Interview: Kerry Needs

The world of work is changing, and we have to move with the times. To trust your employee with their own time is to give them their freedom, which is priceless.

Kerry Needs is a branding and marketing consultant from Nottingham, United Kingdom. She is passionate about remote work; and believes that freeing up time can lead to increased benefits for overall wellbeing.

Find out more about her on twitter, Linkedin or you can visit her website.

1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?

I visited Hubud in Ubud, Bali whilst working remotely for a graphic design company. I loved the idea of location independence, and wanted to use my skills to help those who were making a difference in the world. I’d already been freelancing on the side, but I was thinking about going full time. Unfortunately I got seriously ill in Bali, which meant I couldn’t walk for a little while. I was so lucky I was working from home, and it just made me more certain that I wanted to be my own boss and choose my own hours. So a few months later, I set up my own site, primarily focusing on helping businesses who are making a difference in society.Kerry Needs Interview

2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?

There are so many! Being in control of your own productivity is one of the main ones I think. As a freelancer, I can choose my hours and work when it suits me, which has been really helpful when I had lots of medical appointments to go to. Another benefit is the amount of time you free up in the morningI realised that personally, am so much happier than when I was working in an office.The roads in the UK can be terrible; people spend hours stuck in their commute and it’s something I wanted to avoid at all costs. I can roll out of bed and start working straightaway! The other amazing benefit is travel, of course. Travel is so cheap these days you can hop on a plane, work in another country and meet some fantastic people along the way. I’m going to be working in Lisbon this summer as it is a hotspot for remote workers.

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

Yeah, of course. There’s lots of things that you miss out on, but you gain a lot. I don’t have a birthday outing with office colleagues! You do have more transient relationships if you live a more nomadic work life, but it just encourages you to meet people in other ways. I did set up a Digital Nomads meetup group in my area though, and have met some great nomad friends, so I think it’s about connecting with those who have or want the same lifestyle as you. The fluctuation in finances as a freelancer is something I’ve had to adjust to as well. You never quite know where your next payment will come from; so it’s It’s made me a lot more sensible about money.

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

I loved Hubud in Bali, even though I wasn’t technically working whilst I was there.Lisbon has a great coworking scene, as does London, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Those are on my list at some point. My absolute favourite thing about working in these places are the people you meet – it’s a new way of life, and these people have a similar outlook to work and happiness as I do.

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

I like coworking spaces, you tend to meet more people there, but I do have a love for coffee shops too, especially if I am doing something creative like writing. The downside of cafes though is packing everything away if you have to use the bathroom! Most of the time, I I use a coworking space one in my hometown of Nottingham called Minor Oak which has a lovely friendly family atmosphere. The best part of it is just the flexibility though; if I decide I’m not getting much work done in a particular space, I can just move to somewhere more inspiring.

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

So many! Thailand, Gran Canaria, Bali (again), Seville, Italy, Berlin, Amsterdam. I’ve travelled quite a bit, but so many of these coworking spots are just a few years old; I’d like to check them out. I visited a great coworking spot in Lisbon called Second Home which offers a members programme. That to me makes all the difference. There was a library, a running club, yoga sessions, social activities, and a programme of speakers. I think if a coworking space can generate a strong sense of community; they’ve got it made.

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

I think they need to trust their employee, and work on outputs, not time. Companies often fear remote work as they feel like they’re not in control, but as long as you have the right systems in place, it can actually work better as your employee may well be happier. They can get out of bed at 7am and start working, instead of spending two hours in a commute and arriving to work a little frazzled.

The world of work is changing, and we have to move with the times. To trust your employee with their own time is to give them their freedom, which is priceless.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I use Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Momentum app for Chrome, and Harvest/ I use Freeagent for invoicing, and I have an accountant that sorts my tax return every year.

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

I am registered in the UK and submit my return early on so I can gather all the information together ahead of time. It makes things easier, and I have an accountant who is into trance music like myself so it’s become a pleasure to do this side of my business! I spend one day at the end of every month sending out my invoices, and doing my accounts for that month, adding up everything I’ve earned and spent.

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

Do it. Life is way too short to wonder ‘what if.’ Just make sure you have a bit of money behind you and some experience in your field. Try freelancing sites like Upwork or Cloudpeeps to get you started. There are lots of remote job sites out there – it’s a good way to test out whether you like the lifestyle. It’s not for everyone, but it might be a good way to make the leap towards a new career or a life of travel. 

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