trying—in fact, you’ll simply know where you’re employer stands on remote work, and that you need to start looking into new remote job options if you’re serious about making the change.

Three Benefits Of Organizing A Company Retreat

By | Business, Productivity, Remote Worker | No Comments

When thinking about company culture and how to effectively engage your employees, a few things come into play. Whether you’re a fully remote team, looking to transition or a company that wants to start innovating with how you’re showing your employees that you care, something that should be put into consideration is organizing a team retreat at least once a year.

Team retreats are on the rise as companies begin to realize that employees are valuing immersive experiences over everything and aim to have immersive experiences in their day to day lives. When thinking about bringing your team together, there are some unexpected benefits to organizing a company retreat.

Let’s talk dive into them and see how you can get started today.

Bring Company Culture Front And Center

Company culture is a hot topic where many businesses talk the talk but don’t necessarily walk the walk in their day to day team culture. Hosting a team retreat is a great way for a company to show its employees firsthand the type of culture that they want to have.

When you bring your whole team to a beautiful location, you’ll be able to inspire them and also show them a look inside the values that a company has. It’s not just about getting work done but also about the overall vibe and atmosphere that you’re looking to bring in the activities that you do.

Whether you choose to bring your team on a paddleboarding or kayaking adventure, maybe wine tasting or tapas… it will be able to show them what the culture is like behind the company.

Increase Employee Engagement

When you bring your team to a new location and innovate with activities in an offsite retreat, it allows for employees to not just feel seen and appreciated but also get them to engage with others on a different level.

Professional development is a big part of employee engagement with 87% of millennial workers stating that it’s important to them in their work. Taking time for workshops and learning opportunities in retreats can motivate top employees to continue learning and growing.

Being outside of the office and in new environments, it also allows for your team to share different talents, skills and knowledge that you might not see in normal day to day activities.

Work Smarter So Your Team Can Live Better

Work smarter, live better is our motto here at Sun and Co. and over 300 remote workers who have stayed with us are adopting the same mentality and want their employers to follow it too.

With 6 out of 10 millennials stating that work/life balance is very important to them when thinking about the companies they want to work for, your retreats shouldn’t just be about meetings, work and innovative ideas, but also incorporate social activities where teams can bond.

Company retreats are just one of the many ways for teams to feel better connected, valued and efficient so that they can do their best work. When bringing everyone together for a period of time it allows for purposeful connection, innovation and deeper connection.

If you’re thinking about hosting a company retreat, feel free to send us an email at sienna@sun-and-co.com. You don’t need to do any of the heavy lifting, we’ll handle all the details so that all you need to think about is arriving.

How a Workation Can Increase Productivity

By | Digital Nomad, Javea, Productivity, Remote Worker, Travel | No Comments

With today technology and the increasing number of people becoming location independent, the old idea of taking a vacation to disconnect in order to reboot your productivity just doesn’t make sense anymore.

Instead, a workation might be the solution to make you more productive and focused on your work, whether you are a freelance, entrepreneur, or a company’s employee.

What Is a Workation and Why You Should Try It

Workation (literally work + vacation) is something more than just casually checking emails while you travel. It means actually fully immersing yourself in your work, while also dedicating time to unwind and relax, exploring a new environment, trying new things, meeting new people etc.

There’s no doubt that spending time in a different environment can make you feel more inspired and come up with innovative ideas and solutions for your work. We see this every day at Sun and Co., with our guests choosing to take a workation with us to escape winter in their home countries or spend time in beautiful Javea. After two or three weeks they all go back feeling better at way they do.

This being said, there are a few rules you should follow for a real productive workation.

Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

When you go on workation, it’s important that you take your working mood with you. Having people around you that are also on a mission to immerse themselves in work helps a lot when it comes to motivation and not getting off the course.

Set Expectations

Before you leave for your workation, make sure that both yourself and everyone else (coworkers, clients, travel companions etc.) understands that working is actually going to be the main focus of your trip. Setting the right expectations means avoiding disappointment when sometimes you will have to stay inside and work on some urgent task, instead of going out to enjoy the sunny weather and beautiful spanish beaches. But it also means that your clients or coworkers back home won’t freak out when you’re not responding to an email straight away. Of course you will, you are not just on holiday!

Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

The place you stay will play a great role when it comes to your productivity, so it’s important to make sure you get all of these things:

A good internet connection;

A desk you can sit and work at;

An environment that is quite and peaceful, but also has places and activities nearby for when you want to change your setting or go explore.

Places like Sun and Co. offer all these three and much more, which is why coliving with us makes our guests always feeling super productive!

Establish a routine

From day one, try to set yourself a schedule and stick to it throughout your workation. Having the same schedule every day will help you stay organised, plan your time more effectively, and avoid pushing things off for later. Here are some of our favourite apps for an extra help on stay productive.

Stay in the same place for the entire trip

Traveling from one place to another not only takes time, but it also requires a lot of energy. Besides, If you’re traveling somewhere new every 3-7 days you won’t be able to fully take in the area, which on the long run will make you feel lonely and disconnected.  2-6 weeks is ideal for workationing and it will give you enough time to get used to the new environment, find a spot you can work, establish a routine and ultimately do good work.

 

Now that you know the rules for a productive workation, why not starting to plan your first or next one in Javea? Check out our availability or make an enquiry!

5 Tips to Hire Top Talents For Your Remote Team

5 Tips to Hire Top Talents For Your Remote Team

By | Business, Guest Blog, Remote Worker | No Comments

Going remote can be daunting at first when you want to build and scale a business or agency, but as long as you hire the right team members straight off the bat, you’re well on the road to success. The top talents aren’t drifters; rather, they’ll stick around for the long haul, which is exactly what you want.

However, the hiring process has for a long time saddled all businesses. When we don’t hire the right people, productivity slows down, morale drops, and we have to spend money repeating the process until we get the right person in.

The last thing we want is to hire an individual who suddenly vanishes from the online world.

For your company to be a success, you need to bring the A-players to your team. The thing is that, with everyone working remotely, you might need to be a bit more creative with how you identify and “seduce” the top talent.

Let’s take a look at 5 tips to hire top talents for your remote team.

 

5 Tips to Hire Top Talents For Your Remote Team

Know Where to Look

There are a variety of places to look for remote workers, from Craigslist to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the best places to find your next hire because you get the advantage of seeing an individuals resume, testimonials and credentials there and then. Plus, they’re just a DM away. If you do decide to use LinkedIn, switching to a recruiters account gives you access to perks that a regular account doesn’t have. Then, you need to use keywords like “remote graphic designer” to find potential hires.

Moreover, if a talent really is the best talent, it’s highly likely that they’ll be on LinkedIn. And they’ll probably have examples of their work for you to browse.

Global freelance platforms like Upwork and Freelancer are worth taking a look at, too. These hubs allow clients to post jobs — long term or short term — and multiple businesses have used them to hire the best talent. The problem is that, while there are top-rated remote workers on these sites, there are also lots of dead wood, too. As such, it might take you some time before you find the right person for the right job. However, these platforms allow clients to give freelancers feedback and scores so that you can take a look at an applicants profile to determine how skillful, motivated and reliable they’ll be for you.

 

Outline Your Why

The best remote workers don’t have to work for you. Unlike an office worker who might be terrified of being made redundant because they’ll never find another job, the best remote workers always have other clients they can work for.

This is why you need to sell the job to them.

Outline your company’s ‘Why’. Why should someone work for you? Share your company’s vision with remote workers. Explain your purpose and where your company is heading. What are the perks of working for you? Why should the best talent choose you?

The more attractive you can make your company appear, the easier it will be for the top talent to want to be a part of your future.

 

Go for the Experience

When assessing who is right and who isn’t for your team, it’s a good idea to take a look at how experienced the remote worker is. This doesn’t simply mean how experienced they are in terms of the role — it also means how experienced they are as a remote worker.

For example, if someone has literally just started working remotely, it might not always be the best idea to hire them. They could be a starstruck remote worker who quit the 9-5 grind in the hopes that working remotely would bring them a better work/life balance. Ultimately, however, they have no track record and you don’t know how motivated they’ll be as a remote worker.

Instead, it’s much safer to go for remote workers who already have a proven track record working remotely. If they’ve been doing this for 2+ years now and have strong testimonials to back them up, they’re well worth considering over young pups who may end up like rabbits caught in headlights. They might be good at what they do, but are you taking a gamble?

 

Assign a Test Project

When hiring a remote worker, it’s typical for a company to assign the candidates a test project first. This gives you a better insight into the quality of their work, as well as the speed at which they work. Turnaround time is key, so it makes sense to test each candidate first with a small (but paid) project.

 

Be Communicative

The top talent wants to see a few things from a prospective company they might work for before they commit. One of them is good communication.

The best talent know that communication is the bedrock of all good working relationships, and it’s important to remember the reasons why someone has decided to work remotely in the first place. It might be that they did it for family reasons, but a prime factor is often that the individual doesn’t want to work for a boss they hate anymore.

The top talent can pick and choose who they work for. If they no longer want stress in their working life, they won’t work with someone they dislike.

Poor communication skills can easily make you appear unappealing to a remote worker. If you take too long to respond to messages, or if your messages are often blunt, impersonal and full of criticism, it’s going to put the best talent off.

Be a good communicator. Be friendly, personable and open. Stay in touch with your prospects and your hires. Offer feedback and offer criticism, but offer praise, too. Be positive. That way, it will be a lot easier to hire and keep hold of the best remote talent.

 

These are 5 top tips to hire top talents for your remote team. Look in the right places, sell your company to the worker, go for the experience, run a test project by them and be communicative. If you can do all this, you should be well on your way to building a stronger team.

 

About the author: Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of Nightwatch a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out Nightwatch blog and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut

How To Stay Productive While Traveling

By | Business, Productivity, Remote Worker | No Comments

Mojito on the beach with Gmail open on the computer screen. If we believed everything we saw on Instagram, that’s what it would look like when you’re someone who works and travels at the same time. If you’re actually one of those people, you know that the reality looks a bit different.

Whether you have a home base and travel occasionally or you’re a full-time digital nomad who is always on the road, the reality is… work still has to get done. Being productive in different places can sometimes be harder than what it seems but we’re here to share some more tips on how to do so.

The Colivers in our community are some of the smartest people we know with such a wide range of experience so we decided to go to the source. We asked them how do they aim to stay productive while working remotely or on the road and this is what they had to say!

“Get Serious About Your Workspace”

Rachel says… Get serious about your workspace–spend some time finding a good place to work that is comfortable and meets all or most of your needs and then keep going back. Knowing what you are going to do and where you are going to do it gives some structure to the workday.

 

“Dress Up”

Chelsea’s advice: When I’m working remotely and don’t have to go into an office I’m more productive when I dress up, versus staying in my pajamas, even if I’m not going anywhere. Then when I’m finished with my tasks, I reward myself by just walking around the town I’m in – since I’m already dressed ;).

“Get Inspired”

Ann Kathrin says; For me, as an illustrator and graphic designer, it really helps me to be productive to get inspired by the local art and culture scene. Whether it’s a trip to a museum during the day, a visit to a theater or just sitting in a cafe and watch the everyday life around me.

 

“Plan Your Week”

 

Alex believes that you need to… plan your week so that it’s always clear what you’ve got to do next. It makes the distractions less tempting.

 

 

“Exercise Between Tasks”

 

Ella says; Go out for a walk or run in between tasks. It helps me to clear my head and focus more when I get back to my work. And it’s great to get some sun and see the surroundings while you’re at it.

 

 

 

“Make Location Work For You”

Ali says; My favorite productivity travel hack is to use the location freedom to help me focus. I choose a project to complete at each location whether it be a coffee shop, or even one desk versus the sofa in a co-working space. Once the project is complete (or a few tasks if they are smaller) I change locations. The new surroundings help me refocus and the time it takes to get up and walk around helps me get some fresh air and re-charge. 

 

Hopefully these tips will give you a good starting point for things you can do to stay productive while on the road! Of course, productivity doesn’t always mean being in front of your computer for 8 hours a day. In our eyes, when you’re truly productive, that’s the key to #worksmarterlivebetter.

 

Diverse Representation As a Digital Nomad; An Interview with Kit Whelan

By | Community, Digital Nomad, Interview, Remote Worker, Travel | No Comments

Kit Whelan is one of those passionate people that you meet and instantly feel inspired to be a better person and change the world. We had the honor of spending time with her at the 7in7 conference as well as afterward, as they hosted the Nomad House here at Sun and Co. 

We decided to sit down with Kit to hear a bit more about how she’s able to be location independent, the importance of diversity in the digital nomad world, how we need to be redefining the future of work in the next 20 years and so much more! 

Without saying anything about work, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you value.

I LOVE this question! I’ve been a digital nomad for 9 years and the only thing I miss about muggle life is being able to have a cat – I’m a certified crazy cat lady! The best thing about my life is my awesome community of location independent humans all over the world who support me through life’s ups and downs. They help me become the best person I can be. I’m never without my amazing friends.

Aaaand does running a conference count as work if it’s an all-volunteer project? Because I started a conference to make more friends. That’s how important community is to me 🙂

I also plan to travel in space one day, hopefully to Mars.

So, what do you do that allows you to be location independent?

I’m a social media consultant, mostly for small luxury hotels.

 

Tell us a little bit about why you started the 7in7 conference.

“This bromad culture turned off so many people that a lot of my friends refused to call themselves digital nomads. They couldn’t stand to be associated with those types of people. Something had to change.”

 

We started 7in7 out of frustration. First, frustration with the lack of representation in the nomad community. EVERYWHERE you looked it was all straight, white, Western men. Every conference, meetup, article, podcast… all white guys talking about how to “crush it” at life. This bromad culture turned off so many people that a lot of my friends refused to call themselves digital nomads. They couldn’t stand to be associated with those types of people. Something had to change.

Secondly, frustration that there were so many events geared toward getting people into the location independent lifestyle, but nothing for those of us who had already been nomads for a while. We had already figured out the basics – starting a business or getting a remote job, the logistics of travel, etc. But there’s so much more to life than that: building a community, being a socially responsible global citizen, deciding whether or not to have kids on the road… we needed a space to have these conversations.

So, we started our own.

As for doing it on seven continents… that bit is just for fun! 🙂

 

Since starting 7in7, how have you seen your network change?

Oh my gosh! People say if you want to increase your visibility you should speak at conferences… that’s true. But if you want to increase your network, and fill your global village with wonderful humans, start your own event! I have met such incredible people over the last three years! And they introduce me to their friends, and their friends, and on and on. Anything I need, there’s someone in my network who can help me get it. They push me to be better. They offer their skills to create a better world. They are everything to me.

The focus of the conference is for “experienced digital nomads”.

 

Tell us a bit about why you chose to focus on those who have been traveling and working for years.

Yes, this is a bit controversial. We are the only event I know of for experienced location independent people (those who have been at it for more than one year) and that’s intentional.

When you’ve been a nomad for 3, 5, or 15 years, you often find yourself in spaces where you are the most experienced person in the room. You end up being asked questions by everyone else, and of course, you’re happy to help! But why only go to events where you’re the one providing the value? At 7in7, everyone who comes has something valuable to share. Everyone can challenge you to be better. Everyone understands your lifestyle. You aren’t a subject of curiosity here… you’re with your people.

“At 7in7, everyone who comes has something valuable to share. Everyone can challenge you to be better. Everyone understands your lifestyle. You aren’t a subject of curiosity here… you’re with your people.”

 

 

Let’s talk a bit about representation in the world of remote work and travel. Now, more than ever, it’s easy for anyone to create their own platform and following. Do you think it’s a good thing or do you think that it adds to the rest of the noise in a world that people think is over saturated?

It’s SO important that there are more platforms being created every day because everyone has their own story to tell. In 2010, it was so exciting to meet another nomad in the wild that you were immediately best friends. Now, there are hundreds of thousands of us all over the world. We all need to find our people somehow. Especially those of us who haven’t felt represented in the wider space: queer nomads, nomads of color, transgender nomads – visibility is EVERYTHING.

It’s also important to find people who share your interests beyond just travel. I have a “Nerdy Nomads” WhatsApp group where I talk with friends about the latest comic book movies. I have a “Cat Crew Nomads” Facebook chat where we send photos of cats we find all over the world. Of course, you don’t have to create a platform to find these friends, but it is a fast way to do it! I have a Facebook Group for feminist nomads who listen to my podcast – and they are wonderful! I would never have met half of them if it weren’t for my podcast.

That being said, I encountered someone recently who thought that being a digital nomad meant you had to have a fancy Instagram presence. That’s not the case at all!

…those of us who haven’t felt represented in the wider space: queer nomads, nomads of color, transgender nomads – visibility is EVERYTHING.

 

How do you see the digital nomad sphere changing in the upcoming years?

Good question! I’m working to make sure we expand what it means to be location independent. Of course, it can mean traveling to 20 new cities every year, but it can also mean working full-time remote and having the opportunity to live in a small town you adore or stay home with your children or care for an aging parent or work part-time as a SCUBA instructor. The future of work – and life – is flexible. That’s what we need to redefine in the next 20 years.

 

How would you say that being location independent has changed your life?

A decade ago, I could never have imagined that my life would look like this. It’s everything I never knew I needed. I am in charge of every aspect of my own life. I live where I want to, I work how I want to, and I play when I want to. It’s the most empowering thing. I feel so much more confident.

 

What advice would you give someone who wants to run their own business and travel often?

I would say trust yourself and don’t worry when you make mistakes. Nothing is irreversible. When you fail, just get back up and try again.

 

Who is someone that you admire (whether you know them personally or not) and why?

Can I list every woman I know?! I get inspiration from all my friends!

But, keeping it simple, I’ll say Leanne Pittsford. She founded her own conference, Lesbians Who Tech, back in 2014. It was because of her example that I knew I could handle running my own conference. She’s turned her values into a tangible global community that has helped thousands of people.

My best advice is to find friends who make you want to be a better person.

 

After the 7in7 conference in Barcelona, you stayed at Sun and Co. How would you describe the experience here to someone who has never been before?

I loved Sun and Co! Immediately after we arrived everyone agreed there was something about the space and the town that was just so soothing. You can’t help but be relaxed and productive there! There’s guaranteed laughter and support every day!

 

If you could give yourself one piece of advice before starting your location independent journey, what would it be?

I made an entire podcast episode about this! Basically: stress less.

 

Imagine that you had one month to travel anywhere in the world (money not being an issue), where would you go and why?

I’d go around sub-saharan Africa staying in all the best hotels in each city and the most expensive eco-lodges on safari. Flying first-class in between! There’s so much of that continent I have yet to explore, but money and time always get in the way!

 

Lastly, where do you see yourself/what do you see yourself doing one year from now?

I know EXACTLY where I’ll be! 7in7 Year Four is happening in Australasia, so I’ll be in Australia or New Zealand scouting out venues and finding the best cat cafes!

Rapid Fire

Window or aisle? Always window!

Carryon or overweight? Carry-on only, baby!

Favorite city you’ve visited? This is impossible to answer. Ok, London.

Favorite tool for remote work? Calendly.

What song do you currently have on repeat? My brother’s latest.

Anything else you want to share? Just thinking about Sienna and the crew at Sun and Co makes me feel light and full of happiness! I can’t wait to see you all again!

Where can we find you on the web and social media?
https://twitter.com/kitwhelan
https://www.instagram.com/kitwhelan/
https://7in7.co/

 

Thanks so much for your time Kit! 

If you’re interested in attending 7in7 this year in Colombia, you can get your early bird tickets here!

Mastering Remote Work: 3 Ways To Improve Team Culture

By | Business, Productivity, Remote Worker | No Comments

Being a full-time remote worker definitely has its benefits but if we’re being honest… sometimes it can be hard to navigate the world of remote work 24/7. If you’re used to office environments and coffee banter, sometimes it can be an isolating experience but it doesn’t have to be that way.

With the future of work inevitably leading to more companies having remote employees and more people being brought on to teams so they can work from anywhere in the world… it’s vital to have the right tactics in place both as an employee and an employer.

There are some companies who do remote work really well and one of those is Hanno, a business that focuses on helping organizations build and launch life-changing products. The team is 100% remote and does all of their collaborations online, even with their clients. We had the pleasure of connecting with Laila, the Remote Work Mentor of the Hanno team to teach the Sun and Co. community about Remote Team Culture and now we’re going to share some of the takeaways with you!

Keep Your Systems Effective

One of the biggest hardships of being on a fully remote team can be systems and organizations. We asked Laila how do they keep their systems effective both within their team and with their clients as well.

In their company, they have “playbooks” which are perfect both when onboarding new team members as well as frequenting them in their day-to-day work situations. When you have guidelines within a team it not only helps you figure out how you do your work internally but it also helps your clients understand how you work as a remote business… just in case they need some clarity or have never worked with a brand remotely before.

Keeping systems effective also means that team communication is transparent on all fronts. They use something called Everyday PPP which stands for Plan, Progress and Process. It allows for everyone to be able to check in with one another and be able to keep everyone on the team accountable.

 

Connect On A Deeper Level

Sometimes when working remotely, it can be a bit difficult to connect with your coworkers on a deeper level outside of the meetings and daily tasks that you have ahead.

Some different ways to combat that and connect on a deeper level as a team?

Implementing things like check-ins before your meeting. It helps you all open up about how you’re feeling and get to know what’s going on with your teammates outside of work.

Another way to connect with teammates is having activities like “Friday Beer or Coffee” to be informal. Hanno hosts this weekly so that there is time within their team for informal chatting and connecting on a different level.

 

Know What Tools You Need

What is so impressive about the Hanno team is that although their business focuses on creating and implementing new projects and services for their clients, they are truly thought-leaders when it comes to remote work culture and efficiency.

They don’t just help their clients learn how to work remotely and be more efficient but they also help thousands of other people in the world learn how to implement better remote work practices via various online resources.

What tools could be useful to you and your team?

Here are some things you probably haven’t heard of before when it comes to thinking about what your team needs and what you can use to help with productivity and collaboration working remotely.

Remote Starter Kit: The Hanno overview of all the tools that you need to help your team collaborate better and be happier.

Oskar: The tool you never knew you needed. A bot that helps track your team’s happiness via Slack!

Donut: A site that helps you build amazing company culture online.

Reinventing Organizations: Laila recommends reading this book when you’re thinking about your own company culture and how to work better as a team and a new way of rethinking how an organization works and operates on a daily basis.

Do you work or lead a remote team? What tools and practices do you use to keep everyone organized, efficient and happy? Let us know in the comments! 

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