Mythical characters gazing bewitchingly from each corner and crevice of ornate houses, huts and temples. Breathtaking turquoise waters that shimmer with gold and silver at each sunrise and sunset. Tropical enclaves filled with lush vegetation – exotic birds calling loudly amongst the treetops, the heady scent of frangipani in the air. The first thing to say about Bali is that it is simply stunning. But although it’s a popular tropical tourist destination, it’s also a great place to work remotely. If you’re familiar with Rose Writes, you’ll know that one of my greatest passions is taking my job all over the world with me as I explore and discover new places and cultures. ‘Working remotely’ is a growing trend – and with Wi-Fi spreading to some of the farthest flung corners of the earth, it’s easier than it ever has been before to go mobile. Here I share my experience along with some tips and advice for fellow business owners planning on working remotely in Bali or Indonesia.
What’s the best place to work remotely in Bali?
It helps to begin this article with some brief background on Bali itself. Although it’s part of Indonesia it is its own municipality, and it’s actually huge. The country is roughly six times bigger than the UK – and as a result it accommodates various different climates and destinations. There are also thousands of islands to explore. Where you decide to go is up to you – don’t forget that you want to enjoy the experience. However I’d recommend choosing somewhere that enables you to breathe in the ‘real’ Bali without being isolated. A location that has a buzz without being stifling and claustrophobic. I opted for Nusa Dua, around half an hour’s drive from tourist favourite Seminyak. It’s quiet enough to be secluded and peaceful, yet has sufficient shops and restaurants to provide a gentle buzz.
How and where should I work?
You probably have a routine of some sort at home – regular working hours. When you work remotely you have the opportunity to change that up a little. I work different hours each day – but usually I start early and work on and off until the late evening. When I work remotely I make sure that I allocate time each morning early on and late at night to catch up on work. Be sure to do what’s best for you – determine your peak period of concentration, then dedicate that time to working or catching up on correspondences. The time zone may also dictate your working hours – or at least, the hours for which you are available. Bali is six hours ahead of the UK, and three hours behind Australia. This means a little planning is needed if you need to available – you might want to put an out of office on your email and voicemail if you’re heading off to the jungle at 10am UK time.
Where you work really depends on the type of business you run, and what you need. When I’m taking care of social media clients I need Wi-Fi – but when I’m writing, just my laptop or even a pen and paper will do. You may prefer to stay holed up in your room or hotel lobby working for an hour or two before heading out – or stay connected and answer emails and take calls on the go. There are Westernised coffee shops and even co-working spaces throughout Bali’s tourist locations, but if you prefer an authentic experience (like me) head to a local roadside juice bar or cafe with free wifi. You may even get to share your working space with a couple of monkeys, lizards or parrots.
How to ensure that working remotely in Bali is a smooth and stress-free as possible
As always, I recommend first and foremost that you check for sure that you will be connected whilst you’re away. I quickly discovered that my Australian SIM card wasn’t enabled for roaming – so that was something I needed to resolve pretty urgently after I arrived. Wi-Fi is also tricky – it’s not always a given that your hotel’s connection will be strong enough to work from – at least not all the time. TripAdvisor reviews usually offer an accurate impression of your accommodation’s network coverage – so check here first before you choose a hotel or apartment.
What to do when you’re not working remotely
Above all, don’t forget to enjoy the experience! Bali is a rich resource for the adventurous – and the magical surroundings and beautiful scenery it has to offer make the experience all the more memorable. You may simply want to relax on the beach – or head out to one of the spas or yoga retreats the region is famous for. Temple visits and cookery classes are a must for culture vultures, whilst wildlife lovers can get up close and personal with elephants, monkeys, turtles and dolphins. For more on Bali’s best attractions you can take a look at Tripadvisor or LonelyPlanet’s guides.