Interview with Gil and Anya Gildner

gil and anya gildnerGil & Anya Gildner are remote based Co-founders of search marketing agency Discosloth. You can find them in twitter: @gilgildner and @discoloth.

1. How did you started working remotely? 

We have both been working remotely for years, and we both started remote work out of necessity because we went from a normal 9-to-5 job to freelance work. We met while working at the same company, in the marketing department (also remotely). In 2017 we quit that company to start our own, and working remotely was a no-brainer.

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

I think the main advantage to working remotely is independence and flexibility. We want to see the world while we’re young and still have some energy, and it would be hard to do this if we were tied to a physical location. It also really helps broaden your perspective, interacting with different cultures and learning new languages!

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

There are totally some disadvantages! I think it’s important to be honest about what you’re missing out. Face-to-face time is very important, and in a lot of cases we will make the effort to travel to meet clients in person because that’s so important. I also think that working remotely can be difficult to navigate as a younger professional, because it’s harder to make connections and networking is so important in the first few years of your career.

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

When I (Gil) was freelancing, I was consulting for NGOs and traveled to several dozen developing countries. Since Anya and I have married and started Discosloth, we’ve traveled and worked from United States, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Transnistria, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico, and Italy.

My personal favorite is either Como, Italy or St Petersburg, Russia. Anya really liked Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

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

I personally prefer coffee shops over any other place. I like the ambience and the white noise, it helps me focus. Anya prefers working from the quiet of home but usually joins me at a coffeeshop when I go out. I tried coworking spaces, but it’s sometimes distracting to me.

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

We want to live in every continent before we settle down. Next up on our travel list is Poland, Russia, Mongolia, Thailand, New Zealand, Namibia, Argentina, and finally Antarctica, although we’ll probably only stay there a week or so!

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

Good luck, dinosaurs!

No, seriously I think that it is fine for some companies to not hire remote employees. Different companies have different cultures and, to be honest, not everyone wants to travel or work remotely. I’m glad that technology is enabling more of us to work from anywhere, and I think that will soon be the norm, but there will always be traditional offices.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

If it weren’t for Google Sheets, our company probably wouldn’t exist. We actively try to stay away from a lot of extraneous tools. Spreadsheets run our entire operation.

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

As an American, I’m subject to the frustrating requirement of paying American taxes regardless of where I live. Our company is incorporated back in the US and we do all our business legalese stuff there. We head back to the US several times a year anyway, so it’s not too difficult.

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

First, make sure you’ve got a solid network of colleagues to support you. If you’re going solo, make sure you can still onboard new clients remotely. If you’re working for a company, try to get some actual face time with your bosses and colleagues because sometimes video calls don’t cut it. If friction ever arises in your job, it’s so much easier dealing with people if you’ve had a beer or two after work with them.

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