1. How did you start working remotely?
After 15 years of working in-house for various fantastic companies including Zoopla, uSwitch, Thomson Reuters or HomeAway I moved to Dagenham where I purchased house. Commuting was really killing me. 1.5 hour one way means 3 hours a day x 5 days its… 15 hours in a train.
I also became a father at end of 2018 and wanted to see my daughter growing. Additionally I spent last 6.5 years in uSwitch/Zoopla so I decided that it is possibly the best time to move on my own.
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?
You have fridge next to the table you working from 😉 Ok, let me be more serious. So there is no commuting and most of meeting I am arranging through Google Meet or sometimes Skype. Then I have enough time to go for a walk around Becontree which is part of Dagenham I am living at the moment with my wife and daughter. That peaceful area keeps me really up.
With no rush and stress I can walk to park which is behind my house where I think about new, exciting ideas I can implement on my client’s website to help with organic performance. Then I don’t need to commute back home. I am just closing my laptop and I am in the home-mode 🙂
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?
These are still early days. I however believe on some point I may be missing chatting to people in office. To avoid that I am in very good relation with all local business owner here in Becontree. I am sometimes going there to chit-chat about how their business may perform better or what challenges they face day to day.
4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? Which has been your favorite one?
I am working mostly from UK but also from various locations when I have meeting with clients or conferences. Recently I visited Szczecin. Soon may go to Yerevan or Moscow. I am also going to India for 5 weeks and Poland for 4 weeks to visit my family. In both location I have ultra-hyper-fast internet connection waiting for me as my family members know I am super-nerd who needs to be connected to work.
5. From which type of place do you prefer to work?
Hotel lobbies are the best because these are the most quiet. Coffees are noisy, coworking spaces aren’t free. In hotel lobby I am ordering coffee or pint of cold London Pride and I can work, have a call and more. London based Grange Hotel (where few times we had UnGagged conference) and CitizenM near Tower Hill are my fav. There is however one cool coffee I can recommend everyone to go at least once. It’s called Gentleman Baristas located at Union Street near Southwark.
6. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely?
I believe India is one of my absolutely fav place. Vadodara in Gujurat where I am traveling frequently is a very peaceful place with friendly people. Also lets be honest, prices… everything is much cheaper than in Europe.
In Europe then I love Italy and Portugal. This year we are going to visit Tuscany. It looks like a perfect place to work in peace.
Also I must say that Poland where I am originally from is perfect location for remote work. Maybe not Krakow or Warsaw because these places offers so much you may find this distracting. Think about Mazury or Roztocze (Google this and see images – you will understand what I am talking about 🙂 )
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?
It is 2019! Retail is dying, in 10 years most of cars will be electric self driven autonomous vehicles. A new era is here. Working from office may often be a bit like working in XIX century post-industrial revolution era factory. There is less and less space for people and companies who want employees to log in 09:00 and log out 5:30.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?
Oh! Aside of my typical SEO workshop I am using few to make my day to day more organised. Calendly <3 would not be able to live without. Google Calendar obviously. Google Meet, Skype, Skype for Business, Zoom and Face Time (different clients has different preferences regarding to how to handle video conference). I am testing mojohelpdesk to start ticketing emails from customers. Then I have PipeDrive that I am using as CRM to store all in-bound leads. I have much higher closing ration once I started using PipeDrive. Also Google Drive and Dropbox. Finally my 15 inches Mac is my second brain.
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?
In the last 11 years I am living in UK and two years ago I become British citizen. I am paying taxes here for few reasons. First I know how taxes works here, second is that I am not leaving country for longer than few weeks so there is no sense to move taxation. And I have fantastic accountants who are more like advisors. They deal with my VAT and income tax when I am busy in fantastic world of SEO.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?
Let me repeat what Aleyda Solis told me shortly after I moved to be on my own – It will be difficult to understand for you how could you be in-house for so many years. That is indeed true. But obviously there is other side of the coin. Whoever want to move to work remotely should have a bit of in-house (even corporate) experience. Clients really expect high quality of work they paying for. In-house period is something like a great lessons how to be organized, how to work under stress and how to be a team player.
At the end – thanks a lot for giving me opportunity to answer all these questions. Hope I helped some of readers to take right next step. And if any questions, let me know via LinkedIn (link is somewhere in this interview) 🙂
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