Interview: Catalina Contoloru

Catalina Contoloru is Head of Talent at 90Digital, a remote based digital marketing agency. You can find her in Twitter and LinkedIn.

Catalina Contoloru - 90Digital

1. Which are the main advantages that you find of working remotely?

First thing that comes to my mind is the freedom I have to organize my own schedule, work from different places and still be part of a team. So I think these 3 advantages are the most important ones for me.

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

Not really, I think some things need to be adapted to this new way of working in order to produce results. So the framework can’t be structured the same as in a traditional company. Things like team communication, holidays, setting goals, productivity need to be adapted to a remote team. This way there won’t be disadvantages because you are not working in the same place as your colleagues.

3. From which cities or countries have you worked from since you have become a digital nomad? Which is your favorite one?

I have worked from different cities: London, Miami, New York, San Juan, Porto, Lisbon, Cluj, Craiova, Bucharest. My favorite one so far was Lisbon.

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

It depends a lot on what I have to do and the mood I have. I like going to coworking spaces when I can take more breaks during the day and talk to different people I meet there. I usually go to coffee shops when I am in a new place and I want to feel the vibe of the city. And I enjoy working from home when a have busy days and I want to keep a steady pace. So every week looks different and it depends a lot on where I am and where I am staying. I really like the Google Campus in London, I go there every time I go back there.

5. Which places would you like to travel to -from where you would enjoy and work from- as a digital nomad?

I really like Asia, I spend one year in SE Asia so I would definitely like to go back there and work from there. A place I would like to go to and stay longer, in Europe, is Berlin. I think it’s a very vibrant city and a great place for digital nomads.

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

Give it a try and you will not want to go back to the traditional way of working. Working remotely removes a lot of barriers and let’s people think for themselves. I think it’s a great way to empower them to take the lead and decide how their working day will look like and makes people responsible.

7. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

My laptop and earphones. 🙂 Every day. I am not sure I get this question right. As devices, I use my laptop mainly but also my phone, when needed.

As online tools, I use Gmail a lot, and everything related to it: Drive, Todoist, I use HipChat and Slack to keep in touch with people I work with and several other platforms for learning and keeping in touch.

8. How do you manage your business and taxes?

I have a company registered in Romania and I pay taxes in Romania but the main company I work with at the moment is 90 Digital.

9. What advice would you give to people looking to become a digital nomad and work remotely?

I would say it is very important to understand what are your skills and how you can use them in a remote working environment. Create several accounts on platforms where remote jobs are advertised and start contacting companies that are interesting for you. Have several conversations with people who already work remote and see how do they find the experience of working remote and how they found their jobs. This will help you understand if this is something you would like to do or not.

There are several groups in Social Media where digital nomads share resources, ideas, plans, so that’s a great place to start also.

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