Remote Work & E-Learning Are Radically Changing The Way We Travel (And Live)
It almost goes without saying: the future is remote. While remote work has been steadily gaining momentum for years (+173 percent from 2005-2018), the pandemic of 2020 has brought about a major acceleration. Now, e-learning is part of the puzzle – a game changer for working families.
The World Is Your New Classroom
With virtual learning, kids are still part of a local school district. But now, they have added flexibility — and then some. Thanks to remote work and school, families can change locations easily, creating new opportunities for extended stay travel. The world can be a classroom for working parents and their kids.
And say goodbye to seasonality. With families no longer being bound to school breaks, they can travel whenever and wherever they choose, as long as the WiFi connection is strong. We’ve talked about the rise digital nomads in recent weeks. The digital nomad family is up next.
There’s a new buzz-term emerging: work from homeschooling. We’re seeing destinations embrace this new trend. Some are offering extended stay packages and e-learning vacation programs that allow for authentic cultural immersion and exchange of traditions in a broader way.
The Work From Bermuda Certificate, rolled out in early August, is a good example of how destinations can attract digital nomad families. For just a $263 application fee per person, the incentive allows travelers to move to the island for a year while working remotely. The program also includes the flexibility to travel back and forth seamlessly and to bring the family along as well. There, kids will experience Bermuda’s culture and natural beauty, while still being able to stay on top of their schoolwork back home. For families who can make it work, it’s a win-win situation.
Resorts and hotels are also getting into the remote learning game. Say hello to the “schoolcation.” Four Seasons Punta Mita on Mexico’s west coast recently introduced its “Knowledge For All Seasons” offer. The hotel takes care of everything from complimentary Spanish classes to “study cabanas” for rent. Families get Wi-Fi, a TV monitor, headphones, a portable charger, snacks like popsicles and, of course, ocean views.” It’s like a field trip that lasts much longer than a day.
Making It All Work
Whether your family is making a go at the digital nomad lifestyle or staying close to home, one thing is for sure: navigating a changing school dynamic while balancing professional responsibilities is a real test of mental strength and time management.
As a full-time working mom of two young children, the abrupt impact COVID-19 has had on a healthy work life balance is easily the hardest situation I’ve ever encountered. Here are some tips to help optimize productivity, improve efficiency … and maintain sanity.
- Get Organized: I can’t stress how much implementing a shared, highly visible family calendar helped me get through those first few weeks of the pandemic. We established a solid routine, set realistic expectations and ensured there were no scheduling conflicts between my meetings and my daughter’s classroom Zoom meetings so we can both focus.
- Set Boundaries: This one is so important for maintaining sanity and a healthy work life balance when everyone is remote. The key is communication; I always make sure my team knows my availability and try to stack recurring meetings on days I know my daughter will be at school for hybrid learning.
- Work More Efficiently: Work smarter, not harder. I know, I know… this is harder than it sounds. But I promise that it’s life changing. Take a minute to truly evaluate what time of day you have the most brainpower. Then, block off time for creative tasks and projects that require more focus during those hours to maximize overall productivity. Group meetings together to reduce fragmented open time slots, which hinder focused work. It’s a fact: you lose an average of 25 minutes each time your work flow is interrupted.
- Mix Up Your Location: Changing your scenery can work wonders for your mental state and refresh creativity. This can be as simple as working outside for a short period of time. Or it can be more elaborate like remote work from another destination for a week or two. The first gives you a micro break from being cooped with your kiddos, while creating a “bleisure” experience also breaks up the monotony, keeping youngsters engaged.
- Take a Vacation: We all need a mental break, now more than ever. Vacations offer a number of benefits including increased creativity, productivity and overall happiness. Just remember to vacation responsibly by wearing a face mask, washing hands frequently and practicing social distancing.
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