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Work remotely (the right way) from your RV

There are so many advantages to working remotely from your RV. Every day more and more people join the lifestyle of mixing work with travel. But are they taking full advantage of working remotely? Maybe not. Here are some tips to help you work remotely the right way from your RV.

Sound off

Gene was disgusted. He’d been trying to work all day, but he wasn’t very productive. That’s because the dog in the RV parked next door was barking. And barking. And, yes, still barking. Here’s some advice for Gene and maybe you, too, if outside noises are interfering with your work.

  • Sound-canceling headphones. There are many different manufacturers of noise-blocking headsets. Before you buy, be sure to carefully check the reviews.
  • White noise apps and sites. Here’s one I use. You can choose the sound you like and adjust the volume, too. A site like this one really helps me tune out distracting noises. Especially when I listen on a good headset.
  • Noise dampening earplugs. Low tech? You bet! But effective for some folks. Don’t knock it before you try it.

Feeling claustrophobic

“The four walls creep in, making me feel like I can’t breathe,” Shondra complains. I can understand! An RV offers very limited space and can begin to feel restrictive, after a while. If you’re feeling claustrophobic, too, here are some suggestions.

Get out

  • The great outdoors awaits! Take advantage of that picnic table. Or bring a TV tray outside, along with your office chair, and get back to work. Granted, you’ll need a flat surface to balance the table. And you don’t want to roll your office chair around in the dirt. So, use the concrete pad or the outdoor RV mat for a base.
  • Take a break. Walk for 20 minutes around your campsite. Talk to a neighbor. Grab a snack at the camp store. Ride your bike for a while to brighten your perspective.
  • Grab your laptop and go to the local coffee shop. Sure, it also has four walls. But they aren’t the same four walls as in your RV. A change of scenery may revitalize you.

Motivation

“I’m having a hard time staying focused,” Anna confessed. “My family thinks remote working means constant vacation. It’s hard to say ‘No’ when they ask me to come along on their sightseeing trips. But I need to work!” I hear you, Anna! Maybe these tips will help.

  • Explain yourself. Have a family meeting where you clearly explain what working remotely means to you. Reset expectations if needed.
  • Use a calendar. Sometimes it’s best to see things in writing. Note your work hours on a calendar. If you’re able to set your own hours, perhaps schedule occasional sightseeing trips or other outings with your family. If you have solid deadlines, scheduled meetings, or other set-in-stone obligations, note them on the calendar, too. Ask your family to respect your time when working.
  • Find your work rhythm. If your job allows you to set your own hours, take advantage of it! When are you most productive? If it’s early morning, plan to work then. If you do your best work later in the evenings, schedule your work for those times. Remote working should mean that you can work when you’re operating at your peak performance. Figure out your best work time and plan to work then.

Keeping up your skills

“I’m missing out on valuable training opportunities,” Kenny complains. “Can working remotely adversely affect my chances for promotion?” Good question, Kenny. Here are some suggestions to consider.

  • Online learning opportunities. Consider beefing up your skill-set with an online course or two. Be sure to let your supervisor know when you’ve successfully completed a course and how it will help in your work.
  • Attend in person. Remember that you’re mobile, not dead. Nothing says you can’t show up in the office once in a while. If there’s a staff development meeting, plan to attend. It will let your boss know you’re fully invested in yourself and in the company.
  • Zoom in. If you can’t attend staff development opportunities in person, see if you can attend virtually. Use Zoom or another platform to learn right along with your co-workers.

Do you work remotely? What additional tips might you offer to other remote-working RVers? We welcome your comments below.

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Dave Freidell
2 months ago

As a long time traveler, going from one clients office to another, working remote came second hand long before it became fashionable. I could do anything on the road, and now in an RV. Use your imagination and think out of the box. Data Storage can be easily rectified with Drop Box. Share files with team mates or Clients, I like Box for that solution. Very secure. Zoom make meetings easy. And when people see me in National Parks on zoom, they are all envious. The only thing that stoped me one time was when my hard drive went out on my MAC. I now carry a back up drive, problem eliminated. I am constantly working around Wifi availability and have been able to always find a solution.

Gail
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Freidell

Good for you, Dave! Looks like you’ve figured out how to make remote working work well for you. Thanks for commenting.

Sharon B
2 months ago

I can work in my 5th wheel the same as I did when I had my business in the office of my home. Everything Apple, nice little corner desk, several external hard drives, coffee, food, and later in the day ..wine. The only thing I miss are my lightning fast printers so I use a slow as molasses, ink hog, HP travel printer. On that note it’s wine time.

Michael Galvin, PhD
2 months ago

You can sit outside the RV without a table. That’s why you have a LAPtop.
You can often sit outside at the coffee shop/bar.

Paul Cecil
2 months ago

Michael,
Have you tried working for hours with a laptop on your lap? Trying to balance the laptop, papers, coffee, etcetera does not work. Having a camp chair and portable table is far better.

Lawrence Neely
2 months ago

never could work remote if I wanted to. Worked in a secure lab and had to interface with computers which would be placed in aircraft. Secure means no outside lines interfacing with any of our equipment. Plus most of the computer were quite old and were not reliable on the intranet.

Spike
2 months ago

I worked remotely for most of the last twenty years. Most of that was from a home office, but some from my RV. Until the pandemic I was usually the only one in the department doing so. I was a global operations manager for a large tech company.

Self-motivation is number one to success. No one is there to keep you going…”personal” contact with your team is lost. It can get a bit lonely being physically separated, as most of us know from the last few years.

Investing in the communications/connectivity tools needed is a close second.

Actually, allowing yourself to shut down after the work day is key. It’s easy to feel compelled to be available around the clock. Allow yourself appropriate time away from your workspace.

Gail hit many other issues and I have used several of these to cope with working remotely long term, especially short breaks outside and cancelling distracting noises.

Caren
2 months ago

A fan also works great for white noise. We often use a fan at night when our neighbours are a little too loud and we want to go to bed.

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