Jean-Philippe Monette is Technical Architect from Montreal, Canada and works a full-time remote employee for Mavens. You can follow you on his own blog or some social networks as Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin.
1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?
I used to have a full-time position for a company based in Montreal, Canada – my hometown. The salary and the job was good, but I felt there was missing. At such a young age, I already had a stable job that could take me far, but I wanted to be challenged from every angle. I used to be contracting when I was 17 years old and really loved the flexibility and the ability to work from wherever I wanted to.
One day, I decided to deep dive into the adventure I’m currently enjoying today – I quitted my job, got a visa to the UK and start my remote working journey.
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?
Flexibility, by far. It allows me to work at times where I know I’m the most productive. It feels much more natural than doing the regular 9 to 5.
I also have the ability to travel whenever I want, as long as I stay in range of some WiFi waves. I’ve been to so many places in such a short time, learned a lot about the world and met so many interesting people. This is priceless.
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?
I think moving often makes it harder to build relationships. Most of the people I interact with have jobs that do not provide them that latitude, so I more often “pop” in random countries, catch-up with friends and see them a couple of months later. This is something I never thought would be a problem initially but learned on the way.
Also, I realize more and more the distance between my family and me when I go visit them.
4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? Which has been your favorite one?
Just to name a few, I have worked from London, Montreal, San Francisco, Belgrade, Miami, Jerusalem, Riga, Varna, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Tenerife, Madrid… Every single one of them has their own identity. I think the more different from what I am used to the better. Considering this, I’d say Belgrade was a good place to work from!
5. From which type of place do you prefer to work? Coworking spaces, coffee shops or others? Do you have any specific place?
I do have a WeWork membership and my home location is in London. However, every city I end up in where there’s a WeWork location, you’ll most likely see me around. Of course, not every city has them, so I also do a mixture local coworking spaces, coffee shops, pubs and hopefully some coliving places very soon.
6. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely?
Some of the destinations on my bucket list are Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Hong Kong… Surprisingly, some of the most memorable experiences I had happened in cities where I really never planned to go to, so maybe I should avoid the locations listed above?
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?
I strongly believe that every human being is unique in the environment it requires flourishing the best. Not every job can be that flexible, but when the nature of the job allows it, I think it does build trust between colleagues and increase employee overall happiness.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?
As I am a full-time employee, this is all managed by my employer. In terms of income taxes, the process doesn’t really involve paperwork in my current situation and is fairly simple in the UK compared to Canada.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?
Just do it! Once you’ll get used to it, you will never want to go back!