This post is one of a series of interviews with digital nomads, and their experiences (good and bad).
Lesly Kenney, SWI Software
Where are you from (city)?
What’s your job?
How has traveling changed your business (for the better, for the worse)?
Traveling has changed business for the better. In an age of digital overload, there is great value in being face-to-face with current customers, potential customers, and industry professionals. There has been an increasing trend in using purely digital communication in the workplace – especially for those of us who work in technology. But when we travel to meet customers, we are able to communicate, innovate, and solve problems in a more thorough and connected fashion, which leads to better knowledge of the needs of clients. Let’s face it – every business is successful because of its ability to help customers reach some goal or solve some problem, and incorporating the nuances of face-to-face interaction makes it easier to understand, and therefore provide solutions for our clients.
How much do you work weekly (i.e., 40 hrs per week)?
50 hours per week when not traveling. There have been weeks when traveling that I’ve worked up to 70 hours/week.
How do you keep up relationships and look for new business while on the road?
When on a plane or in a cab, my phone and tablet become my lifeline. I have a Surface tablet and operate in an Office 365 environment which has allowed me to easily work on airplanes both with and without Internet access. So being on the road isn’t much different than being in my office. I use the same devices and methods I use at home.
When did you start (and possibly finish) working while traveling?
Started traveling for work in 2006, and still travel in my current position. I travel to trade shows for exhibiting and for personal continuing education. I also travel to teach workshops and present continuing education sessions for business professionals.
Best place to travel?
New York or Chicago.
Worst place to travel?
Los Angeles – the traffic sprawl and inaccessibility of public transportation is dreadful.
Dream trip still on the horizon?
Biggest issue when working while traveling?
Lack of food and sleep is probably the biggest issue. I have a standing rule that I don’t eat before presentations, so many times my “meals” consist of bottled water.
What is your setup for working remotely?
Nokia Lumia 1520 phone, Surface Pro 2 tablet/laptop; Office 365 – same setup for working when not traveling
What are your travel tech must-haves?
My phone and tablet.
Please share your website(s), Twitter, FB, or other URLs you’d like to share.
Anything else you’d like to share for those looking to work while traveling?
Invest in the tools and technology that allow you to work in the same operating environment you use at home. When you do this your location becomes almost insignificant.