Interview: Christian Oliveira, from remoters.net and SEO at El Mundo

Christian OliveiraWORK

1. What do you do for a living, and where do you work?

My background is technical (Computer Engineering) but I’ve working in the online marketing area for the last 5 years, mostly on SEO. Nowadays I work in the audience development department of Unidad Editorial, taking care of monitoring and improving the SEO visibility of elmundo.es, among other things.

2. Do you work by yourself or in a team? If someone from your team works remotely, what is his/her work?

I work for a company, with the audience development team and across the company with a lot of other departments of the company. 
I don’t know anybody from the team that works remotely.

3. What online tools do you use to communicate or coordinate with team members, clients, etc.?

Inside the team we use Pidgin and Lync to communicate, apart from email.
With the rest of deparments we use mainly email and Slack.

To organize our work, we have been using Google Docs and Trello for the last two years.

4. Is it possible to work from home or location independently at your current job? If it is not, do you know the reasons? If it is possible, have you tried? What did you like the most about working from home?

Apart from some really excepcional case, it’s not allower to work from home or location independently. I don’t really know the specific reasons, but this is something common in “old” big companies. Besides, given that I work for a media group, the whole company is used to have everyone in the office to solve problems if they arise.

5. Do you think it would be possible for you to become a remoter at your current job? If not, what possibilities do you think you have for becoming one?

I strongly believe that it would be perfectly possible as several similar cases of people that works in this area exists. For example, my teammates and friends at remoters.net, Elisa and Aleyda, are clear examples.

6.Which would be your ideal job?

Nowadays, my ideal job would be a job that:

  • Let me work from anywhere in the world
  • Don’t force me to work 40 hours a week
  • Provides me enough money to live without worrying about it while being able to travel the world
  • Motivates me enough so doing it is a pleasure, not an obligation

 

7.What aspects of remote working attract you more?

Right now, the thing that attracts me more from remote working is the freedom of choosing where do I want to leave. The ability to run from the cold winter when I want, to choose beach or mountain, or any other possibility without being tied to a specific place nor having to change or lose my job if I want to move.

Other aspects I put weight on are:

  • Avoid “losing” up to 3 or 4 hours a day, wich add up to the already too much 8 hours a day of work, between getting to the office and having lunch there
  • Avoid having to “play” with the legal vacation month to be able to visit family, friends and travel the world.
  • Stop being tied to a fixed 9 to 18 8 hours timetable.
Christian Oliveira Tuk Tuk Sri Lanka

Driving a Tuk Tuk in Sri Lanka

LIFE

8. Do you consider that you have a good work-life balance?

I think I don’t. Especially right now, with the clock adjustment for winter. I leave home at 8.15 in the morning, I say goodbye to my girlfriend, and come back home at 19:00, when it is already night and we can no longer enjoy “sunny Madrid”. We do a lo of other things, but that impediment of view or enjoying Madrid during the day during some months it’s a thing from the past for me.

9. Do you think you work too many hours, too few or the right amount?

I think I work the right amount of hours, but I stay in the office too much hours.

The “comfortable” imposed 9h to 18h (for me it’s actually 8.15 to 19.00, counting the time I am away from home) generates pauses and low productivity moments so at the end of the day only half of all that hours are real work.

Desspués del sandboarding en el desierto de Huacachina (Perú)

After practising Sandboarding in the Huacachina desert (Perú)

10. Would you like to live in another city/country? If that is the case, where?

Definitely I would love to live closer to the sea, and specifically, at this stage of my live I would love to live (if I could) in southeast Asia, destination we have visited two times in the lastyear and that has good weather, good prices, good food and a totally different culture. In the long run I don’t know yet where I would like to live.

11.What is the motivation you need to become a remoter? What are the impediments you are finding to become one?

The biggest impediment I have right now is the fear of change, probably a change to some instability. Also something that influences that fear is that my girlfriend has a job which is not so possible as a remoter, so we have to work together finding something that motivates her and that she can do remotely. Lastly, as Inês and me are really into travelling, we try to use any vacation day to catch a plane and go somewhere new. This implies that we practically don’t save any money so we don’t have a backup in case anything goes wrong leaving our jobs and switching to the digital nomad life (anyway, a part of me thinks that this is actyally good, to make an effort from day one in finding work and not relying on our money)

Overcoming this impediments would be my biggest motivation.

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