Five recommendations for remote remote work

I am writing this from Bredemarket’s worldwide headquarters, which is located in a corner of a bedroom in a home in Ontario, California. (My city business license allows me to conduct work from here, provided that I do not install any signage advertising my business and I do not host clients here.)

But I haven’t always conducted Bredemarket business in this location.

  • For a little bit over a week, I was conducting business from an unused bedroom from a home in Alabama. During this time I worked on multiple projects, was interviewed, took care of some non-Bredemarket paperwork, and participated in two webinars (one of which included the classic line, “John Bredehoft, you’re NOT on mute”).
  • One recent morning, I spent a half an hour editing a document while sitting in a car parked in a parking lot.

So I guess this is remote remote work.

But I need to step up my game.

Sacha Connor’s father is currently practicing “work from anywhere” from his RV throughout the United States, and The Lost Two continue to practice “work from anywhere” themselves; despite COVID, they recently returned to their native Canada from a trip to French Polynesia.

When practical, I could probably conduct Bredemarket business from places other than bedrooms and parking lots. But for serious remote remote work, there are some things that I’d need to take care of first.

First, it would be nice if there weren’t a pandemic raging throughout the world. Some of my younger readers may not remember this, but way back in 2019 people would actually go to a Starbucks, sit at a table, and work. Obviously we can still conduct remote remote work during the COVID pandemic, but our options have become constrained and will remain so (at least in some areas) for some time.

Second, you need electricity. These next two recommendations don’t apply that much if you’re working off your smartphone, but I don’t write white papers off my smartphone. Unless I’m writing a really short piece, my laptop will need charging at some point.

Third, you need some type of network connection. A sole proprietor needs to communicate with clients, access data, redundantly store data, and keep track of things. The days in which you could manage your business from a daily planner book are, for the most part, long gone (Day Runner Inc. was rendered obsolete by the Palm Pilot, if you can believe that). You have to access outside cloud-based services even for the management tasks. (Oh, and if you find a Starbucks with tables and wi-fi, you need a VPN also. There are VPNs with free options.)

Fourth, you need headphones. These were a necessity in the days that you’d work from a Starbucks, because they tend to crank up the music so loud that you can’t think. But they help in other situations also. While I was still employed but working from home, I bought a headphones-mic combo that I’ve consistently used since for audio and video calls. (And the one time that I DIDN’T use the headphones-mic, there was a barking dog in the room.)

Fifth, you need some semblance of security. The aforementioned VPN isn’t enough, especially if you’re in a high traffic area where the laptop work that you’re performing for a client may be valuable to someone who happens to be looking over your shoulder. If you can’t close the door, you need some other method to protect your data.

So Bredemarket CAN work in other locations, provided these conditions are met. I promise that if I manage to find a Bredemarket work environment that is more picturesque than a bedroom or a parked car, I’ll share it with you.

Well, unless I’m in Area 51, at the “Bureau of Public Roads,” or somewhere else where picture-taking is discouraged.

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