Interview: Aaron Friedman

Aaron Friedman is a marketer by trade. He works in business development and partner relations, and he is Director of Innovation and Business Development at Five Blocks. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram, and you can read more at his blog.

1. How did you started working remotely? How did you do the switch?

Aaron FriedmanWell, it kind of just started happening. I was in the office most of the time and once in a while heading out to travel for meetings. Now its become a consistent thing. Half the time I am in my office. The other half, I am on the road meeting with partners, clients, prospects, and presenting at conferences. And even during that, I still have to get work done so I need to make the situation work.

2.Which are the main advantages that you find that remote work has?

I love the quiet. I love that I can pop in my headphones, and just focus on what I need in a hustling environment. All the in office meetings that I would normally have typically get cancelled for those 2 weeks, and then I get to focus on other things. Its a chance to recallabrate.

3. Do you think you have disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?

It’s not necessarily easier to work remote. When I am on the road, I find that I am always working between meetings and even later into the evening than normal. Also, there is definitely an aspect of the face to face interaction with a team that you don’t get. I have the luxury that I get to go back to the office in between being remote for a couple weeks.

4. From which cities or countries have you worked from since you have become remote? Which has been your favourite one?

Mostly I work from NYC, and I have to be honest, there is nothing like it.

5. From which type of place do you prefer to work from? Coworking spaces, coffee shops or others?

We have a space in a WeWork in NYC, and having the flexibility to pop in there in between meetings is amazing. Also, the WeWork in London is great. But that is a recent development having that as an option. Before that, Starbucks was always a consistent place to sit and work, and still is if you find one that has tables, and you get one :).

6. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely or working from?

One of the main benefits to me of travelling to these places is to actually experience them. Most of the time when I travel its for work, but if I get lucky, I can take some time and enjoy the city like I did in Mexico, Miami, and Berlin. I guess, if I had to choose a place, it would be tropical locations.

7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?

Truthfully, I understand it. There is a risk in having employees not present. But if you find the right people, there is also a HUGE benefit in simply having them around. The world is changing and is more global than ever. If you have the opportunity to experiment with it and have the right person / people to try it out with, I say for sure do it!

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

We have a CRM that we use. I like to take video calls as much as I can and honestly, nothing can replace picking up the phone and just talking with someone.

9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?

Since I am an Israeli citizen and get paid by an Israeli company, its not really an issue for me. And if I was getting paid in the US, that also wouldn’t really be an issue since I am also an US citizen. So I am sort of covered.

10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies doing the remote switch?

If you are looking to work remote, especially across the world, beware that it comes at a price that you might have to sacrifice evenings, and be available at some weird times. You aren’t in front of the team and as the saying goes, out of sight out of mind. You need to do a better job than anyone to stay top of mind.

For companies, certainly explore the idea. Some of the best people are not in your city and can really be a game changer and get more exposure for your company. So try it out. It can be a fun and successful experience for everyone involved.

 

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