You try to quit your job, but your boss doesn't want to let you go. He or she offers to let you work remotely, gives you an eleven percent raise, and thousands more shares in the company; you think you've captured the goose that lays the golden egg. You don't have to wear pants to work, you can do laundry during the work day, and you can work from anywhere including Stockholm, Sweden, where I put remote working to the test. Here's what I learned.
Not Every Place Has Great Wi-Fi
So your hostel says it has free Wi-Fi. It's posted everywhere. You think, great, I won't have to schlep my enormous and heavy laptop all over town and pay for expensive ass coffees and work in noisy cafes. Wrong! Both hostels I stayed at during my stay in Stockholm advertised
free Wi-Fi, and yes, there was completely free Wi-Fi. The first hostel, City Backpackers Hostel, had spotty Wi-Fi that bumped you every few minutes or so back to their homepage. That's fine for when you need to do some casual browsing for which overpriced bar you want to get sloshed at next, but not for when you're trying to get hours of work done. The second hostel I stayed at, af Chapman, didn't have Wi-Fi in the boat section of the hostel where I was staying. However, the main part of the hostel on land had great Wi-Fi, and I was able to work there until the cleaning crew came through.
So when you give up on your hostel's Wi-Fi, you go in search of a cafe. Go into a cafe where it says FREE Wi-Fi on the door. Purchase an overpriced beverage then get set up. Oops, sorry! They were just kidding about the Wi-Fi. Wayne's Coffee did have reliable Wi-Fi and plenty of space to hang out in, so I didn't feel like an uber weirdo hanging out
Norrmalm writing multiple choice questions.
Time Zones Are A Bitch
Your boss requires you to check in on Google hangouts every morning so he can keep tabs on how many hours you're working, but you sort of told him you were going to be in Michigan, not Stockholm, Sweden so you have to make sure you're on Google hangouts at a time that is reasonable for the eastern time zone when you're really nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. You get your eight hours of work done before your team is even starting work.
Everything is Shiny and I Want to See All of It But WORK
So you're in an amazing place you've never been before like Stockholm, Sweden. I had never been to mainland Europe before, let alone Sweden, and I was pretty damn excited. I went over Thanksgiving break but I had to keep working. I've got a deadline coming up, several articles to write, and my own website to maintain. Mostly, it's the forty hours a week job though that I have to keep up with. Because my hostel doesn't have Wi-Fi, I go out to work and then have to come back a couple hours later to charge my laptop. Most of the cafes here don't have outlets and being a complete idiot, I forgot the laptop charging cable for this laptop and ended up bringing my old one. Add on top of that I forgot an international converter and had to buy one, this hasn't been the ideal situation for trying to get a solid eight hours of work in. Plus, there's the wanting to go and check things out. I paid all that money to get here. I'm paying all this money to be here; I should go out and see it! Thankfully, in a way, Stockholm just isn't that interesting to me, and it's as cold as a witch's tit here, so I want to be inside. Just not working. Preferably looking at photos of corgis.
Travel Plan Hijackers
A couple of weeks before my trip, my friend messages me and asks me if it is okay if she tags along on my trip to Sweden. She already lives in Europe and would be making her way back to Croatia from Italy. It turns out to be cheaper for her to fly from Italy to Stockholm then to Croatia than it is for her to take a bus. I tell, of course, that will be fun. I don't know when I would ever be seeing her again, so it would be a good idea to take the opportunity to see her. Also, our other friend that she had been traveling with was also going to be there. The only downside: the days that she would be there were pretty much my only free days. Turned out to be way more fun exploring with her than it would have been doing it alone but not ideal conditions for creating an efficient life/work balance.