Interview: Annkatrin Doll

Annkatrin Doll is a freelancer, but at the moment works exclusively for Bynder. She is an online marketer in SEO and SEA for the German-speaking market at the dutch software as a service company Bynder. The SaaS industry, in particular digital asset management is something she has a passion for – so she wants to make more people aware of the existence and benefits of this service sector. You can follow her on twitter or linkedin.

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

I used to be an online marketing intern at Bynder for half a year before the company and I decided that the journey should not end just yet. As I am currently finishing my studies in Berlin and have to be here to write my thesis, we decided that working remotely was the answer to this problem.Annkatrin Doll

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

The main advantage I experience while working remotely is the flexibility in so many aspects. I can freely decide where and when I want to work, which provides me with the perfect balance of work, studying and recreation.

Matching my professional tasks with the tight timeframe of writing my thesis allows me to be 100% focused on each specific task and spent the time I need, as I can freely use some more if needed. This increased efficiency occurring from a better use of my time in the end of the day leaves me more satisfied than in any previous job.

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

I think working remotely requires a certain personality. With all the freedom and flexibility it is easy to lose focus on the things that should be prioritized. Being self-driven, motivated and organised is key to achieve satisfying outcomes. I quickly realized that planning ahead at least in the short run and having a schedule for each week that I adjust only slightly, helps me to stay focused and not dedicated too much of my time for work tasks thus neglecting goals I set for my studies (or the other way around).

Another disadvantage is, of course, the physical distance to my colleagues and team. It can be tough to be only connected via computer or phone, as creative ideas, accomplishments and strategic changes are not as frequently communicated and shared. Keeping everyone up-to-date and making the extra effort of communicating all the details that may get lost due to the distance can be difficult at times and is something the whole team needs to be involved in.

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

As I started working remotely just a short time ago I only worked from Berlin so far.

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

I like to mix working from home and from coffee shops. I found a very nice and quiet café just around the corner form my home so I avoid the hassle of commuting. In Berlin new places open up all the time, so it is an amazing place to be when you feel like discovering new locations to work from and getting inspired by new surroundings.

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

I would love to spend some time in France and Italy but Asia and Australia are also on the top of my list. However this is rather something I would do in the future when I have gotten more used to the remote work lifestyle. For now I am quite pleased being back in Berlin and working from home.

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

Our lives become increasingly flexible and location-independent and companies have to adapt to this change to be able to retain talented professionals. The vast amount of new application, tools and platforms enabling global and remote teams but also the pace in which those evolve only prove that we are moving towards a more mobile ways of working.

Of course remote work is not for everyone and not every team can manage the distance and potential communication issues such a way of working comes with. But I believe when companies maintain an open attitude towards change and new ways of achieving their goals, if they take all the advantages of remote work pointed out in so many surveys into consideration, and critically evaluate weather the individual and position is suitable for remote work the benefits are huge for both – employer and employee.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I use my computer and my phone. For communication I use HipChat, Asana and Gmail. Apart from that Google Drive, Adwords Editor and Bynder’s digital asset management platform are tools I use on a daily basis.

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

For time management I use toggl and for billing wave, is the solution I picked.

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

The flexibility and freedom are incredible and remote work is definitely something you should consider at one point in your life. But reflect and ask yourself if this way of working is something that comes naturally to you and keep the downsides in mind. Take advantage of the experiences others gained before you, talk to them, learn from them and make use of their knowledge.

Don’t romanticize the idea of remote work; it still works and you sometimes have to invest even more to get the results you are aiming for. But the advantages such as the choice to work where and when you wish definitely have such a positive impact on your life and change things for the better!

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