Roll Around the World - Chelsea Dougherty

How NextRoll's Hybrid Work Model Supports Roller Adventures

Chelsea Dougherty may call San Francisco home, but her friends and family are all over the world. So it’s a common sight to see she’s working in another time zone. Recently, she jet-setted off to Europe and spent the holidays in various countries. 

NextRoll gives Chelsea the choice to save her PTO if she wants to take her laptop and work gear along for the ride. Our Hybrid Work Model gives Rollers the ability to travel and work at the same time. Rollers generally have the flexibility to roam within the country while they work for brief periods of time. If Rollers consider traveling outside their designated work location for 90 days or more, they should loop in their managers for discussion and approval of timeframe and location.

As a Principal Product Marketing Manager on the AdRoll marketing team, she stays busy. But as a seasoned digital nomad, she’s figured out how to balance work and adventure! Here are her tips for those who want to hit the road this year.

Tell us a little about your recent trip.

I was fortunate to spend three months in Europe at the end of 2021. I traveled to a few countries and saw friends and family throughout my journey, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years. One of my highlights includes spending Thanksgiving in Spain with my sister (she’s a teacher in Madrid) and meeting all her friends there. I also brought her along to Dublin with me, where I worked from the NextRoll office there and met some Rollers in person, which was such a delight! And to round it out, my partner and I went to Paris for New Year's Eve, where we celebrated at a chic apartment dinner party with some of my college friends and their French friends.

How did you set up for work success on the road?

For me, it was all about communication and expectation-setting. I made sure to let all my cross-functional partners know my hours, my turnaround for communication, etc. I adjusted my schedule so I had ~3-4 hours overlap with the west coast. I had my hours clearly marked on Slack (with my current country flag for fun) and designated certain days as available for later meetings. It was actually so helpful to meet with my EU and East Coast partners during hours I normally was limited by. Also, it was amazing for quiet, heads-down work during the hours before the US came online.

It may sound silly, but I brought my laptop stand and a mouse to help with ergonomics while on the road.

How does NextRoll support your adventures?

Thankfully I have an incredible manager who supports me and my needs. We discussed the plan and had our regular touchpoints to make sure everything was on track. I’ve built trust with my cross-functional partners, and everyone is extremely respectful of life outside of work, which is a tenant of the NextRoll culture. 

In terms of major company milestones/meetings, we’re inclusive of a global schedule as a global workforce, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Additionally, we’re building muscle to work more efficiently asynchronously to limit the number of meetings. This is especially critical in different time zones, so people feel up to speed on their own timelines.

What tips do you have for people who want to work and travel simultaneously?

While it’s amazing to bop around, I find I’m most productive when I establish a home base. For me, that meant getting an Airbnb for longer stretches of time, so I could establish mini routines and feel like I really learned a place. When I was in Greece for a month, I joined a gym and had a favorite coffee shop with excellent internet (shoutout to Kinono in Athens!). 

Then when it came time to work, it felt easier to transition to that headspace. Setting boundaries around your time is just as important as when you are home. It was easy to get caught up in the “I need to keep answering these Slacks” mentality at midnight. But once I stuck my 10 pm logoff time, I felt more balanced and could always finish the next morning. Traveling has taught me the beauty of flexibility and the necessity of advocacy.

Also, I highly recommend taking PTO at the beginning and throughout your travels, as it allows you to enjoy your time at your destination fully. 

And Chelsea hasn’t slowed down since her magical holiday trip! She actually chatted with us while spending a few weeks in Greece, and she’s headed back to San Francisco to spend time at the NextRoll HQ!

Learn more about NextRoll’s Hybrid Work Model and how we empower Rollers to make memories where they want!