Health Wellbeing – 08 May 2024

Remote work travel lifestyle: Jolene’s story

Join Jolene from Buro as she shares her inspiring journey of remote work, travel, and parenting. From homeschooling her kids on the road to finding ergonomic solutions for her mobile office, discover how she made it all work. Her story highlights the possibilities and challenges of embracing a remote work travel lifestyle.
van next to lake while travelling and working

Buro’s seating experts know all about workplace flexibility — it’s one of our core values. Some of us work remotely from home, others in our office, and many on the road as we meet our customers and seek design inspiration.

One member of our marketing team, Jolene, has fully embraced the concept of remote work, hitting the road on a campervan trip of a lifetime in 2023 with her two kids, then aged 13 and 11.

Auckland-based Jolene loaded up her Isuzu Elf camper. She headed to the South Island in October for three months, taking in the sights while juggling her work responsibilities for Buro, parenting, and keeping her kids on track with online schooling.


van ferry crossing
van on remote work road trip

Jolene, who usually works from home in Auckland, always wanted to take the remote working experience to the next level.

“It’s been a dream for so long,” Jolene says. “Pre-kids, I’d travelled around Europe in a campervan and absolutely loved it. I’d always wanted to do it again. It’s a great way to travel, see the world, and share unique experiences with the kids.”

“It takes a lot to pack up your life for a few months, but everything came together and we made it happen,” she says. “Being able to work and school remotely gave us the time to explore the South Island, and get to places we never would have reached on long weekends or short holidays.”

With many schools moving studies online, her children could continue their learning on the internet.

“Since Covid, many pupils can self-manage and submit their work online. So they could keep up with their homework while also getting that valuable experience of being out in the world.”

“Some days, school was all about building forts on the beach, other days it was more art and music than maths and literacy, but overall I know they learned so much more from our experience than they would have otherwise.”

Jolene says anyone can make remote working a success as long as they have an internet connection and a desk.

dining area and workspace in the van
close up of van workspace

“I had a pretty small van with a small dining area, so I worked there most of the time. If we stayed in a campground with a dining or kitchen area I’d work there for a change of scenery. 

“But most of the time I’d be in the van. To change it up, sometimes I would stand on the dining seat and put my laptop on the top bed – a campervan version of a sit-stand workspace!”

jolene at her standing desk in the van
working outside with a view

On the road, Jolene took in the best the South Island has to offer. Seeing the West Coast and hiking the Mueller Hut Route were some of the highlights of her trip.

“The Mueller Hut, in the Mount Cook area, and being among the mountains and glaciers, was surreal. Being able to stay in the hut overnight was amazing with the kids. Another highlight was the Earnslaw steamboat in Queenstown, which is well worth doing.”

Jolene is grateful for Buro’s workplace flexibility and embrace of remote working.

jolene in mt cook park
muller hut mount cook

“At times, the trip was intense and stressful, but we have no regrets. It was a one-off opportunity, given the age of my kids, and my role at Buro, which enabled me to work flexibly. It was great to be able to do that, and that the culture at Buro encourages that.”

When back at home, Jolene thankfully has more ergonomic options for her workstation setup. Her home office favourite is the Konfurb Luna Mesh Back, which promotes natural movement, flexibility and lumbar support.

“I have a workspace off the side of my lounge, so the Konfurb Luna works well in that it looks stylish and has the necessary ergonomic features.”

Other favourites include the Buro Peekaboo Stool, a sleek, stackable stool available in an array of bright colours.

“The Peekaboo is versatile, you can use it as a stool or a little side table. They’re also really moveable and easy to tidy up. Use it inside or outside, tuck it in a corner or whatever. I have quite a small house, so multipurpose furniture like that appeals to me.”

Using less to achieve more, the Konfurb Luna office chair is uncomplicated in its design. It’s an active seating chair, designed to improve posture by encouraging natural movement and flexibility. Featuring a breathable mesh back and adjustable lumbar support. It’s the perfect office chair for home offices or shared spaces, adjusting to everybody’s unique needs.

Buro Mentor
buro polo stool with height adjustability and seat wobble

The Buro Peekaboo student stool is strong and stable, perfect for any learning space. Due to its minimalist contemporary design, stools also suit office and hospitality spaces. Made from durable plastic, it is lightweight and stackable for easy storage. The award-winning design prevents the ‘vacuum effect’ when stacked together, and unstacks as easily as it stacks.

The Buro Peekaboo is available in a range of fun colours.

“Living a different lifestyle, away from your normal home and activities, helps you to see different possibilities and ways of thinking.”

From working from home to being on the road, Jolene encourages people to take advantage of the flexibility of the modern workplace.

“I’d 100% do it again, though we might not get an opportunity to as the kids get older. This trip is likely a one-off, but I’d recommend it to anyone.”

van next to lake
beach holiday

While the home office is Jolene’s place of work once more, the temptation to get out on the road again remains.

“We still have the van — his name is Elfie! We try to get back on the road as often as possible, even a night away close by is a good chance to reset and re-energise. We are lucky to have two homes, and that one comes with wheels!”

hammock and van next to river
kids jumping at crown range


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