Interview: Gianluca Fiorelli

Gianluca Fiorelli - RemoterGianluca Fiorelli is an International SEO & Web Marketing Independent Consultant. You can find him in Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as his site.

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

The most important one surely is the better use of time.

Working remotely you can organize yourself such a way you can “make fit” your both your professional and personal life.

However, it is not easy to achieve the correct balance between these two side of your own life, because – maybe for an unconscious sense of guilt – many remoters tend to over-work, somehow as if that was a way of saying: “You do not see me in the office, but – hey! – look how many things I am doing for you”.

This may lead in never stopping thinking about work, and finding yourself in front of a PC almost always.

In order to avoid that you need strong will, avoid distractions (from the endless social/emails alerts to the fridge in the other room) and set up a flexible routine.

However, if you are able to find a balance and not falling into a workaholic attitude, the advantages are enormous and the overall quality of your life improves greatly.

In my specific case, I am not surely one of those fathers, who blame work for not letting me live and experience my sons’ childhood.

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

The main disadvantage can be loneliness, which can be 10X if you are an introverted.

Not having a group of people around you may lead you to live in a sort of bubble, with the risk of starting believing that there is no other reality than the one you’re living in the “loneliness” of your home-office and, maybe even worst, you start missing the opportunity of that constant discussing your own beliefs for the simple reason you can confront yourself with others working peers.

Personally, I do not consider myself suffering this kind of problem, because I tend to be very active and talkative both in the social media channels/industry blogs and with the people I work with for clients’ projects, but indeed it is something I suffered in my beginnings, and that I see many suffer too.

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

I worked mostly from Spain, but also from Italy, Germany, the US and the UK.

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

Being totally honest, my preferred place to remotely work from is my own house. When I travel, though, I mostly prefer coffee shops. Only once in awhile I decided to go for a coworking space.

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

I always envied my friend and SEO peer Paddy Moogan, when he took a 6 months sabbatical and move to live and work in New Zealand.

I would love to spend few months travelling around the world and working, maybe taking my family with me in that adventure.

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

I would say that they are living in Jurassic Park.

Seriously, I would tell them that that kind of conservative attitude is making them losing the opportunity to hire the best professionals, apart losing an opportunity to reduce/optimize Human Resources costs.

7. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I could say the Cloud, because almost every tool I use and need are hosted in the Cloud. Hence, more than a tool, the indispensable condition is having a well and reliable Internet connection.

In the specific of working as a remoter, the fundamental is agreeing with your employers or client about the tools both will use for communication and following of the job/project.

I personally like a lot Wrike as project management and task tool (https://www.wrike.com). It also has very well crafted applications for iOS and Android, as well a cool Chrome extension.

For instant messaging, I have a love/hate relation with Slack. It is über useful and it can connect with a lot of external applications, but – if not used well – it can be also very dispersive and confusing… at least that is my sensation, so much that, for certain projects, I tend to be “conservative” and rely on classic messengers tools like Facebook Messenger or even Whatsapp groups.

8. How do you manage your business and taxes?

Regarding invoicing clients, that depends a lot on the client. Some are quite advanced, hence it is possible to use online banking solution (traditional banks are moving quite fast in this field lately) or even using PayPal (even though in that case I usually pretend a plus in order to sustain the PayPal’s commissions).

Regarding taxes… I must thank my own accountant and her patience :-). In practical terms.

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

My advice would be to live it as a way of life, not a simple adventure.

Be a digital nomad if you really want to improve yourself personally travelling the world and knowing other people and cultures. If you do not have that “imperative need”, then being a nomad will soon become a painful stress.

Secondly: organization. For instance, if you can lose your files in your office, the probability that can happen when you’re a nomad are even bigger. Always be prepared to use a backup solution… and that is not for your digital work and life, but also for analogic stuff, as your passport.

Finally, for the remoters like me, who do not travel but indeed have their clients spread from the US to Australia, pay attention to how you manage your own time, and remember that you also have a life and non-remote people close to you.

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