While not everyone has the flexibility of working remotely, for freelancers, remote consultants, digital business natives, and travel junkies, it just might be the wave of the future. But, what are you getting out of it you’re asking? For starters, We Roam takes care of the travel, places to stay and all the shared workspace logistics, so you can focus on what you need to get done, all while you’re soaking up the local culture and enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.
We grabbed coffee with two of the founders, Sem Harvey and Nathan Yates, to chat about this adventure and what it all entails. Maybe this adventure is the excuse you need to find a new way to work?
How did you start this venture slash adventure you’re on?
The timing of the idea for We Roam came at just the right moment for both of us. Whether it was the so-called "travel bug" you get from extended periods of travel, studying abroad or experiencing being an expat in a foreign country (all of which we have done), we had both hit a point where we again wanted to travel the world and explore new places. We are both professionally ambitious and quitting our jobs to be able to do so didn't sit well, even though we had both recently seen extremely talented and experienced colleagues do just that. We realized that we certainly couldn't be the only people faced with this dilemma and started exploring the idea of marrying both ideas into one, exploring the world while also advancing your career. We Roam was born from this idea and the professional aspect has played a role in every decision we make, from the cities that we'll be living/working in to the types of applicants that we accept.
What do you think is the current perception of “work” and “going to the office” and how has that changed recently?
Now, more-so than ever before, have the lines of work, going to the office and life become blended together. With the shift from work-life balance to work-life integration, this "always on" mentality has paved the path for the workplace to be reengineered. It would be a challenge to find a job today that doesn't involve being tied to a computer or smartphone, so why must a commute and being anchored to a desk inside an office for eight hours a day be required to get the job done? While we see this shift currently at a tipping point, there is certainly still a stigma attached to "working from home" that insinuates sitting on the couch in your underwear binge watching Netflix. We want to help get rid of this stigma and prove that not only are people happier by having the ability to choose where they work from, but can also be much more productive.
What makes We Roam so attractive?
Outside of the obvious awesomeness of traveling the globe, we now live in a wanderlust, FOMO, Instagram culture. The Millennial generation isn't as concerned about material things as generations prior, but rather in experiences. Would you rather save all your money to hopefully someday be able to buy that studio shoebox apartment in an "up and coming" area of NYC? Or travel the world now and experience different countries, cultures and perspectives? Cultural worth in the millennial culture holds more value than material worth. We are talking about the next trip we are taking rather than the next car we are buying.
Tell me about the destinations and how you chose them.
Every decision is made by keeping a professional focus top of mind. Before this could happen, we simply started with a large list of cool, exciting locations around the world. As you can imagine, the list was rather long! We then began to narrow down this list to areas that had startup/business/entrepreneurial hubs so that our group could integrate and network with local business communities. We weren't going to throw anyone in the middle of Nebraska where the term "digital nomad" would raise eyebrows (no offense to Nebraska!). We also didn't want anyone packing winter coats and scarves, so naturally we had to follow a warm weather pattern.
How does one get signed up and start a We Roam experience?
Our application process consists of three rounds, with the first being a simple form on our website that gives us basic information about the applicant such as current location, LinkedIn profile, income level and ability to work remotely. The second round is a questionnaire in which applicants can go into a bit more detail about why they'd like to participate in our trip, what unique attributes they'd contribute to the group, their current job situation and remote work abilities as well as personal interests and hobbies. We also request the applicants attach their current resume as well. The third and final round is a 30 minute video call with us in which we can discuss their questionnaire, get to know them better and also answer any questions they might have about our program. These video calls usually end up running longer than shorter and it is our opportunity to ensure that the applicant is a good fit for our program and would be a positive, influential member for our group. We like to have a bit of fun on the video calls as well to keep things "unboring". We typically get back to applicants within a few days with and acceptance e-mail with contract and payment details.
Isn’t this the dream job people talk about?
It is! With that being said, from the outside it may all look like happy rainbows and flowers, we are a small team and it requires a huge amount of dedication, hard work and problem solving to make this dream a reality. We both share the same passion in helping shape the future workplace and are true advocates for the overall remote movement towards a more mobile workforce. No dream job is truly a dream without passion, which we believe is a key to success.
For more information, and to sign up go here.