1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?:
My remote life started with the first company I worked for when I moved to Spain. As I was based that time in Dubai, we did an initial trial period so the company could decide if the working relationship will thrive remotely, that was for about 3 months. Since they found it very favorable with the way things turned out, they’ve invited me to work closer to them in Spain and gave me the chance to work remotely as possible and it all took off from there.
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?:
For me personally, the main advantage (Although it is really more of a cliché now) would be having my own time to manage at my own pace. The thing about having this luxury of time is that it allows us to pursue goals for ourselves, personally for me to practice my self-discipline and most importantly make time for people and things we are passionate about.
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?:
Definitely. While working remotely can be an ideal lifestyle for some, I could agree there are some disadvantages to it. For one, it takes time to adapt to the lifestyle of disciplining yourself and knowing what keeps you motivated so a strong onboarding with any company hiring remote workers is a must so they can transition or adapt their existing lifestyle to their life at work.
I also believe that working remotely can be lonely even if you get to socialize online, so it is important for a company that has remote worker/s also consider this and have something that will support an efficient remote life and also for remote workers to know themselves better to know what keeps them from being consumed by these tendencies.
4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? Which has been your favorite one?:
My home base right now is in Luxembourg City after living in Spain for 2 years. However, since my company is mainly based in Spain and we always meet in any part of Spain for our retreats, I decided to keep my ties with Spain so I go between 2 countries often.
It’s already given that with most remote work you can be anywhere you want as long as there is an internet connection to get the job done. So I took advantage of this and so far I am close to finishing the experience of working from the 27 countries of the European Union and I have 5 more countries left on my list. I was also able to work remotely from countries like Morocco and the United Kingdom but my favorite would always be Malaga in southern Spain as it has almost everything I need, great cultural and social integration, cheap and great food, good weather, the sea, lots of outdoor activity options and low cost of living. I mean, what is not to love with the Spanish way of life?
5. From which type of place do you prefer to work? Coworking spaces, coffee shops or others? Do you have any specific place?:
Our company provides an allowance for coworking spaces so I use them a lot especially when I need to do formal meetings, however, if I am on travel I tend to stay on coffee shops just because the vibe of a cafe, makes me feel more productive (Hello, J.K. Rowling). I even keep a list of “my secret spaces for working” in every country I stay in where I search for places most conducive to remote working and that list includes “hidden” cafes in cities I have visited.
6. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely?:
I mostly prefer off the beaten experiences when traveling to have the most unique travel experience compared to most tourists visiting a certain place. So I usually go to less promoted destinations in every country, like smaller cities or towns. If I have the chance I would also prefer to stay with the locals if I have friend/s in that particular city.
By doing this, I found myself amazed by beautiful small towns in Italy, surprised by the coffee culture in Bratislava, found cheap but beautiful accommodations in Porto to name a few of my discoveries.
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?:
I would say that these companies need to consider adapting to the changing times ahead. As technology advances, the work and lifestyle that we have should be following through. Not only for the fact that this impacts company costs but also for the fact that most traditional jobs we have right now have been made accessible through remote work.
Though I would also agree that there are some industries that are not conducive to remote work or would need to transition longer, the future of working should be taken into consideration for most companies to thrive in the future.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?:
I have used various tools from pioneering technologies to new emerging platforms in the market. I used a lot of Slack app ever since I started working remotely and mostly use Intercom, Helpscout, Zapier, Calendly, G-Suite, Trello, Stripe, Notion, Metabase and Gainsight to help me everyday with my current work.
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?:
Taxation has been my biggest challenge when I started out freelancing since I pay my taxes initially in my country of origin, I have to make the decision to pay into the country I am currently residing and also through the help of my tax lawyer which gives me advise how to allocate my taxes responsibilities properly.
Recently, I have also taken into consideration getting third party services to make it even easier to manage taxation for me like Xolo.io that helps you set up your own freelance company easily.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?:
The future is inevitable when it comes to the current work culture and we all have to adapt gradually to meet its demands. For any individual that considers jumping into the revolution, I recommend to do it gradually, know thy self, your motivation, strength, and weaknesses and for companies to understand their workforce nature and capability because this will be a great factor for transitioning to remote work. When companies and individuals consider this fact, moving towards a remote culture would be more efficient if not made easier.
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