The laptop lifestyle might have once been the domain of the intrepid wanderer looking to combine their love of travel with earning a living wherever their suitcase landed. These days, post covid, the laptop lifestyle is one that many of us have been inadvertently living as a result of months long working from home mandates.
How ‘hybrid’ is the new WFH
Now, as offices are re-opening, workforces and their employers around the world are experimenting with new ways of working – often referred to as ‘hybrid’ working – whereby an employee can choose to continue working from home, interspersed with occasional days in the office.
There are marked differences though between working from home, or remote working, and pursuing a laptop lifestyle, and it is important to highlight the difference, because choosing to remote work for your employer may give you more apparent freedom, but it is not the same as being your own boss in charge of your own decisions.
Zone of responsibility
And the biggest difference is just that – as an employee, whether you are working from home, or remote working in anther part of the world, you are still an employee tied in to a contract with all the restrictions that involves.
By the same token, it also obligates your employer to ensure that you are supplied with the right equipment to ensure that you can perform your duties in the same way as if you were going into an office each and every day. And your employer is not just responsible for the supply, but also the installation and maintenance.
The onus is also till on your employer to ensure that your working environment meets health and safety standards, even if you are working from home. In terms of your physical health this covers providing you with the right office furniture and equipment to maintain good posture when sitting or standing at your desk. It also covers your emotional wellbeing, and your employer needs to check that you are taking regular breaks, and that the isolation is not affecting you negatively.
A different lifestyle
If it is the laptop lifestyle you are really after (rather than simply working from home), then your equipment is your responsibility. From making sure you have the right brand of curved battery in your smart equipment, to arranging a regular check in with like minded associates, signing up to the true laptop lifestyle puts the onus and responsibility firmly on your own shoulders.
And the reason why all that equipment is so important, is that it becomes your primary source of income. While continuing to work for an employee, you can still guarantee that your monthly salary will drop into your bank account on the same day each month. The importance of this regular income is highlighted more and more these days, when it is becoming a ‘must have’ in terms of applying for mortgages and building up your asset base.
The more you work, the more the rewards
Pursuing a laptop lifestyle fundamentally means that you have become self-employed, and all that entails. As well as changing your tax situation, it also means that you are directly responsible for going out and bringing in the work. If you don’t bring in the work, you don’t get paid. So, unless you have built up a good financial buffer zone you need to think long and hard if this is the choice for you. Having said that, the more work you bring in, the more you get paid. The rewards are in director proportion to the amount of work you win and do. As an employee, you are subject to the external market forces governing the pay around your position in work – and any gains over and beyond his are at the discretion of your employee, no matter how hard you work.