Working from the beach may sound idyllic for some people. However, it’s not always as practical or glamorous as you might think… Especially when the sand gets stuck into the keyboard.
It’s important to understand the practical realities involved when working remotely from the beach. Here are some factors to consider:
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Every backpacker with a job knows that a reliable internet connection is vital to working remotely. While some beach destinations may offer Wi-Fi access, the quality and stability of the connection can vary and usually, it’s not very strong. It’s crucial to ensure that the internet connection is strong enough to support your work tasks such as downloading/uploading, emailing co-workers or even taking a video call.
Sunlight and Glare
Working remotely outdoors means dealing with sunlight and glare.. Especially when working in countries such as Thailand or Mexico. which can make it challenging to see your screen clearly. You might need to invest in a high-quality laptop with a glare-resistant screen or pay extra for a sunshade or umbrella to create a shaded workspace.
Distractions and Noise
Beaches can be fun, filled with people on holiday. Usually, tourist beaches are bustling with activity, which can lead to distractions and noise. Loud conversations, children playing, and other beach-related sounds can affect your concentration.
Noise-cancelling headphones can help mitigate distraction (especially when teaching online), but wearing headphones like this may not be safe to use when there are frisbees and footballs flying through the air. It’s important to assess whether you can work effectively in such an environment.
The beach is exposed to all the elements; including wind, sand, and saltwater. These can potentially damage your laptop and other electronic devices. Sand can make it’s way into any nook and cranny.
If you must use an electrical device on a beach; consider protecting devices in waterproof covers, or protective sleeves to safeguard equipment.
Unless your electrical devices can store hours of battery power, working remotely usually requires a stable power source. While some beach locations may offer charging stations or power outlets by the bars and beach cafes, they may not always be readily available and are sometimes filled with people charging their phones.
When working from the beach, ensure you have a fully charged laptop and possibly additional power sources, such as portable chargers, and power banks to keep your devices powered throughout the workday.
Privacy and Security
Similar to working in coffee shops, Working in a public space like a beach can compromise privacy and security. Be vigilant when accessing sensitive information and connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. Using a virtual private network (VPN) and taking necessary security precautions can help protect your data and maintain confidentiality. Be mindful of who is listening to conversations and viewing your screen.
Working from a beach setting may not provide the same level of comfort as a traditional office setup. Sitting for extended periods on uneven surfaces or in non-ergonomic positions from beanbags can lead to discomfort or potential health issues.
Finding suitable back support from a chair, and a close enough-high enough table to use as a desk is harder to come by than you may think.
Ultimately, the feasibility of working remotely from the beach depends on your specific work requirements, the location’s infrastructure, and your ability to adapt to potential challenges. It’s important to weigh the advantages of the beach setting against the practical considerations to determine if it aligns with your productivity and work needs.
Health and Safety
Focusing on work and not concentrating on your surroundings can place you in danger. Be mindful that you may be carrying very expensive equipment in a public place and you may be a victim of crime.
UV protection is essential for maintaining healthy skin and protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Using sunglasses and sunscreen protection when on a hot and sunny beach may prevent long-term health issues which are associated with prolonged UV exposure.
Prioritizing health and safety when working remotely is a proactive step towards overall health and well-being.
Working From The Beach Summary
- Be mindful of the unpredictable surroundings, including the weather
- Find a comfortable chair with back support, and a table to layout equipment
- Have a portable power bank handy
- Invest in protective and waterproof cases for electrical equipment
- Sand and computers don’t work well together
- Keep water away from electrical equipment
- Setup a hotspot for wifi sharing, some phones have a hotspot setting
- Pack a microfiber towel, they dry quickly and are great for cleaning equipment as well as yourself
- Bring sunglasses and UV sunscreen protection