Roving Engineer’s Career Path takes Andre all over the World

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Two years ago Andre decided to give up his day job and backpack around the world. This morning he sauntered into our offices looking tanned, refreshed and with an enormous smile. Back in New Zealand for a short trip with his beautiful new French girlfriend he paid us a visit to catch-up with news and share photos of his travels.

Andre continues to work remotely for us as a civil engineer and this has worked brilliantly for both Envivo and Andre’s nomadic lifestyle.

He said “this is just a brief stop-over, we’re off again on Wednesday. I can fund my travels and I can fit in work around where I want to go – and I can fit in where I want to go around big projects at work. I can be a bit more flexible with my schedule to enjoy more hours in the day to see the sights, take in my new surroundings and still catch planes, trains, boats and buses to our next destination.

“There is definitely enough work, with some busier spells and some quieter times. Most of the time I’ve been working a bit less than the forty hours I’d do back in New Zealand.”

One of our concerns in having a roaming Envivo employee was the technology, but Andre assures us he has had no issues with IT; it’s been completely smooth sailing. As it happened he was on his way home from Malta, just arrived for a stop-over and his computer broke down. As he was heading home anyway, Andre managed to get it back and fixed, all on warranty.

Andre added “a tip for others is to be aware Wi-Fi is not always reliable. Even though a hotel might advertise free Wi-Fi, it could actually be slow to non-existent. I now know to buy a SIM card with 3G or 4G internet data and add it to my phone. I’ll then connect my laptop to the Wi-Fi hotspot so all my work is downloaded through my cellphone.

“Occasionally it has been a constraint because I’m not willing to go to some countries if I’m in the middle of a big engineering project. For example I’m not 100% sure of Myanmar or Cuba’s internet access. Vietnam was only just okay, it was right on the edge of usable internet. I found that I could manage my workload by starting to download data as soon as I woke up, I would go out for breakfast and come back an hour or so later, hoping that everything I needed had downloaded. Once I have the data I can work offline most of the time.

“My laptop has been great, I can be lying by a pool and still be able to work, although I have to keep an eye on the laptop battery as Civil 3D drains it pretty quickly.”

Since Andre left in 2014 he has been to: Singapore, Malaysia, England, Scotland, Netherlands, Turkey, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Macau, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Monaco, Poland, Hungary, Malta, and is now planning on exploring the Americas and Caribbean.

Chris Shortt, Engineering Team Leader said “this has worked out far better than we ever expected. I can send Andre an email at the end of the day and by the time I come in the next morning the completed work is in my inbox and ready to send to the client. In the past month we have waved farewell to another Envivo employee, Joe, who will also work remotely for us. Pretty soon we’ll have an army of engineers and surveyors all over the world processing plans for us. ”

Read more from 2014