How digital nomads manage their online reputation


‘On social networks, I'm connected with the people I work with,’ Steven says. — AFP Relaxnews

Faced with sarcastic and jealous remarks hinting at amateurism and indifference in their professional set-up, two freelancers talk about how they use social networks as they travel the world. Without restricting themselves on how they post, they don’t hesitate to remind their colleagues or clients that they are still at work, even if they’re in Bali or Australia.

When you're a freelancer working on the other side of the world, it's hard to resist the temptation to post pictures of beaches and crystal waters on social networks. After all, isn't it a prime opportunity to share the beauty of an alternative lifestyle in a different part of the planet?

From jokes and mockery to jealousy, freelancers have to manage their online presence carefully when setting up to work in enviable locations. ETX Studio wanted to know how these digital nomads manage their social media accounts, and if they had considered the issue. Here's what they said.

‘You're always on vacation, anyway’

Steven has heard this kind of comment from his father. While this attitude makes the self-employed worker laugh, it perhaps stems from the fact that the workation is a new way of working that is foreign to his father. An opinion that is far from being isolated...

Yet, from Australia, the United States or South Korea, the 30-something continues to post about his discoveries on his Instagram account. Sharing this information with his clients or co-workers does not bother the teleworker. On the contrary. "Our meetings regularly open with this question: 'Where are you today?' It's great for breaking the ice," he confides.

"On social networks, I'm connected with the people I work with," Steven says. And according to him, there's not necessarily a right way to manage your image on social media. But when it comes to these recurrent remarks, often disguised as humor, Steven strives, through his way of working and through his conversations, to show everyone that he's not taking it easy under the coconut trees.

Detaching yourself from the gaze of others

This idea of imagining freelancers as laid-back layabouts comes up regularly in the comments of those interviewed. Is it jealousy on the part of employees locked up in offices?

For Benoît Raphaël, it's a judgment that shouldn't be dwelt upon. The entrepreneur, who headed off to manage his startup from South Asia two months ago, posts the story of his experience on LinkedIn, and from time to time, photos of the stunning Thai waters. "You have to stop now, Benoît. You're going to get the whole West depressed and on tranxene," says one internet user ironically under one of his videos.

Although he uses social networks to recount his experience, he tries to detach himself from the gaze of others. "When you focus on yourself, rather than posting on Instagram, you live better," he says over the phone. He gives a few tips, including how useful the default backdrop can be during online meetings, to help avoid comments on your surroundings during client meetings. – AFP Relaxnews

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