Interview with Reinis Sietins

Reinis SietinsReinis Sietins is a remote based legal consultant and owner at Gate to Baltics. You can find him in twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook too.

1. How did you start working remotely? 

I guess it happened automatically. We have offices in Riga and Tallinn and I have to manage them remotely by default. At one point I realised that I don’t actually need to be in the office all the time. All I need is a computer and internet connection and I am good to go.

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

Freedom. You are able to set up your own time table and stick to it.

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

Freedom can be disadvantage as well. One must have a good discipline to be able to work remotely. Usually there is no one who is constantly checking up on you and without discipline you might get lost or slip a bit too far from your duties.

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

I have worked from Orlando, Rome, Vienna, Tuscany (yeah, I know, not a city), Warsaw, Hamburg, Prague, Tallinn, Riga.  My favourite is Vienna because of the great infrastructure and very open people.

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

I don’t like to work in crowds. This eliminates co-working spaces and coffee shops. I usually book an airbnb with office table and space to work. This gives me sort of a home office feeling during the day and in the evening I am able to go out and enjoy the city.

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

I’d like to travel to New Zealand while working remotely. This is definitely on top of my bucket list.

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

Depends on the company. I am not saying that everyone is able to work remotely, as there are simply professions where you must be present. For example, cashier shouldn’t be working remotely 🙂

But when it is possible, I would recommend to companies to offer remote work option to their employees, because by doing that it is possible to create a bond of trust among each other. However, every case is different and I guess that there are people who lack discipline and shouldn’t be working remotely.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

As a legal consultant, my most important tool is computer, internet and phone. With regards to video conferences, I am using Zoom or Skype. If it comes to audio conferences, I am usually using WhatsApp or Telegram. I am sharing working schedules on cloud calendar with my co-workers.

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

I have a company in Estonia. As a legal consultant who has worked 10+ years in international financial consulting company, I have learned a great deal about various jurisdictions and remote company management. Estonia so far is the best option how to manage taxes and work remotely.

Not only there is great tax system – taxes are applied only on distributed profit. This means, that trip to Rome, Orlando or Vienna is a business related trip and it is possible to pay for it with company’s card. I find this system extremely beneficial for digital nomads who wish to travel and expand their business operations.

The next big advantage is e-Residency. You don’t have to be Estonian (I am not) to get e-Residency. When you have it, you can manage all your tax affairs and other corporate things 100% online.

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

As I mentioned above, it always depends on type of work you are doing. You must know that sometimes it might get lonely, if you are used to work all the time in the office. However, for these situations are co-working rooms. For companies, I would suggest to be more flexible, because if you won’t do it, then the next guy probably will 🙂

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