Interview: Emily Kolvitz

Emily from BynderEmily Kolvitz is a consultant and librarian and works remotely full time for Bynder. Also, we can follow her on Twitter or find her on Linkedin.

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

The first week I moved to Boston from Texas to work for Bynder there was a giant blizzard. We’re talking snowed in for like two weeks straight. It was a big shock to move there, but at the same time, a really awesome experience. I never really quite got used to living in Boston because of the cold and the fast pace of everything, but I really loved my job.

When I came back from maternity leave, I knew I was ready for some sort of change, so I decided to move to North Carolina to be closer to my family. I asked my boss if we could sit down and talk privately and I ripped the bandaid right off and said that I was moving, BUT I would really like to continue to work for Bynder if it’s possible.

No one in the Boston office had ever done that so it was all uncharted territory. I remember feeling nervous that the answer would be no and I would be so disappointed if that were the case, but it wasn’t the case! I’ve been working remotely now for over a year with trips to our Amsterdam and Boston office here and there, a few clients, but mostly I’m working from home all the time now.

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

My productivity has increased dramatically. I’d say it’s near 200%. It’s amazing how much time we actually waste during our days with commuting. In Boston, I was spending at minimum one hour on the way to work and one hour on the way home. I lived around 9 miles from the office. If I need to leave early to pick my daughter up from school I can and I don’t have to fight the traffic, or if one of the kids has a dr. appointment, everything is just so much simpler and easier to take care of. I have the freedom to manage my day how I like.

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

Definitely face time with colleagues. Yes, there’s video chat, but being in person is also very important! That’s one thing I’m planning on increasing this year is my time actually visiting the offices and connecting with others face to face.

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

All over….Miami, Florida, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Boston, Massachusetts, Raleigh, North Carolina, New York City, New York, Dallas, Texas, Somewhere in Ohio, Paris, France….. My favorite is definitely Amsterdam (We also have an office there…)

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

Because of insecure wifi I tend to actually stay away from co-working spaces and coffee shops quite a bit. I have a few places at home I work from, and it took me a long time to figure out where my “spot” was. I have an office in my bedroom with a nice chair, and I also have an office out back, which is a converted backyard shed we remodeled and turned into a bonus space.

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

Bora Bora, Wyoming, Alaska, Iceland, Ireland, I’m open to anywhere really!

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

It’s an easy free perk that companies don’t have to spend any money on… Also consider that when having remote employees, it’s tough to rationalize using local wages as the benchmark for how much a position is worth. You start looking at the position and outcomes more and less at the market rate.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I use our Brand portal, Bynder frequently which is a well-tagged database of all of our companies most important files. Trying to move away from so much email, so using Slack a lot. Video chat tools like Zoom are really helpful.

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

My company handles it for me thankfully! It can be tricky when you work from more than one state!

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

Just because you don’t have a remote option at your company doesn’t mean you can’t ask about one. The answer’s always no if you don’t ask. For companies, go for it!

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