Interview with Tom Hirst

Tom Hirst - Remote Based WordPress DeveloperTom Hirst is a remote based freelance WordPress Development Consultant that you can find through its own site, blog, and social presence in instagram, and twitter.

1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?

I’ve always been a remote worker and it was a goal of mine since education.

When I first started my web development career, people in my local area would not pay a lot at all for a website. So I made a conscious decision to go after clients far and wide.

I set up my own WordPress business aged 22 and never looked back.

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

Flexibility. Not just in terms of your day to day but the type of work you accept and the clients you work with.

I’m also much more efficient when working from home as I can control my environment.

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

There’s definitely a lot to be said for face to face interaction, collaboration and networking. However, day-to-day, I don’t feel I miss out too much as a remote worker. The rise of video conference calling has made it much easier to build rapport with colleagues nowadays.

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

I work the majority of the time from my home office in Wakefield, near Leeds, UK. I sometimes travel for work too and it’s not been uncommon for my laptop to accompany me on trips to Norway, the US, Singapore, Bali and Spain.

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

My home office. Absolutely. I don’t enjoy communal working, especially when I’m in crunch mode.

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

I’d love to re-visit South East Asia and spend some time there working. I wouldn’t say no to a contact in the US either!

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

Way to kiss that extended talent pool goodbye.

In niche sectors of digital especially, it’s crazy that some companies expect to find the best talent on their doorstep.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

Google Hangouts, Slack and Skype mainly for communications. Then my code editor of choice at the moment is PHPStorm.

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

I’ve run my business for a long time (alongside a few other ventures) and my Dad’s an accountant, so it’s become bread and butter for me.

My advice would be to use bookkeeping software, like FreeAgent and get a solid accountant. They’ll save you more money than they cost you in the long run!

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

If you’re in the digital sector, don’t wait. There’s no reason to waste time and money on pointless commutes.

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