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The Unconventional Guide to Work

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Ten Tools and Tips for Working from the Great Pyramids in Egypt

One of the huge advantages of moving to a cloud-based job/project management system like WorkflowMax is the fact that you are no longer tied to your desk - you can work from anwyere in the world and still keep up-to-date with your business.

We’re celebrating that fact here on the blog by creating a series of articles demonstrating all the tools and tips you need to work from anywhere in the world … absolutely anywhere. We’ve already covered working from the beach, working from the ski slopes, and working from the Amazon jungle. Today we’re going to talk about working from one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world: Egypt - home of the great pyramids.

Work from the pyramids

(If you didn’t guess, yes this photo is a picture of me in front of the Great Pyramids. I was an archaeologist before I was a writer of blog articles for WorkflowMax, and it’s been my dream to visit Egypt since I was about seven years old. At age twenty-five I got to make that dream come true.)

If you share my dream of visiting the pyramids, but you can’t take a break from the job, then this article gives you all the tools and tips you need to work remotely from the Pyramids of Giza.

1. Cover Up Against that Harsh Sun

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And when I say harsh … I am talking untold levels of burning. When we visited the Valley of the Kings, it was 52 degrees celsius, and we were often waiting around in lines to see the tombs with little available shade. If you want a drink of water, “Oh, that will be $20, thanks. And while you’re here, can I interest you in a bottle-opener shaped like a camel? No? What about a potato peeler in the shape of a pharaoh's head? Ankh-stamped boxer shorts? Tutankhamun beer-cozie?”

Yes, this is truly what happens. And it explains why you don’t want to be forced to buy water from street vendors any more than necessary. So wear that hat, slather on that sunscreen and wrap on those sunglasses.

I love wide-brimmed safari hats, like this one from the hit pop band Aqua's music video for "Dr. Jones".

2. It’s Hot

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I know what you’re thinking. “It’s Egypt, Steff. Of course it’s hot. D’uh.” But seriously, you have no concept of just HOW hot it is. I believe I mentioned above that I experienced 53 degrees. In 53 degrees, your insides feel as if they are leaking out your ears. And this was in shoulder season - in the summer, it’s ever warmer.

Don’t even expect to find relief indoors. The Egyptian Museum, for example, is equipped with exactly 0 air conditioning units. That’s right - 0. So if you want to see the Tutankhamun treasures, you will do so sans cool air.

Bring water, rehydration salts, a parasol ... anything you can think of to combat the heat. And don’t, whatever you do, bring along a wardrobe entirely consisting of black clothing, as my husband and I did.

The gothic lady in this picture has the parasol part right ...

3. Solar Charger

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One thing the desert has in abundance is sunshine. So if you need to get some work done, it’s useful to bring along a solar charger for your phone, laptop and tablet. Check out this portable solar charger available from BLKBX - it will charge anything from your iPhone to your GoPro.

4. Rehydration Salts

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Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam in 50 degree weather? Many of the archaeological sites are extremely exposed to the elements and you don’t know when you’re going to be waiting in line with the sun beating down on you. Add to this some foreign food and you have a recipe for a very upset stomach. Rehydration salts help keep you well and stop you succumbing to heat exhaustion - which would be very bad if you had a looming deadline.

5. Nerves of Steel

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One thing I learned when travelling in Cairo is that simply crossing the street is a life-or-death experience. No one knows how to turn a 2-lane road into a 6-lane highway quite like the Egyptians, and there seems to be no official road rules or consideration given to pedestrians whatsoever. If you want to cross to the other side of the road, your safest option might be to hail a taxi. Or, put on your bravest face and step out into the street.

6. Pyramids 3D

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You don’t need to hire a guide when you can turn your phone into a portable travel companion with Pyramids 3D. Fly around the Giza Plateau viewing the pyramids and Sphinx from all sides, then enter and wander around the tombs and passageways. Examine paintings up close and view statues from every angle, while learning about the history and significance of Giza from the accompanying book by Egyptologist Zahi Hawass. At this rate you won’t even need to leave the hotel to experience the awesome pyramids (although we definitely recommend that you do!)

7. Cover Up

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Egypt is a Muslim country, and as such, it is worthwhile considering clothing choices that are respectful of the local cultures. For women, this means covering legs and shoulders. And for men, covering the legs (shorts are considered “underwear”). And choose clothing that is tidy and doesn’t contain holes. My husband was once accosted by four tourist police officers while we were walking around Cairo. He wasn’t in trouble - they’d just seen his holy jeans and thought he had been attacked or robbed!

(Don't look like my husband, the scruffy musician.)

8. Heiroglyptic Dictionary

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Give your business documents the Egyptian treatment by adding some authentic egyptian hieroglyphs. The portable Aaou Heiroglyph Dictionary has over 21,000 entries and will help you decipher the hidden messages of the Pharaohs.

9. Protective Amulet

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When the ancient pharaohs were buried in their tombs, powerful priests placed curses over the doors, to prevent tomb robbers from raiding the riches inside. Nowadays, the pharoahic curses still live on, and what better way to protect yourself then with an Eye of Horus amulet, the Ancient Egyptian symbol of protection. Made by Raw Elements Jewelry, this necklace brings modern style to this ancient symbol.

10. Your Cloud Business Tools

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Whether you’re working in the desert or from the (hopefully) air-conditioned comfort of your hotel room, you’re going to need access to your business. With WorkflowMax you can login from anywhere and manage your jobs, see who is working on what, send quotes and invoices and run reports. And as we now integrate with more than 25 different apps, including Salesforce for CRM, Box and Dropbox for document management, iPayroll for Payroll and Xero for accounting, you can see a full picture of how your business is performing and ensure important tasks are being taken care of while you’re away.

So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to work like an Egyptian?

Want to suggest a topic for the next “Work Away From Work” article? Tweet us your idea with the hashtag #workawayfromwork and we’ll write it up.