Remote work always comes with challenges. @coalitionsnow’s Jen Gurecki (@yogurecki) had more challenges than the average entrepreneur during her time with #AfricanSpokes, a 70-day, 6,520 KM cycling trip through Africa. Road conditions, dehydration, the heat and the wildlife are challenging when cycling in Africa, but not being on the same continent as your team with limited internet connection brought into perspective on how truly connected she was to her team.
“There are a number of things that we take for granted in the Western world, like accessibility to internet and cellular network. Although the infrastructure for both are improving rapidly across most of Africa, there would be days sometimes where I didn’t have network. With one or two days this isn’t so much of an issue because it gives you time to work on projects that don’t require the internet. But it becomes anxiety-inducing when more than two days pass and you have no idea what’s in your inbox or Slack, and you don’t know the next time you will be able to check either. The rapid, immediate turnaround isn’t always necessary, especially when you’ve clearly communicated with people about your timeline and you have lined everything up to allow the short breaks in communication. In general, it’s a constant game of catch up and solid planning. You take care of the most pressing things because you may not be able to tomorrow. That’s Africa; it applies to everything from running water, to hot showers, internet and the cellular network.”
Jen’s advice for other entrepreneurs working remotely, “Don’t underestimate the power of face time with people. Ideally you’ll have established relationships with people beforehand so that you spend your social capital rather than trying to build it while remote working.”
“Remote work is not a vacation. It takes significant self-discipline and a willingness to say no to all of the incredibly tantalizing distractions around you. Don’t let Instagram fool you — it’s harder than it looks and you work more than you would like.
Access to a network is a must — you can’t be remote while working remotely. You might be able to get away with this for a few days or a week, but consistently not being connected will impact your ability to deliver.
Don’t underestimate the power of face time with people. Ideally, you’ll have established relationships with people beforehand so that you spend your social capital rather than trying to build it while remote working.”
This photo series shows Jen Gurecki (@yogurecki)’s efforts to create an ever evolving work space as she traveled on #AfricanSpokes, a 70-day, 6,520 KM cycling trip through Africa while simultaneously running her business @coalitionsnow. Remote work is all about doing whatever it takes to get your work done in unconventional situations.
This series is the first of three photo stories which ran on Entrepreneur Magazine's social media channels in May 2018, focusing on businesswoman Jen Gurecki @yogurecki working remotely running her company, @coalitionsnow, while cycling with African Spokes across Africa on the 68 day trip.
The photo essay was shot in and around Darien, Georgia the week of July 12, 2017.
It follows Captain Wynn Gale and life around the shrimping vessel, the Big Cobb, examining the challenging and changing world of shrimping as a way of life in the Low Country of Georgia in our modern times.