Note: Travelling outside of our local jurisdictions is tricky right now, so let’s staycation-smart and dream big. Please check provincial and federal guidance about as travel protocols continue to evolve. Find out what to expect and how to find flexible travel on the Expedia COVID-19 travel guide.
This article was written by guest author, VancityWild.
What a year this has been. 2020 has been a whirlwind of change and uncertainty that has forced us to make some adjustments in the way that we work and travel. The good news? Many of these adjustments have had some incredibly positive effects on our productivity and work/life balance! After over five years of us exclusively working from home and the road, we have learned so much about how to stay on track. What this year has done for us is teach us the valuable lesson that while time spent working is obviously important, what’s equally as important are all the in-between moments that help to make each day count. We’ve joined forces with Expedia to help share some tips to help revolutionize your work experience.
Living on the west coast of Canada comes with a whole slew of benefits. The beautiful city of Vancouver is situated below towering, snow-capped mountains and surrounded by forest and sea. Travel twenty minutes in almost any direction and you can be in a natural paradise. Not only do we have endless spots to escape to within our own city, but British Columbia is also home to many locations that make for amazing getaways. So, if we have to work from home, why not make it a work-cation?! Sometimes working from “here” instead of working from home can give you the inspiration you’re looking for.
Here are 9 tips on how to work from here.
Location, location, location
Cozy cabins, a beach house, or a hotel room with a view—it’s all about location! Taking an escape with the intention of working on the go can make such a great switch up from your normal, everyday routine. Pick a spot that has a breathtaking view or is close to a beautiful outdoor space so you can truly make the most of your time. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for your mental health, your inspiration, and your productivity. Find a beach house on the coast and lose yourself in the wild beauty of a small coastal town. (Working with a view of the beach is life changing, trust us!) Stay on one of BC’s beautiful Gulf Islands and enjoy the peacefulness of working within island life. Find a cabin in the Fraser Valley and work while exploring the countryside. Why not set up your office in your perfect dream location?
Make it a staycation
Who says you need to go far to get away? We’re spoiled here in BC with a bounty of unique accommodations that you can find right in your own town, so why not switch up your work location with a staycation? Living in Vancouver means we have the incredible opportunity to escape while experiencing a new part the city. Stay downtown and enjoy takeout from an unlimited number of restaurants and cafes just steps from your hotel. Take a walk on the sea wall during your break, or explore the trails in Stanley Park. Journey across to North Vancouver and indulge in a room with an incredible view of the city, or head up to Grouse Mountain for a breathtaking place to work from and explore. Discover your city while discovering a new way to work!
Plan ahead and ensure connectivity
Pick accommodations with good Wi-Fi and/or good cell reception (5G is best). This is essential. Do your research beforehand. There is nothing more frustrating than having to drive around to find a signal!
Enjoy your breaks
Keep to a routine, but include breaks. Enjoy the space that you’re in or get outside and explore—it might help inspire you. We often go for a hike in the morning, spend fifteen minutes at a local park, or just take the opportunity to enjoy the scenery. Our work day is often unconventional which isn’t always possible for everyone, but we love to break up our day so that we stay fresh and motivated. It’s not just about the time spent working, it’s about the in between moments—the moments that help you to feel refreshed and fulfilled at the end of your day.
Get outside and explore
Here on Canada’s west coast, we’re lucky to be able spend time outdoors throughout the entirety of the year. So, when weather permits, work outside! Head up to a resort on the mountainside, set up a tent on the beach, find a great patio, or do what we do—lay down a blanket in a forest and make a makeshift office while surrounded by trees. Fresh air while working is such a dream! Take a trip up to the top of Grouse Mountain and work from the lodge. Head to Tofino, and rent a house on the beach. Find a cute little vacation rental escape in the countryside. Go for a hike during your lunch break. There are endless places to explore here in BC, so get creative!
Stick to a morning routine
Stick to a morning routine as though you’re heading to the office. We are most productive when we shower, change out of our pjs and have a great start to the day! Get dressed, (even if it’s loungewear) make coffee, have breakfast. Get yourself in the right mindset to work.
Prepare for working on the go
Always have somewhere (or even multiple places!) to back up your work files in case something happens while on the go. We always travel with multiple work devices (smartphone, tablet, and computer) and we use both an online backup service and portable external hard drives.
The power of music and podcasts
A rule we live by: Listening to good music or podcasts while working can truly help you stay motivated—especially when you’re feeling isolated and away from your coworkers. Invest in a good pair of noise canceling headphones. Don’t know about you guys, but we have a toddler, so this one is a necessity! Whether you’re working from a beautiful villa in the mountains or a cozy cabin in the woods, the right soundtrack can add the perfect dreamy vibe.
Cruise the coffee shops
The coffee scene in BC is thriving, there are endless new spots to try! Make a bucket list of cafes you want to visit and go coffee shop hopping for pick up orders to keep your caffeine fix fresh. It helps to have something each day to look forward to, and staying caffeinated doesn’t hurt either!
Make your home work environment a positive environment
If travel isn’t an option and you must work from home, make home feel like an escape! Have lots of plants and greenery around and ensure a clean and organized workspace. Sit at a table, or even better—have a standing desk. Avoid sitting on a couch or in front of the tv the whole time as it won’t feel enough like a work day and you won’t be as productive! It’s important to draw the line between home and work. Making your space enjoyable to be in can truly make all the difference.
We are Brie, Reuben, and Oliver, and we’re a family of west coast adventurers! During very different times you’d usually find us traipsing around the world and exploring new countries, but lately we’ve been exploring the beauty of our own backyard. When we’re not out hiking in our local mountains or enjoying the trails of our favourite forest parks, you’ll probably find us by the sea or discovering new neighbourhood cafes in our city. We’re digital creators, photographers, and bloggers with a passion for family adventure.