Remote Way: It's Like Studying Abroad, But for Remote Workers
Wouldn't it be nice to work from Buenos Aires for a month? Maybe hop across the Atlantic to Valencia after that?
Sadly, few of us have had that sort of opportunity – until now, that is.
Enter Remote Way, which is currently accepting applications for its study-abroad-style remote work program. The program, which is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Michele Romanov, Anatoliy Melnichuk, and Michael Cronin, will give 75 currently employed people the chance to travel to South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia while working their jobs, participating in activities and excursions, and building a community of remote workers.
"With Remote Way, we aim to change the way people live and define success," Cronin wrote in an email QA we conducted. "There can be so much more to life than a big apartment with expensive rent!"
How Does It Work?
Essentially, it's a study abroad program for remote workers. Workers apply to the program, with the option of choosing between a four-month plan in South America, a three-month plan in Europe and Africa, a three-month plan in Asia, or a ten-month global plan that spans all four areas.
Because the program is offered directly to workers, rather than through specific employers, accepted individuals will be footing the bill themselves – but at $2,000 a month, the program cost is lower than the monthly cost of living in many major American cities. Included in the cost are coworking spaces, private accommodations, transportation to each destination, and a variety of courses, activities, and day trips.
"We take full advantage of the places we travel to, enjoying everything they have to offer, whether it's snorkeling with dolphins in Costa Rica, hiking volcanoes, or tasting local cuisines," Cronin wrote. "We also believe in constant learning as an important way to stay happy and young. So we'll have lessons set up for conversational Spanish, cooking with locals, surfing, scuba, and many more activities."
Cronin doesn't see these extracurriculars as simple bonuses. To him, they're "core to the Remote Way experience."
"We don't travel to cross a place off a bucket list, but to experience it fully in the best way possible, partaking in its unique experience," he wrote.
Applicants do need to be currently employed – Remote Way isn't offering jobs. What it is offering is a brand new way to do your job.
For applicants who are worried that their bosses wouldn't be on board with the idea, Remote Way will step in to help convince hesitant employers.
"We've presented Remote Way to companies with as many as 200,000 employees and as few as three employees, and they see it as a powerful tool for retention and recruiting," Cronin wrote. "We also help individuals who apply, either by speaking to their boss for them or [by] providing the requisite information and answering questions for them to have the conversation. When we speak to employers, they see the value of Remote Way. As long as the employee is in good standing, it's an easy conversation to have."
Where It All Started
The idea for Remote Way arose shortly after Groupon acquired SnapSaves, the company that brought Melnichuk, Romanov, and Cronin together. (Melnichuk and Romanov founded SnapSaves; Cronin joined as the first employee and later became chief of operations.) While working remotely for Groupon, the three realized they didn't have to choose between work and travel. They could do both at once – and that's exactly what they set out to do.
"But it didn't take long to realize this is difficult," Cronin wrote. "Consistent, strong Wi-Fi can be extremely difficult to find in many parts of the world. Finding good housing in the right area required a lot of research. Planning travel can be stressful and take the fun out of the trip. And finding the right activities is an integral aspect of each destination."
So, Romanov, Cronin, and Melnichuk decided they wanted to solve these problems for other remote workers. Thus, Remote Way was born.
Aside from giving remote workers a chance to do their jobs from exotic locales without the hassle of making travel plans, Remote Way also aspires to foster a strong community of likeminded workers.
"Our community is full of driven individuals who are transcending the work/life balance together," Cronin wrote. "Work is a priority for every participant of Remote Way, which creates an environment of productivity and focus. Traveling with a community also helps find lifelong friends who are likeminded about travel, who you can travel with again! You might even find your significant other."
The deadline for applications is February 1st – so head over to Remote Way's website ASAP if you want to participate.