Anyone who’s worked a greater part of their lives inside an office dreams of becoming a road warrior working remotely. The stress of constantly churning out work from a cubicle and worrying about the adverse effects of fluorescent lighting is not something we would like to worry about. We’d rather be out of the office, mobile, interfacing with our clients, enjoying the sun and probably a glass of mojito. Better yet, we all aspire to work remotely facing the beach or beautiful scenery.
This lifestyle seems out of our reach, but not entirely impossible. We’ve entered an age where working remotely has become a reality, which anyone can grasp and take hold of. Technology has empowered us to break free from the chains of our desktop and the physical constraints of our workplace.
Many freelancers, managers and entrepreneurs are working in various parts of the world, becoming very location-independent. Let’s take Martin — a British-Chinese freelancer acquiring work via Freelancer.com’s outsourcing marketplace — as an example. He is a transient that travels from one location to another, enjoying the sights and constantly updating his Instagram and photoblog of his latest journeys. To pay for his bills, Martin works on delivering quality structured e-commerce sites while he’s enjoying the soothing sounds of waves crashing on the beach. “I’ve worked most of my adult life as an office dweller in a Dilbert-ish lifestyle. I cringe whenever I remember it. Just like now.“ says Martin.
Our parents have worked inside offices their entire lives. It was imparted to us when we were growing up that we should also follow the same path. Technology and the Internet totally flipped everything over and allowed location-independent work to flourish. Now, we’re free to work anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. It has freed us to live life how and where we want it, instead of being tied down to one location. This level of flexibility has led to better output and higher productivity in the digital workplace.
Another freelancer, Adrian, dives almost everyday in Cebu and Panglao, Philippines, while serving photographers from all over the world, editing their photos. He uses the Freelancer mobile app to keep track of his projects, which lets him stay on top of things wherever he may be. When asked if he’ll ever get tired of what’s he’s doing and return to his old 9-5 job as a retail marketing manager, Adrian replied “No way, I’m not going to trade this for anything. I get to dive when I want, where I want and work anytime I want. My day revolves around the ocean; the night is spent on the rest of the world.”
It’s not just about blazing trails or taking the road less traveled — freelancing is a way of life. It is not just a style of working, rather it’s work-life balance. It gives people the mobility and flexibility required to experience the world without losing their financial stability. This balance needs to be sustained. Freelancers can choose to live this type of lifestyle, however contrary to popular belief, it’s not an easy one. It comes with own ups and downs; the results depends on how one would navigate it. If you do it correctly, you’ll be enjoying life.