A few weeks ago, we sent the Mobile Work Survey to Knackpackers, with the goal of learning more about where you’re working in 2020! 61% of Knackpackers reported that they are still working remotely, and 27% of Knackpackers shared they are working from a “car, plane or train.”
Working remotely from the road requires a different approach than working from one’s home office. Today, we’re interviewing Heather Burks, a marketer, photographer, and blogger, who often works while traveling. Heather has a lot of great tips and insights on working remotely from the road, and she shares how her Knack Pack plays a key role in balancing travel and work.
Traveling for Marketing Work
Heather has worked with her husband, Walter, for a few decades in the wedding photography industry, but all of that changed in 2017. “We were asked to be the campaign managers for a local mayoral race,” shares Heather. “We ended up winning and unseating the 6-year incumbent. It really re-sparked our love for marketing and political marketing, so in September 2019 we officially launched our marketing agency. Now, as of September 2020, we are doing this full-time and will photograph our last wedding in November.”
Heather and Walter work with clients in a variety of industries, and include travel as part of their offering. “We offer content creation for our clients, which involves a good amount of travel,” shares Heather. “We use our photography backgrounds to plan and execute on full campaigns.” They spend a lot of time on the road, meeting with clients and producing and directing photoshoots.
Adjusting to a New Kind of Remote Work Due to COVID-19
Heather and Walter didn’t have to adjust to working remotely in 2020, as they’ve been doing it for almost 15 years. That said, the couple did have to adjust to other changes quickly. “Our work schedule changed a lot, especially for the first few months,” explains Heather. “We didn’t get a weekend off for 4 weeks, and were working from 9 am to 11 pm for weeks to handle all of the pivots.” Changes in market and consumer behavior caused by COVID-19 required that Heather and Walter adjust campaigns accordingly, which made for some long nights.
The way they traveled also changed. “During shutdown, we didn’t travel to our clients for content creation,” shares Heather. “We had to pull together what we could from home. Since the travel restrictions have been lifted, we have been able to safely visit once a month. Our clients have been great about being safe throughout this process.”
Travel Blogging in 2020
In addition to their marketing agency, Heather and Walter also have a travel blog called The Burks Beyond. The idea for a blog came a few years ago, when the couple made the goal to visit all 50 states together. They made it to their 50th state (Hawaii) in 2018 and started their travel blog in 2019. “We get a lot of questions about our trips and it was easier to send a blog than always suggest things for friends,” explains Heather.
Packing for 4 Days: Working Remotely on The Road
Seeing how Heather and Walter quickly go from their home office to traveling for clients to traveling for fun – we had to have them test the Knack Pack. We sent two Knack Packs to the couple for a thorough, unbiased review.
In the video, Heather explains how her love of a #OneBagLife started in Europe. “On our trip to Europe in 2017,” Heather shares, “we realized that rolling suitcases are not the most practical things. It really hit us when we were trying to make a train, and we had to go down 5 flights of stairs with 2 really heavy rolling suitcases that weighed 50 pounds. That was when we made the decision to travel lighter – specifically, with just a carry-on.”
While they’re not flying in 2020, Heather and Walter did take the Knack Pack on the road in 2020.
“I was able to fit so much stuff for the long weekend trip,” shares Heather. “I was able to pack hiking clothes for 4 days and regular clothes for 4 days. I packed all of my toiletries, my chargers, my headphones, my tablet, my laptop, all my external hard drives, my mouse – everything I needed to travel and work for the weekend!” The expandable travel compartment in the Knack Pack is key, noted Heather, because packing in a suitcase compartment is so much easier than packing in a backpack.
The Knack Pack Laptop Backpack: Day Bag & Travel Bag
After arriving at their cabin in Blowing Rock, Heather and Walter unpacked and compressed the expandable travel compartment. “We were easily able to convert the Medium Knack Pack into a day bag,” she shares. Heather went on to explain how critical it is to have a backpack that contains necessary tech items, so she can stop to send a few emails while traveling downtown or exploring a new area. “We were able to take our backpack suitcase and make it a day bag,” she shares in the video. “We packed our laptops and some of our camera gear, then were able to work remotely while exploring the parks and other places around Bowling Rock - without needing another bag.”
Heather shared another tip: “You’re definitely going to want packing cubes if you’re putting everything in your Knack Pack...this also makes unpacking much easier.” You can check out the Knack Packing Cubes here.
Staying Hydrated While Traveling
Heather’s favorite pocket is the zippable water bottle pocket. “You don’t even notice this pocket when you first see the bag,” she shares. “It keeps your water bottle completely hidden! Which is great, because then it doesn’t look like a travel backpack – and it’s perfect for work!”
You can watch the full review (with the tour of all of the pockets) here!
Which Size of Knack Pack is Right for You?
Ready to make remote work and travel easier in 2020? Check out this comparison chart to see which Knack Pack will fit your laptop!