1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?
At my first in-house corporate gig 13 years ago, I was able to negotiate working one day per week from home. I fell in love with it. Not only was I more productive during those days, I enjoyed them more as well.
6 years ago, my wife and I started a small online marketing agency which has paid the bills ever since — working from our home office and building a small remote team.
Then a few years, ago, it enabled us to move to Italy without any concern for finding a job, etc.
And more recently it allowed me to launch my newest project, GrowthBadger.
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?
Flexibility – being able to work when and where you want.
Fewer distractions and fewer meetings (or none!).
As an employer, it’s easier to find talent when there are no location requirements.
And for employees, it makes their jobs dependent on their output/results rather than how often the boss sees them working late at their desk.
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?
To me, it’s the social aspect. When you work remotely 100% of the time, you miss out on the camaraderie you’d have gotten from working with a team in person.
You also have to take more responsibility for how you use your time — but that can be an advantage, because if you’re able to focus and get things done fast, you can work less and/or make more money.
4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote?
I’ve worked from Portland, San Jose, Hawaii, and of course Italy. My preference is my home office in Italy because that’s where my widescreen monitor is :).
5. From which type of place do you prefer to work?
Home office as mentioned above.
6. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely?
We travel back to Portland once or twice a year to see family and friends, which is always great. But my next challenge is traveling more while *not* working.
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?
I’m sure it depends on the company, but in many cases it’s a win-win option. It’s a big benefit to the employees that doesn’t actually cost the company anything.
In fact, running a fully distributed team is cheaper than paying for all that office space, electricity, etc.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?
- G Suite
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?
This gets a bit complex because I’m a US citizen while our tax residence is Italy.
The United States is one of the very few places that continues to tax its citizens regardless of where they live. But they have treaties with many countries, including Italy, that allow you to avoid double taxation. Still, you have to file in both places.
So we have a local Italian accountant and also use a US-based tax service that’s specifically designed for expats.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?
Give it a shot!
If you run a business, ask your employees if this is a benefit they would value. (Many will, but some won’t.) For those that want to try it, set clear expectations for them and hold them accountable for being just as productive as they were when working in-person. If you’re worried, don’t be — it will go better than you think.
If you’re an employee and your company doesn’t want you to do it, try to get them to just let you work from home one day a week. Even temporarily.
Then make sure you really kick ass that day: get a ton done. That way they’ll be more likely to let you expand it into two or three days a week, and then every day.
Or… look for a new job :). More and more companies are offering remote work.