Over the past two years, traveling for work has taken on a completely different meaning, and with the rise of the work from home lifestyle, more and more people are able to work from their laptops, and take their laptops with them on the road.
While traveling for work used to mean boarding a plane just to sit in a boring meeting on the other side, now traveling for work means that you’re going on a workation, in your chosen place, preferably from a hammock!
When you aren’t confied to the walls of an office, Brazil seems like a great option to start with. If it’s your first time working while traveling though, here are some tips for adjusting to digital nomad life.
Working While Traveling in Brazil: 5 Things to Keep in Mind
Working while traveling means first and foremost, being conscious of the timezone. Brazil is on GMT-3, and this means you should adjust your clocks and your calendar to make sure you don’t miss meetings.
This might mean not working the typical 9 – 5, and sometimes taking meetings overnight. Find a balance that works for you, but if you’re working for a company, keep timezones front of mind.
Be conscious of your colleagues, who likely don’t want to receive messages outside of their working hours, and who shouldn’t be woken up at 2 am just because you’re awake on the other side of the world.
Frontload your work and make sure you’re sensitive of other people’s work hours.
If you work for yourself, you can find a coworking set up, so you’re able to socialize. Brazilians typically eat dinner around 7 – 8 p.m, and then it’s typical for work colleagues to socialize with a drink from 8 – 9 pm outside of work hours.
Keep Records of Your Bills
The currency in Brazil is the Brazilian real, so while bookkeeping is an essential part of any job, especially if you work for yourself, you’ll also need to keep track of the conversion rate on your bills.
For instance, if you have a spend limit on what you can book for work accommodation or meals, make sure you understand what you’re spending in your home currency, and how this translates in Brazil.
Keep track of everything with receipts and keep records of your expenses. You’ll come to get a better handle on converting currency in your head after you’ve been doing it for a while.
Stay Away From Public Wi-Fi
Working remotely without access to the internet is impossible. That’s one of your top priorities when you arrive.
But while it might be tempting to connect to the free Wi-Fi network near the hotel or in the restaurant or café, making that mistake could cost you a lot.
Hackers are constantly on the lookout for new victims, and if you casually stroll inside a café with a brand-new MacBook, they can pinpoint you as their next target.
There’s a real problem in Brazil of savvy cyber criminals targeting open wifi connections. Once you connect to the public network, they launch a man-in-the-middle attack and enter your device. This gives them complete access to information like youre credit card details.
Getting a good USA VPN will mean you’re always on a secure connection, as well as helping avoid geographic boundaries, and you can keep working like you’re in the office in your hometown.
Blend in with the Environment
Locals can usually tell foreigners pretty quickly, but it’s a good idea to do your best to blend in, especially if you’re moving around with expensive work equipment – looking local will make you less of a target.
Learning some basic Portuguese is the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success in Brazil, and dressing correctly is important too.
Remember that not all of Brazil is crazy hot, so pack warm clothes if you’re hitting up cities like São Paulo. Do your research in advance to confirm the local style, as it varies across the country.
Theft is a big problem in crowded tourist cities like Rio, so it’s worthwhile thinking about using replacement phones, laptops, and not traveling with your expensive work gear if you have the option.
Working abroad is scary at first, but it’s incredibly fun when you get used to it. Don’t be afraid to meet some locals and have an open mind.
Brazilians are extremely outgoing, talkative, and loud. The locals will love it when you say a couple of phrases in Portuguese, which serves as a great conversation starter.