Interview with Manley

ManleyManley is a consultant specialising in AI in Search at BloomReach, you can find him in Twitter and LinkedIn.

1. How did you started working remotely? 

I was working for a large digital agency, based in London, whilst living in Devon. I was in the London office 2 days each week and worked from Devon on the other days. From there I moved to an American company, which had no UK presence, or office. Being 6000 miles from the office necessitated remote work.

2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?

I have a lot more time to work. If I am at home I can easily work a full day. If I go to a client meeting I may be out of the house for 16 hours for 1 hour of actual work.

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

There are definite disadvantages to being alone for much of my time. I also find that, with no delineated working hours, I often realise I have been sitting at my laptop for 14 hours straight, which is not always the most productive way of producing work.

4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? 

UK, US, Netherlands, UAE, India, Italy, France. I like the UK best. I am British and it suits me.

5. From which type of place do you prefer to work?

My home office is the best place to work, but I like working in my living room with my children running around me. I am very good at ignoring them, but being able to just look up and be back in the family is a benefit (because I find that remote working actually (and counterintuitively) makes for a much worse work/life balance in general).

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

Nowhere in particular. The benefit of remote working is that i do not have to travel!

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

It depends hugely on what you are hoping to achieve. There are benefits to water cooler chats, but when it comes to sitting down and getting work done, I ALWAYS get more done at home.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I use text messages a LOT. Zoom (or Webex, or whatever) is very useful for international meetings. Shared documents help a lot.

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

I used to handle them myself, now I have an accountant.

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

  • Companies: Trust people. They will work. Do not worry about hours, only about output.
  • Workers: If you have nothing to do for the next three hours, do something fun. My biggest problem with remote working is the number of hours I put in. I will work all night to get a contract finished, but I still feel like I need to be available all day. You do not have to be on your laptop all day.
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