Interview: Kat Loughrey

Kat Loughrey is Digital Communications Strategist and she is freelance and work with, and more! You can follow her on her twitter or on her website.

1. How did you started working remotely? How did you do the switch?

I took the leap to freelancing as a way to seek more freedom and fulfillment in my career. I travelled and ended up in Berlin, started using the freelancer platform to find work, and started to work with remote startup teams. The rest is history!.

2.Which are the main advantages that you find that remote work has?

I love remote work as it really suits my personal working style and personality (I’m quite introverted). The main advantages for me are:

Kat Loughrey

  • 1. Freedom to set your own schedule and work autonomously. Being able to focus more on the quality of the work and less meetings!
  • 2. Flexibility to find the right work/life balance for you and travel when you wish
  • 3. Ability to learn from and work with people from around the world, and think more globally.

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

Personally, I don’t think there are any disadvantages to working remotely. I never really enjoyed the office environment and being required to participate in lots of discussions / meetings was always super draining for me. I love being able to move locations for different types of work, and being able to work from home when I’m not feeling great or want to be super focused.

To avoid loneliness, I seek out social interaction at my coworking space or at meetups/events after work, I’m active in Slack communities, and I ensure I get out on the weekends where possible. For me, I much prefer this working style and it’s a great fit for me 🙂

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

I am based in Berlin, but have travelled to various parts of Germany, Europe, the UK and USA since choosing this life. San Francisco was great to work from, it’s really set up for remote work, with wifi options at most cafes and locations. Only downside is it’s quite expensive! I’ve loved working from Amsterdam, as it’s a smaller city, easy to get around and fab new coworking spaces to work from. I also recommend staying at CityHub Amsterdam, they provide you with your own mobile wifi device when you stay with them!

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

I prefer to work from a combination of a coworking space (with a quiet zone for focused work) and my home office. I also enjoy libraries, though their wifi can not always been super stable or fast. I’m not a fan of cafes, unless it’s just checking emails or manual work.

My fave community space in Berlin is Factory Berlin: You’ll find me there 2-3 days per week 🙂 I also host a monthly coworking meetup, Freelance Friday and we try out different spaces around Berlin, which is always interesting!

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

The places that I would love to travel to while working remotely are Prague, Budapest, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Belize, Buenos Aires and Medellin. I’m also curious to check out digital nomad hubs like Chiang Mai and Ubud. I have many cities I still want to visit 🙂

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

Too many businesses are still stuck in traditional practices and can’t see the advantages of moving to more efficient systems, tools and approaches to working. Remote work can provide very talented people the opportunity to contribute far greater than if they worked in-house (9-to-5). We need to change this mindset that we have to all be present, using outdated systems, for a business to work effectively. The mindset shift has to come from within to really make remote work “work” within a business. The shift is happening around the world now though… slowly.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

My main toolkit consists of Slack, Asana, Trello and Google Drive. These are my go-to tools for managing client work and my business on a day-to-day level. I also regularly use Slack Calls, Zoom, UberConference and Skype to stay in touch with clients, friends and family around the world.

There’s a host of other great tools available for remote workers now, it’s finding which ones are best for you and your needs. Always good to find a few that really work (don’t overload yourself with tools) and stick to them 🙂

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

Managing your business while working remotely can be challenging, especially if you’re living in another country. Best to get solid tools and processes in place early, and don’t be afraid to regularly review and tweak as you grow.

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

Just go for it! If you’ve been considering this switch for a while, then you’re itching for a change. Be sure to do your research first, tidy up all loose ends in your life, get the right processes in place, and set yourself up for success from the beginning (where possible).

Learn to embrace uncertainty and roll with the punches while you find your feet. It can be steep learning curve but once you’ve got it sorted out, you’ll feel a sense of achievement on both your personal and professional growth! All the best 🙂

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