Interview with Eden Tadesse

Eden TadeseEden Tadesse is an Impassioned techie, human rights activist, STEMinist, writer, creative, CEO, and Founder & CEO at Invicta. She works in this role full-time as a freelancer. You can find her on her website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.

Invicta is a technology consulting startup which helps to identify highly skilled refugees and internally displaced people and after undergoing a rigorous training process, helps to enhance their digital literacy skills and ultimately recruit them with jobs matching their field of expertise.

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

I have been obsessed with computers since I was 6 years old. In middle school, I participated in a web design competition and won first place. I was thrilled! I continued designing and developing websites (as a hobby).

Then one day, I created a website for the Indian Embassy in Ethiopia and got tons of positive feedback from everyone at school. Our Head Principal came to visit me in class and said, “Can I tell you something? You can make money from this…”. And that was how I got started with remote work! 😊

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

One word: independence. Even before I became a solopreneur, working remote jobs as a freelancer felt very liberating and empowering. I always felt in control. I love that. When I became a tech founder, it gave me greater flexibility and freedom. I manage my time, energy, and resources the way I see fit. This leads to greater productivity, motivation, and happiness, I believe. 🥰

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

Remote work can be challenging if you’re someone who gets easily distracted. You need to be focused, disciplined and structured. It’s all about mindset. As an ambivert, I enjoy leveraging my introvert traits to maximize my productivity while working remotely. However, the extrovert side of me also prefers to meet face-to-face or IRL for meetings and team-building activities, but that’s a small price to pay for all the benefits that come with remote work. Overall, I don’t feel that I am missing out on much. 😇

4. From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favorite ones?:

Whilst living in India, I worked in more than 20 cities (since I used to travel quite frequently). My favourite ones are Delhi, Bangalore, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, and Amritsar. I have also worked remotely in Ghana (Accra), Ivory Coast (Abidjan), Sweden (Lund), Norway (Oslo), Finland (Helsinki), Denmark (Copenhagen), and UAE (Dubai). If I could go back to any of these cities, I would go back to Oslo in a heartbeat. 💓

5. From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, coworking spaces, coffee shops or others? Do you have any specific place?:

I prefer to work indoors – in a quiet, uncrowded and air-conditioned room. I can’t work in cafes and other crowded public spaces (the noise often disrupts my concentration). I instead enjoy working from home and in numerous co-working spaces where it’s cozy and comfortable. 🤗

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

I work best in large, vibrant, cosmopolitan cities. So I would love to go to Dublin, Geneva, New York, London, and Amsterdam. I would also like to work remotely from Bali and Colombia because a few of my freelancer friends are based there and they’ve told me many great things. 😀

7. What advice would you give to overcome the main challenges of working remotely? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!:

Even with all our tech gadgets and social media, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely while working remotely. To overcome this, I suggest working in co-working spaces or coffee shops, just to be around other folks in a social setting. If you miss your work buddies, try to meet IRL at least once a week. If you feel fatigued or eye strain from staring at a computer all day, take regular 10-15 minute breaks (to exercise, nap, drink coffee/tea, etc.).

If you’re experiencing burnout, take a deep breath and re-evaluate your workflow. Learn to manage your time more effectively by prioritizing, scheduling, and delegating. If you find that you are easily distracted, there are productivity apps available to help you overcome this. But as I said before, it all comes down to one thing: mindset. You need to adopt the right habits and belief systems to propel yourself towards greater success. Put self-management (and your health) at the forefront of everything. If you need help with any of this, get in touch. I’d be happy to chat. 💚

8. What tools do you use and are your favorites to work remotely?:

Oh, I LOVE this question! I’m an avid tinkerer of productivity tools and apps. I use many of them on a day-to-day basis – but I’ll only mention 5.

  • For task management and organization, I use Trello. It’s simple, beautiful, and easy-to-use. Similar apps I would recommend Asana, Microsoft Planner, and I use Notion to keep track of important notes and information.
  • I absolutely adore using Google products: Drive, Meet, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google Calendar is the bomb dot com. I also love creating virtual To-Do lists and yes, I’m aware there are a million tools available for this, but the one I use every day is TickTick. Similar apps I would recommend Microsoft To Do, and Todoist.
  • Last but not least, there’s a really cool productivity app called Focus To-Do. It uses the Pomodoro technique to help you time your tasks and (as the name suggests), boost your focus, and actually get things done. 🤓

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

As an entrepreneur, I use a brilliant online platform called Xolo – which helps you do many things: incorporate a legal online business in Estonia, manage your accounting, taxes, and reporting, and (if you require one) a personal Xolo accountant. I also use Deel, which is an international payroll and compliance company. Deel is great for managing international payments to remote contractors anywhere, anytime. 😀

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

Due to the ongoing pandemic, I understand that a lot of people and businesses have been forced to shift to remote work. Unfortunately, the adjustment isn’t easy for everyone. This could be due to personal circumstances or just preference in the way people work. Either way, the world of work is changing, so my advice would be to embrace remote work.

It’s a wonderful phenomenon – but it’s not easy. To make the most of remote work, you need to develop and maintain routines, structures, and habits. You can’t be lazy, passive, or disorganized. Remote work is empowering and offers many benefits. For businesses, there are plenty of amazing tools to help teams navigate into the world of remote work. Trust the process.

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