The first week of Remote Year has come and gone in a blur of new experiences and new acquaintances.
One week ago a group of about 70 of us showed up at Lisbon airport at different times throughout the day and from different parts of the world. We were greeted by Remote Year staff and taken to our accommodations, which is split up into two buildings about a 25 minute walk apart. Roughly in the middle lies our shared work space for the month.
Since Remote Year is primarily about working remotely, they are committed to providing us with high-speed internet access, both at our accommodations and at our work space so we can do our respective jobs effectively. As you might imagine with such a diverse group of people, the range of professional industries we come from quite vast – I.T., Education, Finance, Pharmacy, Consulting, Travel, Health Care, and more.
As participants in the program, our main commitment is to our employers. We all had jobs before this thing started, and nearly all of us still have the same jobs now. We all work varying schedules according to the nature of our business and the location of our employer or our clients. A lot of people have the flexibility to work according to the local schedule, while others are tied to either Eastern Standard Time or Pacific Standard Time. Some have a mix of both.
There are two full-time Remote Year staff travelling with us to ensure our experience goes as smoothly as possible. In addition to keeping tabs on our living space and work space, they’re organizing events ranging from professional networking to community outreach, and from lunch dates to day trips. Everything is posted on an official RY Google calendar in order to keep track of what’s going on, and where and when. There’s also an unofficial calendar for anyone who wants to create their own event, which could be an afternoon game of football or a movie night in the evening.
In addition to the two calendars, we also use a messaging app called Slack. Slack is great for both making plans on the fly and for putting out feelers for interest for other events and activities. Outside of the “general” message board, anyone can create a channel for a specific area of interest. For example, if someone is into jazz music, they could create a public channel called jazz, which would become a forum for searching out and organizing anything jazz related. So far channels have been created for jazz, food, working out, golf, theatre, city walks, nightlife, languages, and so much more.
Between our respective work schedules, the two RY calendars and Slack, it’s been a really busy week with very little down time. FOMO is huge for everyone right now (fear of missing out) and there seems to be so much to do and always someone to do it with. Add to that the fact that we’re only in each city for a month or less, and you have the makings of what’s going to prove to be a very interesting month, and a very interesting year!