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Why work from home when you can work from anywhere? Working from home (WFH) became the new normal for the corporate working world during the COVID pandemic, but for freelancers, WFH is old hat. Before COVID struck, freelance solopreneurs were well accustomed to the WFH lifestyle, and many were on the verge of taking the next step to work from anywhere (WFA).
With COVID on the brink of defeat, and restrictions relaxing on travel and social gatherings across the globe, the WFA movement is poised to explode in popularity. Freelancers who have been cooped up working from home with their salaried spouses have been daydreaming of the day that they can travel again, and that time is nigh.
Now is when WFH freelancers should turn their dreams into reality. Here is why and how freelancers can start the transition from WFH to WFA.
WFA Unchained: The World Opens Up Once Again
The light at the end of the COVID tunnel is now visible and is getting brighter with each passing day. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has laid out a national vaccine rollout plan that includes a multi-phased timeline which gives national and state leadership the structure they need to develop their own schedules for reopening. As travel restrictions loosen, businesses are given permission to operate at normal capacities, and public spaces reopen, freelancers are able to take their workload wherever they choose.
Likewise, countries across the globe are beginning to relax their travel restrictions, opening their borders to travelers who have passed a COVID test and those who have been vaccinated. Many of these nations have set a course to fully reopen their borders in the months ahead as the global vaccine rollout kicks into high gear.
What does this mean for freelancers? It’s time to start thinking outside of the home. WFA is now on the table once more, and everyone who has been working from home over the last year can turn their sights to the rest of the world to find their next remote office. Where would you like to go?
Benefits of WFA
Each individual will have their own idea of what it means to work from anywhere. For some, being able to take their laptop to their favorite coffeehouse or the local library is enough reason to celebrate. The freedom to escape your surroundings and change up the scenery can be a great way for any freelancer to revitalize their creative mojo.
Others may prefer short or long-term stints further away from what has been their home base, opting to escape for a while to a remote Airbnb, move to a new city, or temporarily relocate to a foreign country. The reasons are as numerous as there are options. Freelancers seek the freedom and flexibility that remote work provides including such individualistic boons as solitude, proximity to family, cultural exploration, and the pure sense of adventure.
WFA could also be a temporary way of life. A primarily WFH freelancer may opt to take a number of working vacations throughout the year, spending the bulk of their time at home, but also venturing out on the occasional road trip or treating themselves to a Hawaiin staycation where they can continue to make money while traveling.
Increased Productivity and (Potentially) Decreased Expenses
There are more quantifiable benefits to a WFA lifestyle, too. For instance, a study from Harvard Business School reports that WFA workers put forth 4.4% more productivity-enhancing effort than purely WFH workers. The study also shows that remote workers as a whole have been proven to be much more productive than office-bound workers.
And while the idea of traveling around the world while maintaining a successful freelancing career is tempting in and of itself, the cost of living is another big reason why self-employed freelancers choose to globetrot. Since a freelancer’s income isn’t location-based, they can earn big bucks while working in an area where their dollars can be stretched. That can mean living large on a tropical island with a low-value national currency, or simply choosing a low-cost community in your home state where you can save and invest your freelance business profit.
That said, a traveling WFA freelancer can certainly blow out their budget, too. It’s all a matter of keeping track of expenses and spending your money however you best see fit.
Tools Every Digital Nomad Needs
Before the COVID lockdowns forced us all to spend the majority of our time indoors, the WFA movement was accelerating at a breakneck pace. At that time, AND.CO partnered with Remote Year to conduct a survey of remote workers to see, in part, what drove them to pursue a remote-work freelance career.
The results were startling. While it turned out that 73% of respondents were newly remote, those who had been working remotely for 7+ years were more likely to earn more money (over $100,000 per year) and they overwhelmingly desired to work remotely indefinitely if possible. 83% of respondents chose to work remotely within their own country and 17% considered themselves digital nomads who traveled to 5 or more countries per year.
There’s plenty of reason to go remote, and great success to be found while working from anywhere.
With both national and international WFA freelancers in mind, AND.CO created ANYWHERE: The Handbook for Digital Nomads, by Digital Nomads. This free, 150-page book contains all of the information every freelancer needs to know before embarking upon a WFA lifestyle. Within its pages, you’ll learn how to transition your life and career to a nomadic one. Everything from how to choose your next WFA location to understanding tax and legal complexities is detailed in-depth to put you on the path to success.
If you’re just getting your feet wet, you may want to skim the surface before diving into the deep end. If that sounds like you, start off your interest in the WFA life by checking out the cheapest countries to live as a freelancer, or exploring what makes the top 10 digital nomad cities so special.
AND.CO Freelancer Tools
The AND.CO Suite of freelancer tools is the foundation upon which to build your WFA freelancer career. No matter where you roam, AND.CO can help you keep track of your invoices, expenses, tasks, and everything involved in managing and growing your business. Pack your bags and get to work while AND.CO takes care of the paperwork for you.