July 26, 2021

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As Lockdowns End, Some Want to Continue Working From Inside Their Vans

As Lockdowns End, Some Want to Continue Working From Inside Their Vans

During the lockdowns I edited dozens of Slashdot posts from the front-passenger seat of my car (using a cellphone for a mobile hotspot).
But according to CNBC, I wasn’t the only person working from a vehicle…

When Erica Horn received a work email in May 2020 saying her company would be fully remote for the next year, she knew right away it was time to live out her long-held dream of living out of a van… Horn is not alone. Many workers with jobs that let them work remotely during the pandemic left behind their sedentary housing situations and moved full-time into vans. These remote workers drive from location to location in their homes, working from internet hotspots in their vans and spending their free time in nature and exploring new places. As vaccines roll out and states start to open up, some workers are returning to their offices.

But many workers who’ve adopted the van life don’t want to give it up…

Like overseas backpacking, van life appeals to those with a love for travel or the outdoors who have the privilege to work remotely and the budget to spend thousands of dollars buying and setting up their vans. They can shift the money from rent and car payments toward a lifestyle of endless travel… For some, working out of a van is less about travel and more of an alternative to leasing an office. Kenzo Fong, CEO of tech start-up Rock, began working out of his van in May 2020 after his children began doing their schoolwork at home during the pandemic. Fong still lives in his San Francisco home, but during the days, he gets into his van and picks a new location in the city…

Some van lifers only need a laptop. Others have more elaborate set ups complete with multiple monitors. But most carry at least two hot spots from different network providers so they can catch signal from at least one of the services as they hit new locations… Despite the challenges of life on the road, those who spoke with CNBC said they plan to continue their nomadic lifestyle until their companies stop allowing remote work or until they get burnt out. Horn said she originally planned to live on the road for at least a year, but that’s now changed.

“At six months, I still feel like I’m just learning this, just getting the hang of it and just getting started,” she said. “I could actually see myself doing it for closer to two years, and who knows, maybe longer.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.