In August 2014, two friends dreamed of exploring the world while building their careers. They shared the belief that great work can be done from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, and that people are most creative and productive when they’re inspired by their surroundings.
They created a website posing a simple question: “Who wants to travel together for a year while working remotely?” On the first day, more than 1,000 people signed up.
Since then, Remote Year has helped over a thousand people take their career to the next level while traveling the world by providing a foundation for professionals to work and explore the world as part of a vibrant global community. Knowledge-based professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers work and travel together in groups, usually around 30-60 in number, for 12 or four months, living one month at a time in a different world-class city.
Professionals on Remote Year programs continue to work their “9-to-5” while traveling to a number of exotic destinations like Split, Croatia and Kyoto, Japan.
Basically, Remote Year makes it easy to make the world your office.
“Spending January in Thailand was the perfect way to jump into 2018. Chiang Mai is a charming, trendy city made up of generations of tribes and waves of digital entrepreneurs. The locals are always smiling and the smell of lemongrass and Thai spices live on every street corner. The weather’s great in January – sunny days and perfectly cool nights, with mountains as your backdrop” says Remote Year participant and Strategic Account Director at Stylus Media Group, Emily Mitnick about the month she spent in Chiang Mai during her year-long Remote Year journey.
A critical building block of the Remote Year experience is professional development.
There are dozens of professionals across a range of disciplines in each group, and multiple groups are active simultaneously during the year. As a result, there are many opportunities to network, partner and learn from others in your program and within the larger Remote Year community. Participants tell Remote Year that the community and the professional and personal bonds forming among its members are the most valuable part of the experience.
In addition, Remote Year offers a wide range of workshops and seminars offer many opportunities for the Remote Year participants to learn, connect and make a difference. As part of its “‘Positive Impact’ efforts, Remote Year partners with different organisations across the globe, addressing local needs through sustainable and long-term partnerships. “Remotes” (the company’s word for its participants) strive to share their time and talents to make a Positive Impact on the various communities they call home.
Each group is specially named — after an inspiring leader, concept, or term — with the purpose of driving a common connection and life-long bonds among participants both during and after their work-travel experience.
Even when Remote Year programs conclude, Remotes stay connected to each other by becoming part of what the company calls the “Remote Nation” — think of it as an extended community that shares values and ideas.
The professionals participating in Remote Year programs come from various backgrounds, industries, and nationalities.
“Many have full-time jobs across a broad range of roles from attorney to architect to software engineer to marketer,” said Greg Caplan, co-founder and CEO. Caplan told us that around 30 percent are freelancers and noted that, increasingly, Remote Year is attracting interest from businesses that want to leverage Remote Year as a way to attract and retain talent.
If you are looking to get a glimpse of the Remote Year experience, make sure you head over to Remote Year’s Instagram: “We’re showcasing individual Remotes’ experiences from around the world. We’re letting them tell their stories,” says Ray Slater Berry, the company’s social media lead.
He thinks of social media channels, and Instagram in particular, as a place to unite interests, connect great minds and to create work that is cherished, valued and shared: “We’re showcasing Remotes’ journeys and the diversity of our employees. Remote Year’s employee base is 100 percent distributed (meaning we have no corporate headquarters or offices). We aim to develop meaningful connections, build relationships and break boarders by building digital bridges” says Slater Berry.
The company heavily relies on photography and video to help convey stories, emotions and capture moments in time.
That being said, the experience goes beyond social media, “We suggest to Remotes at the beginning of their programs that they digitally document enough to remember but not so much that their time with Remote Year is seen only through a screen. We strongly believe in being present, and sometimes it’s best to do that without the distraction of a phone or other gadget,” continues Slater Berry.
Remote Year has a collection of hashtags to help convey stories.
“Remote Year itself uses #RemoteYear and each program is named and has its own hashtag. For example: #RYKaizen, #RYSisu or #RYBalboa. We created individual hashtags for each program so that Remotes can enjoy their own online “yearbooks” within the app. We recently created a new hashtag for Valentines called #CitiesNotSweethearts. With this, we aimed to showcase that you can fall in love with places as much as with people. There are some beautiful love notes attached to this hashtag.”
You can find out more about Remote Year via https://remoteyear.com