Digital Nomad

11 Ways: Start Working Remotely on Your Commute

Work Remotely on Your Commute

Think of it like this: There are 24 hours in a weekday divided by 3 segments of 8 hours. #1 is at work full-time, #2 is sleeping (right?), and that #3 segment is actually your "free time". I think a lot of us spend a huge chunk of free time commuting, and daydreaming of working from home instead. What if the pain points of both could be addressed simultaneously?

Pain points of commuting:
- Driving & biking require nearly undivided attention
- Transit requires more time

Pain points of working remotely:
- Missing skills / experience / mentorship
- Not enough time

I used to alternate between all 3 of these modes of commuting. I was surprised to find the traffic often took longer than expected, and crept up on the time it would take to bike or bus. It was more expensive, and I couldn't help but notice a feeling of starting the workday carrying the stress of traffic, fulfilling the workday, and then arriving home stressed from traffic. "The work I do could be done from home" I would think, exhausted. You might as well still be on the clock - Your employer requires that you have this commute to keep the job, but it's not compensated and the extra time lost on commuting actually cuts into your "free time" and ability to have a second job, or side hustle. Some people love their cars, but I thought the drive was an extension of my workday.

Taking transit created space for emails, Shapr, LinkedIn, and anything that could be done on a phone. When I switched to taking transit, I became much more bilingual, spending as much as 2 hours a day working on my French in Duolingo, and bringing it from 15% to 60% proficiency. That's when I realized that the time spent on a commute was a huge opportunity when you don't need to be occupied driving. 

11 ways to start working remotely on your commute:

1) Join groups for Remote / Digital Nomad networks on Facebook, Slack channels, and others.

2) Upload your resume on Indeed or as an email draft and apply for remote jobs during your commute.

3) Learn new skills for remote work - Sololearn for coding, or Udemy & Udacity for software and other hard skills, Duolingo for additional languages, Lynda, Khan Academy.

4) Take on clients for social media, and create draft posts during your commute. Many more people spend time browsing social media during those hours, so your posts can get more organic reach.

5) Draft blog and social media posts on your phone and drop in other content that is easier on your computer later.

6) Use apps like Shapr to network remotely, and spend some time browsing networking events in your area on Meetup or Eventbrite.

7) Listen to audiobooks instead of music - It's an excellent source of mentorship for entrepreneurial personal development and to passively get advice and new skills.

8) Create apps and website redesigns with phone apps like Marvel Pop App, Sketch, InVision and others. It's easiest to use a phone for haptics and to test responsive designs anyways.

9) Get Cryptokitties and to play around with Ethereum. Read cryptocurrency whitepapers, research the mandates and creators, and do your research to determine if trading during your commute is viable.

10) Create an online store and manage it via phone apps, such as being an Amazon affiliate, dropshipping, etc. 

11) Create profiles on, Upwork, Toptal, and others.

Whether you call it remote work, location independent, or being an illustrious digital nomad - The resources available to get started are quickly increasing! If you are looking at your first "remote" jobs, sometimes it's good to start with a local company so you can become familiar with the actual challenges that crop up, and stop by in person if needed. If you can retain those clients for long periods, you can consider living in countries where the exchange rate will lower your overhead for living expenses, and sustain the cost of travel.

Share your experiences! What are your best tips for people to get started working remotely as a location-independent digital nomad?