10 Awkward Truths About Working Whilst Travelling
Situations we all experience on trains, planes, and automobiles
Freelancing and free roaming
We aren’t shy about sharing the reasons we love freelance work. The freedom that comes with remote jobs can be such a blessing. That being said, we’re not blind to the challenges that they bring too.
Being able to spontaneously take your work to a new location is liberating. Working on a project whilst on a 5-hour train journey on an overcrowded carriage… is not. So, here are 10 awkward truths about working on the go!
1. Connectivity issues
Picture this. You’re 10-minutes from a project deadline for an important client. The work is done, the files have been saved, and you’re uploading it at the airport before your flight. Just as the upload hits 99% complete, the airport WiFi decides to stop working. Patchy internet has impacted all of us at some stage.
2. Tiny trays
Look, we appreciate the effort, but that’s about it. The pull-out trays on most flights, trains, and coaches are hardly big enough for our phones. Let alone a laptop!
3. There’s no spark
Considering our reliance upon battery powered technology, you’d hope that the world around us could keep up. But even in 2022, we’re plugging chargers into ports that just don’t work. Please, we need our juice.
4. Personal space
Unfortunately, some people still don’t know how to respect it. At least when you’re at home you’re not likely to have somebody snoring on your shoulder.
5. Nosey neighbours
Sometimes you need to keep your work private. Although the expectations of privacy change completely when you’re on public transport, some passengers could be a little more subtle about it. There’s nothing on my screen for you, stranger.
6. Overpriced snacks
Fail to prepare, prepare to, well, get hungry. This one is on us, but it’s still frustrating. If you’ve not been able to bring your own food for the trip, the choice between working on an empty stomach or overpaying for a sandwich is a painful one.
7. Can’t hear yourself think
Unavoidably, a massive lump of metal travelling at high speeds is going to produce quite a bit of noise. This certainly doesn’t make working any easier, especially if you don’t bring any noise cancelling headphones. Ear plugs, people. They don’t need a charger.
8. Need a break
When working at home, we can always take a few minutes to ourselves. Getting up to simply chat to a loved one, pet the dog, or lay in bed can help break up the day. Taking a break on public transport means switching tabs for a few minutes. Not quite the same.
9. Changing places
Having to stop and change at multiple stations along your journey is already cause for enough stress. Factoring you work into the equation just tips it over the edge. I don’t want to pack and unpack my computer for the 5th time today… I’m tired.
10. Join our video call
The benefits of working remotely far outweigh the caveats, but joining a call on the go isn’t one of them. You can’t hear them, you don’t feel comfortable talking, and your signal is dropping every few minutes. Think we’ll decline this one.
Wouldn’t have it any other way
When all is said and done, we’re truly grateful for the opportunities that remote work presents. Whilst you’ve read some of our grumbles, they’re always being outweighed by the privileges of freelancing.
Sure, public transport has its quirks, but in the case of trains, plains, and automobiles, it’s more about the destination than it is the journey. There are plenty of worse ways to pass the time whilst travelling than getting paid to do so. So be sure to make the most of it. And maybe bring your own lunch.
Before you go
Hopefully you’ll think of us the next time you’re travelling! To make life a little easier, here’s ‘5 Top Tech’ for freelancers.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer