Digital Nomad – The advantages of working remotely
By Andrew Foy, VP of AWP & Construction
I was recently driving from the US into Canada and was being grilled about my job by a border agent. Once I explained what I do (while avoiding the details of Advanced Work Packaging because I have made the mistake in the past of trying to explain AWP to immigration), he looked up at me and smiled. “You’re a digital nomad”, he told me, as he waved us on our way.
It was the first time I had heard the term, but I liked it instantly.
I have been working with O3 for just over a year now. Before this, I was always on projects, based either at the office during the engineering phases or at the construction site. I went where the work was because that is what you do when you work on capital projects.
When O3 approached me, the timing was ideal. I had been working in Texas for a few years, but that work was coming to a close and I was really excited about the prospect of trying something new. As an AWP professional, I was aware of O3 and its excellent software, but I never thought I would have the chance to join the team and help drive it forwards.
What really appealed, though, was the “Location”. The company is based in Birmingham, Alabama. (Which was confusing for me, because I grew up in England and always thought of Birmingham as a city in the Midlands). As nice as Birmingham undoubtedly is, I had no plans to move there. So this is where the ‘digital nomad’ thing kicked in. They didn’t care where I was based, as long as I got the work done, supported our clients, and had an internet connection.
My career with O3 ever since has been hilariously hectic. When I started, my wife and I were living on our fifth wheel in Texas. We then drove back from Texas to Edmonton, Canada, where we had a house on a gorgeous three-acre plot. (A house that I had lived in for a total of about eight weeks in the previous six years).
Our plan was to renovate and sell the house. So we spent our time working during the day – me at my laptop and my wife working on the house. (Luckily I married a farm girl, so she’s very handy with power tools). And in the evenings and weekends, we were drywalling, painting, tiling, etc.
The house sold very quickly (One of the few things we can thank Covid for), and we jumped back in the truck and hauled the fifth wheel back to America. We spent a few months on the ocean in a place called La Conner, Washington. (If you haven’t been there, go. It is wonderful). I would often do conference calls sitting by the ocean, with the waves lapping in the background. Idyllic.
Then we spent Christmas in Canada and flew down to Birmingham (Alabama, not England) to work with the O3 team for a couple of weeks of face-to-face. Then we drove back from Alabama to Washington over the course of six wonderful, hectic weeks. On the way, we got to see fifteen states, lots of national parks, and endless highways. Again, as long as I was on my laptop during working hours, and able to keep up with my tasks, I was free to be wherever I wanted.
We got back to Washington and had two more lovely months by the ocean. And now, we have crossed the Rockies once again and are back in Canada for a few short weeks to sell the truck and fifth wheel. At the end of May we are moving to Europe, where we intend to be based initially in England, but ultimately move country every month. It will be myself, my wife, and our long-suffering cat (who hates to travel but isn’t given a vote). We are going to AirBNB all over Europe. Our evenings and weekends will be filled with learning new languages, trying new foods, traveling to gorgeous locations, and possibly a few glasses of local wine.
All I need is an internet connection and a good grasp of time zones, so I know how to schedule meetings with our clients all over the globe.
Why am I telling you all this? Why am I giving you a glance into my crazy existence?
Because O3 is a fantastic company to work for. A company that holds enthusiasm, engagement, and results to be far more important than clocking in and out. A company that has employees in (currently) five different time zones, and supports clients all over the world.
If that sounds interesting to you, and if you have a passion to combine seeing the world (or just staying in your favorite part of it) with an excellent career opportunity, perhaps O3 is a good fit for you. Our growing team is always on the lookout for fantastic candidates with a passion for software, digitalization, construction, and capital projects.
Take a look at our careers page for details of our current listings.
The Digital Nomad