Swastika is a Remote Assistant with Wishup, presently based in Ahmedabad. She joined Wishup in June 2020 as a VA, working with clients in marketing, social media group management, administrative assistant, and project management.
Swastika has gradually grown with the company and is now a Shift Manager, wherein she manages a team of about 30 people, assisting them with their tasks and bridging the gap between the VAs and the clients.
For her, travel is much more than just an opportunity to see new places. It's a freedom of expression and a chance to connect with nature, something in which she finds immense happiness.
She spent a significant part of her professional life in Bangalore, where traffic jams and avoiding rush hours were a part of her daily routine. However, ensuring she logged in on time became more of a challenge than her actual job itself, until one day, she decided she could take it no more.
She started scouting for job opportunities wherein she could work from home without worrying about it, causing an undesirable gap in her resume. She started working as a freelance recruiter for a consulting firm until the right opportunity came along to understand more about remote working and whether it would suit her requirements.
Making the best of both worlds
One day, while browsing through her news feed on LinkedIn, she came across the opportunities offered by Wishup, a remote working organization, and decided to give it a try. A decision she considers one of her best to date.
Once she grew comfortable in the remote working environment and got used to working in different time zones, she decided to pursue her passion for travel more actively, starting with short weekend trips to places around Bangalore before venturing out for longer trips across India.
Traveling to new locations is not easy and requires a lot of planning and many, many changes of plans, but it's all worth the effort at the end of the day. Thanks to her remote working profile, she has managed to see more places than she thought possible in the past year itself. Swastika loves her job, and a view of the mountains makes her love it more.
Planning her travel adventures
As an avid traveler, she makes sure she plans out each trip in as much detail as possible. Starting with sketching out a basic plan of the place she would like to visit, how long she will stay there, and the must-visit places during that trip.
She then chalks out the transportation arrangements, places to stay, and most importantly, where to eat, as she needs to be careful about the food she eats to avoid unnecessarily catching a bug. So, no local delicacies from vendors with questionable hygiene, due to which she sometimes misses out on roadside treats such as Pani Puri and Momos.
To make the best use of her time and work schedules, she usually travels on the weekends. That ensures she doesn't waste her much-coveted leaves reaching the destination or getting back from there.
She also ensures that she arrives at the hotel at least 4 hours before her log-in time. That gives her ample time to unpack, set up, and start her workday stress-free. It also ensures she has enough time on her hand if she needs to change hotels and figure out any contingencies.
Problems she faces on her travels.
Not all travels are smooth, and she has faced more than her equal share of difficulties on her trips. Given that she also needs to meet her work commitments while traveling, she relies a lot on having a stable internet connection, which is unfortunately not easily possible, especially in remote places or among the mountains. Luckily, she has a backup service provider and a router, but it still gives her nightmares.
The next important thing would be the time zone difference, especially while traveling with friends. If you are traveling with a group of day-working friends, they will mercilessly leave you and go sightseeing when you are logging in. On the plus side, she gets to mock her sleepy friends for logging in at 9 AM on Mondays while enjoying her sleep!!
Based on her travel experiences the advice she would like to share with women who are planning trips in the future is, “When in doubt about a hotel, a bus or a shopping arena, choose the safest route possible. She further advises them to carry adequate food & water, no matter how short the trip is.
Favorite travel destination
As for her favorite destination, it's Tosh. She calls it the best place she has ever visited. She stayed at a place with beautiful French windows, where she woke up to the view of a canopy of snow covering every inch of earth and striking evergreen coniferous trees.
The warmth of her coffee mug and the crisp, cold morning breeze made her feel she was in paradise. As she struggled to climb downhill from this picturesque location, she watched older and younger people carrying heavy goods, daily needs, and children up the hill. That made her appreciate the facilities she had even more.
Why does she love remote working?
When asked about what she enjoys most about remote working, Swastika replied, "It's a long list; here are the highlights, though. I eat home-cooked meals, enjoy the nice filter coffee I make (which I am amazing at, by the way), I get to pick my desk that is the best fit for me ergonomically, I save travel time, and I am saving the planet by using fewer fossil fuels!"
She further added, "In my opinion, every job that can be done from a laptop should be remote! I believe in this system enough to say that all of my people will work remotely when I become an entrepreneur. It is a great way to decrease fuel consumption, traffic, and stress, at large. I feel I am contributing to reducing global warming by not going to an office every day 😊"
Her advice to those who are actively considering remote working opportunities
"Remote work is like a good coffee, and it might not be everyone's cup of tea (no pun intended). But, you need to like it, want it, be prepared for the pros and cons it brings, and understand it is not a bed of roses. When you bring work into your home, you lose the luxury of leaving your troubles at work."
"Working alone at 3 AM is eerie, and you have to find a way to break the ice with your colleagues. The pros outweigh the cons at any given time, but learn the cons and be prepared for them. Before joining a remote job, carve out a place for yourself, don't work anywhere else but here, this will help you focus better, concentrate and be more productive."
Swastika further advises, "When you take a break, walk away from the laptop, avoid eating dinner at your desk, take a walk around the house, open a window, and don't let anyone tell you your job is easy because you work from home. It is equally tasking and demanding as any job that is done in an office. Make friends at work; it is the only way to stay alive and, more importantly, stay awake!"
Her sincere advice to travel lovers and remote workers
"Keep in mind that you can afford and enjoy your vacation because of the job you hold. So pick a place that will be your work desk, work there, leave your laptop there once you are done with work, but while you are there, remember you are at work."
Enjoy the best of both worlds responsibly.
Given the comprehensive travel and work experience, Swastika has, it makes sense to heed her advice, especially the one about working from home. However, remote working is not easy and needs adequate discipline, focus, and honesty to meet your work expectations, especially since no one is watching you all the time.
Make the most of your remote working environment and enjoy it while being equally dedicated to your work commitments.