The Remote Worker Abroad

I used to be a well travelled girl. I’ve worked in quite a few foreign countries and have visited a fair few more. Three children and eight years down the line and travelling is very much a thing of my past. Add in a recently acquired fear of flying, concerns about the environment and childcare problems and it’s a recipe for a UK bound home worker. The furthest afield I’ve been in a long while is the Isle of Wight!!

However it looks like I didn’t come up with enough excuses 😉 because this time next week I’ll be in Vienna at the iPres conference. I’m presenting a paper on Approaches To Archiving Professional Blogs Hosted In The Cloud and a poster on Twitter Archiving Using Twapper Keeper.

So I’m a little scared, not just about the flying, finding the hotel and presenting at a big international conference, but about being clued up on the technologies I’ll need. Things have moved on significantly since my last work trip abroad and we are now expected to be in touch all the time; where ever we are. Not only that but I’ve talked the talk about mobile working and remoter remote working on this blog – I really should know what I’m doing!

So what do I need to take with me and what do I need to know?

My tower of technology

John Kirriemuir’s guest blog post on a Travelling Kit for a Remote Worker is a good place to start.

So far on my list I have:

  • A travel plug adaptor
  • My ipod touch
  • My laptop
  • A Flip camera – for possible videos
  • My phone (Nokia 5800 – not great but it has a camera)
  • A couple of memory sticks for my presentations and other stuff

I also want to add a few apps to my ipod touch that are good for currency and flight information. Obviously I’ll only be able to use these when I’m connected to the wifi.

Some questions…

  • Am I better off putting all my electrical equipment in my cargo-luggage or hand-luggage? Should I put half in each?
  • What happens if any of it gets stolen (as happened to Brian Kelly on his recent trip to Spain). I know I’m insured through work but what do I do while I’m there? How can I connect? Should I have some sort of laptop security advice with me?
  • What about wifi? Will I be able to connect as easily as I do in the UK? Is this any different in a foreign country?
  • What about wifi when I’m not working? I could try looking for a wifi hot spot. I actually wrote an article about this a while back, looks like any major fast food chain is my best bet. Oh great!
  • What about phone calls home? I’ve never used my phone abroad and I’m concerned about the charges. The O2 site has some information about travelling to Austria, but it’s a little tricky to know what it really means in pounds and pence. Maybe I’m better off buying a card to ring home? Another option is to take a head set and try Skyping home.

There’s probably a lot more I should be asking but if anyone does have any tips they’d like to share with me please do!


4 thoughts on “The Remote Worker Abroad

  1. Re: keeping in touch with home, we have an international phone package at home with free international calls (due to numerous relatives living abroad) so what my husband and I tend to do (he is usually abroad more often than me) is roughly work out a couple of mutually convenient times to speak beforehand. Then the person who is at home makes the call, preferably to a hotel room phone (rather than a mobile) which usually makes it free (the list of free countries doesn’t include Sri Lanka, for example, but the rates paid from home are still usually better than ones charged in hotels or from mobiles abroad). You need to factor in time differences, event dinners, unexpected networking opportunities, children’s bedtimes etc but I guess you would need a bit of pre-planning like that with Skype anyway? We back up the planning with emails to exchange hotel room number, update to change of plans etc. And we always try to make sure that we have emailed flight itineraries and hotel details to each other, even if it is a short trip and we have agreed not to bother phoning.

  2. Thanks Monica, you sound like you’ve got it really well organised! I guess it only takes one disaster to realise this makes sense.

    I think I better have a chat with my husband!


  3. So how did it go? When I travel my favouite apps are: TripIt, Google Maps, FlightView, National Rail Enquiries, Yelp (best in US), Dopplr, TweetDeck and Lonely Planet. Which ones did you use?


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