Interview with Johannes Larsson

Johannes LarssonJohannes Larsson is an online marketing entrepreneur running several online businesses. His main project is a financial comparison website which is currently active in 26 markets around the world. He also has his own blog where he shares his story and helps others reach their dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. You can find him through his site and Instagram.

1. How do you start working remotely? 

After leaving school, I didn’t want to continue with education route like many of my peers and I knew that I had to find another path to go down. At the age of 15, I set up my first online marketing project. Through this, I quickly began to notice how much potential there was in the industry and I used this mindset to step out of the academic bubble and make a change in my life. So, I decided to travel the world and continue to build my own location-independent business.

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

I feel there are many benefits to working remotely. However, flexibility and opportunities are my top two. Since working as an online entrepreneur since 2010 I have been able to travel the world and work remotely, which has granted opportunities that some could only imagine.

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

There are definitely downsides. Biggest one being the social aspect, and getting to know the people you work with. It’s slightly more difficult to build up a company culture and strong team spirit. However, we counter-balance this with work retreats, and other regular team meetings.

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

I Since 2010, I have travelled all over the world whilst working remotely from my laptop. From the beautiful beaches of Asia to my cold home country of Sweden, I enjoy the diversity of different working environments.

My personal favourites for remote working are Thailand and Bali. The two places have good entrepreneur and digital nomad communities, as well as numerous coworking spaces.

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

I have an office in my villa where I do most of my work. Working at home is great as I can choose a work schedule that fits my lifestyle.

I also have a workspace in my local town where my team can work and collaborate together on projects. It is also a great place to host meetings and provides an opportunity to bring the team together.

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

Right now, I don’t really have any place in particular that I want to go to. I enjoy visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. In the future, I’d love to discover all kinds of places, anywhere from Hawaii to Iceland. The opportunities are limitless.

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

I would say that they need to reconsider that. It’s true that not all companies, and especially not all roles within a company, should be on a remote basis.

However, many employees really thrive having more freedom, and in return becomes more loyal and valuable to the company. If there are positions within a company that are location independent, it makes no sense to tie people down to a location.

8. What tools do you use to work remotely?

To communicate with my team, I tend to use Slack as it’s a great tool for pretty much everything! I also use Trello for task setting and keeping on top of workload. It’s a great programme for everyone to see what needs to be done, what is expected and who is working on what.

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

I originally set my company up in Malta. This was a natural choice for me as I lived there for 5 years. Also, the country offers low tax pressure, which was (and still is!) a huge plus point. Despite not living in Malta anymore, I decided to keep my Maltese company due to the many benefits it brings.

Generally, I would recommend Malta, Cyprus or Estonia as a good base for your company as a remote worker. However, the benefits are largely dependent on where you are tax resident, so this needs to be a consideration.

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

In my opinion, all companies, but especially remote based companies, can really thrive with creating performance based salaries. Many times, remote workers are more inclined to be positively motivated by getting paid in direct proportion to the value they give, and such model could be beneficial for both the worker and the company.

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