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Housesitting. Creating The Dream Working Opportunities For FREE!

How do you fancy living in France for 6 months looking after a few cats and maintaining a swimming pool for FREE? Sound too good to be true? Remarkably that’s not the case.

Housesitting isn’t new. People have been housesitting & house swapping for years. We also have the very successful couch surfing which gives someone the opportunity to crash on your couch/spare room for free. Long term travel is becoming more sustainable through these methods.

Housesitting however is fast becoming one of the most sought after ways to travel longer for backpackers and world explorers. It’s difficult maintaining a nonstop travelling existence both financially and physically without some type of break. But that’s just it; housesitting is viewed solely as a way for world travellers to facilitate their future travels.

After spending time speaking with Housesitting experts the Globe Trotter Girls the appeal of Housesitting to remote workers and business owners began shine through. Could this be the future of working remote workers?

What is housesitting?

Globetrotter Girls Housesit in Tuscany.....

Globetrotter Girls Housesit in Tuscany…..

Housesitting is a practice where a homeowner requests the aid of an individual/couple entrusting them with their home. This is commonly rent free in exchange for responsibilities including general maintenance and animal care. Essentially a housesitter makes sure the home runs as smoothly as the home owners would. For doing this they are provided with rent free, luxury living and use of all the facilities the home offers.

The levels of work involved are dependent on the housesit. Some home owners merely want their home to look occupied whereas others involve more intense labour and responsibilities.

Why Housesitting is perfect for Remote workers:

As mentioned above the notion of Housesitting has been around some time now but has this been highlighted as a genuine opportunity for remote workers or digital business owners? The Globe Trotter girls highlight Housesitting as ‘affording the trip of a lifetime with house sitting’ but it’s also a viable option for remote workers.

The question of why or how it would work for remote workers?

Location independent:

Usually as a remote worker it doesn’t matter where you are based as you telecommute as part of your contractual status. Would it be a problem if you moved house? Is there a difference between working from the UK and working in the South of France?

Owning an online business or working remotely allows you to take on these opportunities given you have zero restrictions. As long as the house sit has a steady internet connection then your ability as a remote worker shouldn’t change.

Flexible Working Hours:

Housesitting typically involves looking after animals, maintaining the gardens, cleaning the house and so forth. There are jobs to done which is essentially the reason you are house sitting to begin with. But are these jobs any different to been at home? Sure there may be more animals to deal with or maintaining a pool might be a shock to the system however the jobs are no different to a normal lifestyle.

The beauty of remote working allows you to structure your hours around your lifestyle or in this case the requirements of the house sit. Need to take 10 minutes off to feed the horses? No problem. Want to take an hour at lunch time to take the dogs for a walk through the country side? The flexibility of either been a remote employee or a self employed business owner allows you to be just that….flexible.

Work Focused:

Finishing work with a swim in this infinity pool?....Actual Housesit from the Globetrotting girls.

Finishing work with a swim in this infinity pool?….Actual Housesit from the Globetrotting girls.

Despite the requirements of a housesit many previous housesitters I’ve spoke with have used the sustained period of time as a way to really focus on their work. 6 months in a remote farmhouse location in the South of France with nothing but the countryside and an internet connection should afford you time to really focus on your work.

Working within an environment which excites you to finish work is enough to get anyone focused. I spent two weeks working from our organisations Singapore office and I was motivated to tick off my to do list by the end of my working day so I could go and enjoy the luxuries the place afforded.

Work becomes a focus as you have placed yourself in an environment which you can enjoy once the work is complete.

Housesitting benefits for remote workers/self employed:

Financial Saving:

The main reason why housesitting benefits remote workers or freelancers is the financial saving.  Imagine working remotely for an organisation from different house sits every 3-6 months or how about finding your feet as a fledging freelancer surrounded by the beautiful blue skies of the South of France.  This is potentially luxury while still having the ability to make huge financial savings.

As a remote worker you could set yourself up financially by exploring house sits. Monthly salaries will be used on flights, food and general living. The notion of a rent free, luxury existence is appealing surely?

Of course the logistics are a little harder than this. It needs to be accepted by your manager, you need to actively encourage them that this is no different to ‘working from home’ as in reality it isn’t. What’s the difference whether I’m working from Leeds or La Rochelle? There isn’t other than I may have a better tan. For teleworkers who are employed by forward thinking organisations then this could be an opportunity to gain real financial stability.

For freelancers or newly self employed it’s that initial footing which could genuinely make your business. For every friend I speak with who has taken the ‘self employed’ route the hardest challenge to begin with is paying the bills. What if the bills didn’t exist?  What if the bills were replaced by 10 hours a week of chores? In my opinion this presents the biggest opportunity for freelancers to bring success from their business. Having that financial safety net cannot be measured….it’s priceless.

Change of Environment:

A change in environment can spark creativity in any one. That influx of vitamin d can also work wonders for your health. Jokes aside a change in environment/focus can work wonder for ones productivity. Taking annual leave is recommended for all but I believe the reason why annual leave is so refreshing is because of the change in environment and not just leaving behind your work.

Housesitting can remove the rigours of normality, that sense of schedule and spark an enthusiasm for work again. Changes of scenery do this for all of us whether you still have to work or not.

Lifestyle Design:

In many cases those who take on remote working roles or become self employed do so to break free from the rigid environment also known as the office. Many love the office environment however there’s those who struggle to work and function in such surroundings.

Lifestyle design involves creating a work/life balance which allows life and work to become one.  There shouldn’t be such a differentiation as they should both weave around one another.  Housesitting offers further lifestyle design, the opportunity to immerse in another culture (albeit temporary) and further break away from the normality which a traditional 9-5 may offer you.

There’s an ambition in the self employed/remote workers to do things their way and housesitting may further facilitate this.

CV Addition:

Dani looking after the housesit Dog.....

Dani looking after the housesit Dog…..

Having something which stands out on your CV/Resume is extremely useful when trying to land a dream job. Hiring managers will receive a whole host of cookie cutter, same old average joe CV’s.

Housesitting in Costa Rica while working self employed or remotely for a organisation is surely going to be something which stands out on your CV. Companies want to see something different, a personality and some flair. Having such an opportunity is a great talking point when it comes to the interview stage for a role.

How to find a housesit:

Well the hard work has been done for me on this one and let’s be real why would I ever replicate such a excellent list of house sit portals? The Ultimate housesitting guide website provides a definitive list of 23 hour sit portals all including available housesits. If you missed the link above click here.

Please Note: All the housesitting directories charge a sign up fee all of which are reasonably priced.

Need More Advice?

Look no further than the below ebook for the Kindle. The pairing have exceeded themselves with the definitive guide to Housesitting giving you the full low down on how to secure your first house sit. Only one question really remains…..What are you waiting for?
housesit-book

Images Courtesy of the Globe Trotter Girls Housesitting Album.

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.

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