While attending Web Summit 2020, I heard a lot of discussions around workforce flexibility. Covid accelerated many trends so I wanted to share my recent experience.
Written by Sylvain Delporte, co founder & CTO of Testamento.
Working on the go
After more than 6 months of staying at home 24/7, my family was antsy to see a bit more of the world, while staying Covid- free. My wife and I saw an opportunity to try this by living in a motor home, allowing our family bubble to be on the go, being as careful as if we were at home. With a targeted loop across the US, ocean to ocean, we headed out in our home-on-wheels with the goal of not affecting school and work.
When Covid started impacting the world, I was already leading an Europe-based engineering team from a continent away in Florida, and Testamento workforce was able to adapt to a full-remote mode without too much trouble. It is also worth noting that I wouldn’t have been entertaining this trip without the strong team we built in the last couple years.
Finding a routine
Being on the go without the reliable setting at home brought a few challenges, but we found our rhythm fairly quickly. I’d continue to wake up early to maximize live exchange with the team in France, the timezone changes forced the alarm to be earlier and earlier as we went west.
Each weekday morning, my daughter and my wife would join me for their work around the small dining table inside the motorhome. My 6th grader is in a self directed online program and my wife is a finance consultant. Early afternoon, we would start packing up and move to our next destination area 200-300 miles away. We would target campsites for convenience, using electricity, hookups, wifi, but we also did several stops in the middle of nowhere, in a rest area or parking lot, as long as cell phone data coverage was decent. It was important to stay as free as possible, stopping if we liked the place or keep driving until tired.
Chasing the signal
Obviously, connectivity is a critical piece. Web-browsing, Slack messaging, and Git always worked pretty good, Slack calls were sometime more challenging especially with screen sharing. Client meetings required a bit more planning to ensure we could have a good connection before settling the night before. Even with some unavoidable moments of frustration, we managed it well overall.
Geographical freedom and nomadic lifestyle has been an awesome experience
We spent 5 weeks and traveled 6500 miles before looping back home. Experiencing this geographical freedom and nomadic lifestyle has been awesome, we enjoyed quality family time, stunning landscapes, memorable moments while maintaining productivity, pushing asynchronous work and embracing global remote. #workfromanywhere is possible. Looking forward to our next exploration.