1. How did you start working remotely?
A year ago (April 2018) I left my role as Director of SEO at Postmates, and after that, I was looking to be a consultant for a bit until RVshare relatively soon reached to me for my current position.
Early in the process, we figured out that I wasn’t going to move to one of their offices in either Akron, OH or Austin, TX and that my role would be remote with the rest of the team spread across the United States. That was my first encounter with being a remote worker, and while I was a bit skeptic at first, I do think a year later that it’s a great switch.
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?
I see two big upsides from working remotely versus working in an office environment:
- You save a lot of time during the day, think about the time that you spend commuting to work, I don’t have that. And while I always worked relatively close to my jobs, previously it does save at least 30-45 minutes a day not having to deal with that. That’s a pretty big time saver in my opinion.
- Although I hate the word ‘flexibility’ as it’s so broad, it does give you the ability to change your schedule often a bit more. Some weeks when I’m not on the road I still try to start early to get as much overlap with my team (who’s mainly on the East coast) as possible, while other weeks I get up a bit later and spend some more time on strategy.
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?
There are some. The main one for me is that you still need to make sure to meet & engage with people in real life. It can be hard from time to time to be able to do that but working from a coffee shop or coworking space gives you back most of that.
4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote?
My wife and I are lucky to be able to travel a lot (for work). So, just in the past year, we’ve been working from Indonesia, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Canada. My favorite was likely Indonesia (but do realize their broadband internet is different from yours at home).
5. From what type of place do you prefer to work?
Airplanes? I fly a lot, to meet with our teams in different offices and likely the ability to turn off everything and spend time in the air working is excellent. Second would probably be from a coffee shop. At the moment I’m looking for a place in between that, which is likely going to be a coworking space.
6. To what places would you like to travel to while working remotely?
I’d like to see even more from the United States but also working more from Europe wouldn’t be a bad idea, most of the timezones there still make it pretty easy to get some work done with my team on the East coast.
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?
Do you want to hire the best talent and are you convinced they all live within 45 minutes from your office? The answer is NO. So if you’re going to get these people to join your company, you’ll have to be more flexible to work with them. That’s not something that will work for every company, but if you’re ready for it, it might be the right way to get the best people to join and likely be able to retain them longer as well.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?
Videoconferencing tools like BlueJeans, Google Hangouts, Slack, Skype, etc. They’re fundamental while working remotely as you have to stay in touch with the people that you work with. You get good at remembering timezones easily.
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?
It’s not a problem, as I’m still based out out California, USA all our official paperwork flows through that.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?
Make sure you have the right process, mindset, and structure in place to support it. If your team always comes together at 9 AM in the morning for a team meeting and you just hired somebody on the other side of the country remote, change your meeting times. In the end, you’re now going to have to support a lot more things that you didn’t think of before, but it will pay itself back quickly.
You have to make sure that the people you work remotely with get the same attention as the people you work in an office with so the same perks, benefits, etc. also have to apply to them.