Interview: Geoff Kenyon

Geoff Kenyon Digital Nomad InterviewGeoff Kenyon is a Director of Online Marketing at houzz. You can find him in Twitter, LinkedIn, his blog, as well as his Guide to E-commerce SEO.

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

For me the biggest advantage is that I have a great work environment with fewer distractions compared to working in the office and am a lot more productive. I also love that I’ve gotten back my commute which I reinvest in my work and spend with my family. I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility of being able to travel and create a work schedule based on when I’m most productive is really great as well.

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

I do miss some of the social interaction and connectivity that you don’t get when you’re not in the office. Getting to know new teammates can take longer. Similarly, sometimes it’s easier to work out a problem face to face when you’re in the same room as someone. Tools and great communication help but it’s not quite the same.

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

San Luis Obispo, Fort Collins, Bozeman, Bend, Santa Barbara, Coeur d’Alene, Nashville, Jacksonville, San Diego, Royal City, Maui, and Portland. Can’t narrow it down to a favorite and have loved my time in each place but San Luis Obispo, Fort Collins, and Bend are at the top of the list.

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

I love my home office but I like to get out and work from a coffee shop once a week. When I’m travelling, I prefer to rent out a place to stay from Airbnb and work there – it’s easiest for me to focus and be productive when I have my own space.

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

There’s a lot of places on my list, but I’d love to spend some time in Juneau, Austin, Denver, and Park City.

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

Working remotely isn’t for every company but I think it would benefit a lot of companies who aren’t currently open to remote employees. And not everyone has to be remote. Working remotely isn’t for everyone, but some employees will be very effective in a remote environment. If you’re not open to remote working, even on a case by case basis, you’ll likely end up losing good employees who would still like to work for you.

7. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

Gchat and Slack for messaging. Google hangouts and Skype for video calls. Join.me for screensharing. Uber conference for conference calls. And of course, the cell phone as a backup.

8. How do you manage your business and taxes?

I use an accountant.

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

Really spend some time and think about whether this is a good fit for your personality and situation or if you just want to ditch the commute. It’s not for everyone. If you think you’ll excel but your company doesn’t allow remote working, start by talking to them and seeing if they’d consider letting you work remotely. If not, there are a growing number of resources and opportunities for remote work, start looking!

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