Last month, we talked about the idea of combining work and travel, and how you can make that happen. This month, learn about the benefits for you and your company, as well as getting some ideas on where to start!
Sunset Sign at Ao Nang Beach, Thailand
The Benefits of a Workation
Part 2 of a 2-part series. Written by Leslie Foster.
Aside from the obvious—you’re out exploring the world, eating fabulous local food, making new friends—there are other benefits to taking some time to travel.
- A vacation is a stress release for most. It follows that even a vacation where you have to work a bit should help to reduce stress. Less stress leads to fewer sick days.
- A change of scenery can inspire us, leading to more creative work and better productivity. Who can argue with that?
- Working remotely from home can be isolating. Working in a cubicle can wear you down. But working poolside, or from a co-working space or from a café (even in your own town!), gives that feeling of being part of the larger world. This is healthy!
Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai, Thailand
How to Be a Successful Remote Worker
- There are certain characteristics of someone who can make working away from the office a successful venture.
- Previous experience working from home is a great place to start. Perhaps propose the idea to your boss of working a few hours from home every week to prove that you can do a great job… and then do a great job! If you can’t be productive at home, the added distractions of a new locale will probably be even more difficult. A certain amount of discipline is required to be successful.
- Try to schedule your work vacation during a slow time of year. You don’t want to get away and be working overtime, or be leaving someone back home holding the bag.
- Before you leave, if possible, take on jobs with flexible deadlines. This gives you some wiggle room for last-minute experiences that might arise that you’d hate to pass up… or for traveller sickness from that Thai food stall.
- If you’re going someplace with dodgy internet, plan ahead to see if there are any co-working spaces. These are becoming very popular in certain locales (think Bali!) and offer everything from 24/7 lightning-fast internet to meeting rooms, private Skype booths, a mailing address and locker, and some even offer workshops! These sorts of places are also great for someone who needs a more structured work environment. I’m happy to work poolside, but that’s not for everyone.
- Plan to be responsive to your co-workers/clients. You might be nine time zones away from them, but if they need an answer, you better have a plan for getting them one. Some people choose to work at night, others set up alerts if an important email comes through. I chose to check my emails twice, once in the evening and again when I got up, and I scheduled production work for times I didn’t have an activity planned. If I was taking a few days off, I let everyone know I would be unavailable.
Wah Pho Buddhas in Bangkok, Thailand
The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
Benefits of Being a Nomadic Employee (aka The List to Print Off for Your Boss)
- By allowing workers to be nomadic, living their dreams, you retain happy workers. Happy workers are more loyal, work harder, and stay longer. Workers that stay longer have more experience and better problem-solving skills, making them more valuable to the organization. It also fosters a tight relationship between staff. They become invested in each other because they’ve known each other for years.
- As mentioned above, a new location often equals a new outlook and decreased stress, increasing productivity and reducing sick days.
- Not having to pay for office space for an employee means less overhead for your employer.
- An employee may opt to have private health insurance, further reducing overhead for the employer.
Gardens By the Bay Light Show in Singapore
There are plenty of jobs for working travellers. Work centring around a computer tends to be the easiest to find and the most lucrative, but don’t dismay if you’re not digitally inclined! I travelled for years with my bartending skills when I was young. Where there’s a will…
Jobs for the Digital Nomad
- Online Translator
- Web Designer
- Software Developer
- Internet Researcher
- Travel Writer
- Graphic Designer
And for the Analogue Nomad:
- Au Pair
- Language Teacher
- Tour Guide
- Hostel Front Desk/Cleaner
- House Sitter/Pet Minder
- Dance Teacher
Monkey Temple in Lopburi, Thailand
With some creativity, the desire to shake things up a bit, and a lust to see the world, taking a workation is not as far-fetched as people might think. Sure, you need the right combination of job and employer, if you’re not independent, but you might be surprised what your boss says if you ask. Perhaps try a short stint to see if it’s for you. Or maybe add on to an already-planned work trip and see how that goes. From experience, I can’t recommend it enough! I had a fantastic time in Southeast Asia and am currently planning workations to Scotland, Italy, and Greece! After that? Anywhere there is internet, I’m game!
My Poolside Office in Ubud, Indonesia
Office in a Café in Lopburi, Thailand
Leslie manages the script and transcription departments with Line 21. She’s been loving her job for 18 years and counting! When she’s not working, she likes to drive fast, dance slow, and she has an insatiable sweet tooth. Leslie love to explore—people, places, food, music. She loves live jazz, road trips, and laughing till her head hurts.
You can find more of Leslie’s travel stories over at www.thebugthatbitme.com. Follow her on instagram. She’s also given us this month’s recipe. Pop over to read Leslie’s post about the cooking class she took in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where they made Pad Thai, which she shares with us!
Pad Thai is considered fast food in Thailand, and you can find it at many a street vendor for pennies. There are variations on how it’s prepared in different parts of the country, but I didn’t find one I didn’t like!
8 oz (225 g) of rice noodles
3 T tamarind concentrate
2 T coconut or palm sugar (or use slightly less white sugar)
3 T fish sauce (vegetarian option: soy sauce)
3 T vegetable oil
16 peeled, deveined prawns or 9 oz (250 g) sliced chicken breast (vegetarian: 18 oz tofu)
1 cup firm tofu cut into 1 cm strips
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dried shrimp
1 t dried chili flakes
2 cups of beansprouts
4 spring onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Pre-soak noodles in warm water for 2 minutes.
Mix tamarind, sugar and fish sauce together.
Add half of oil to a hot wok or frying pan.
Fry prawns or chicken until it is cooked through, then remove.
Add remaining oil to pan. Add garlic and tofu and fry together until the garlic is fragrant.
Add dried shrimp and chilis and cook for 20 seconds.
Add the noodles and toss well with the ingredients in the pan. Fry for a minute or two until the noodles soften.
Push the noodle mixture to the side. Crack the egg into the wok. Stir rapidly until egg becomes scrambled. Stir it into the noodles.
Add the tamarind, fish sauce and sugar mixture, stirring well to coat noodles.
Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Need salt? Add fish sauce. Too sweet? Add tamarind. Too tart? Add sugar. Not hot enough? Throw in more chilis.
If noodles are still a bit firm, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and cook a bit longer.
When the noodles are cooked to your liking, toss in the beansprouts and spring onions.
Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and a squeeze of lime and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.
Screens at The Bloor Cinema, June 29 & 30
The story of Tempest Storm, a world-famous exotic dancer and sex icon. Now 88 years old, she takes us through her rough childhood and early abusive marriages all the way to international stardom, affairs with Elvis and President John F. Kennedy, and the career-crippling backlash over her interracial marriage.
Airs on Lifetime, June 29 at 9pm and July 2 on Hallmark
Original Melrose Place alumni Jack Wagner and Josie Bissett star as Mick and Olivia. After two decades apart, these college sweethearts are reunited when Mick is booked as the singer at Olivia’s wedding to another man.
Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe
Airs on Bravo, June 30 at 9pm
Bakery owner Hannah Swensen just can’t keep her hands out of the batter when murder stirs things up in Lake Eden, Minnesota, leaving the sheriff dead, a deputy accused, and a killer on the loose.
Here’s what some of us at Line 21 are bingeing on:
Based on the bestselling books by Diana Gabaldon, Leslie’s latest binge watch is the unique time travel sci-fi series Outlander. The adventure series has WWII nurse Claire Randall transported back in time to 1743. You can watch it on Shomi.
Carolyn is watching the escapades of handsome Don Draper and the rest of the gang at the Sterling Cooper ad agency in Mad Men. Set during the turbulent ’60s, this show always manages to deliver a shocker. You can watch it on Netflix.
Dawn likes White Collar, a fun, witty dramedy about an alliance between the FBI and a con man… who might just be conning them too. If you enjoy the cleverness of Suits, you’ll enjoy this one. You can watch it on Netflix.
In Spotless, a police crime-scene cleaner and his brother with a family secret to hide have an even bigger secret to hide when they are blackmailed into cleaning up crime scenes for one of London’s biggest mob bosses. Patricia is watching it on Netflix.
Michelle is watching the Japanese anime show Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi (also known as Erased). It’s a dark drama involving time travel, a murder mystery, and how children perceive events vs. how adults do. You can watch it on Crunchyroll.
Back in 1919, Birmingham was terrorized by a gang called Peaky Blinders. They were known for sewing razor blades into their caps and head-butting victims and rival gangs as a means to get what they wanted. Steff has been watching this on Shomi.
Kelly recommends a binge of BC documentaries! There are always tons to see streaming on Knowledge Network. Here’s a short list to get you started!
- Bloodied But Unbowed: Early Vancouver Punk
- Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
- Working People: A History of Labour in British Columbia
- High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga
- Cedar and Bamboo.
Tell us your air/release dates! We’ll tell people through our newsletter and on our blog… because everyone should know when to watch. Email us now!