How to Stay Professional and Productive While Working Abroad

How to Stay Professional and Productive While Working Abroad

man in airport

Today, with all the technological advancements and ease of travel, it’s not uncommon that people spend certain portions of their professional careers working abroad. These periods may last for a couple of weeks per year or a couple years in a row. What they have in common is learning to cope with everything that staying abroad means and at the same time maintain the expected level of professionalism and productivity. Here is what every expat needs to do to make it happen.

Separate work and holiday mindset

This is the primary thing that needs to be done in order to stay professional and productive. And it will not be easy, with all the beaches to enjoy, places to visit and culture to learn about. Whenever you feel like roaming during those flexible working hours you have always think about what made it possible for you to go abroad in the first place. Keeping your professionalism and doing productive work supports the possibility of travel, not vice versa. Therefore, maintain a productive mindset, meet your deadlines and only then enjoy what your current location has to offer.


Slow the pace

Internet allows us to complete our daily tasks practically wherever we are. This means that while working abroad one could travel to a different place on a daily basis and still manage to finish the work as long as there is a stable internet connection. Still, two things need to be taken into account. First, packing and unpacking takes time, as well as adapting to new routines and local customs and this could make a toll to your deadline. Secondly, be prepared that the internet connection will not be equally reliable or even available, particularly in less urban areas.

Familiarize with co-working spaces

Sometimes a professional working environment inspires a more productive atmosphere than a spot in the nature or the coffee shop where you usually get your work done. The majority of large cities have more than one co-working space to offer and the trend is spreading to towns and smaller places as well. They are also great places to meet people, share ideas and even make new business plans with colleagues you meet there.

Allow yourself some space

Being at home or away you are essentially the same person and you need to stay true to yourself in every situation. In case of a family emergency, allow yourself a couple of days of. Serious setbacks, such as a loss of the family member is, for example, should not be missed and you should not force yourself to go through the recovery process on your own. Trying to do that can have a devastating effect on both your private life and productivity. On the other hand, allowing yourself some space when needed will make sure you come back to work calmer, rested and better prepared for the new challenges.


Make friends

Having friends wherever you are is always useful and you never know what may come out from new acquaintances, both personally and professionally. People you meet at co-working spaces or fellow expats would be the most natural choice since you understand each other’s situation. Furthermore, if you need any help they would probably be the first you would talk to, right next to contacting professional immigration services that are always ready to assist you.

Working abroad is a great way of experiencing the world, and life for that matter, from a different business and cultural perspective. It is challenging, but at the same time it is very rewarding, too. Naturally, maintaining the level of productivity and professionalism is essential in making it feasible in the first place. It will require adaptation and strong will, but will prove to be worthwhile.


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Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

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