Interview with Roey Skif

Roey Skif is a remote based, freelance SEO Consultant, working to establish a new SEO company based in Colombia. You can find him at TL;DR SEO, twitter and LinkedIn.

1. How did you started working remotely? 

It definitely wasn’t expected

I was the head of SEO for more than 5 years at Operad, a digital agency based in Tel Aviv.
I took a full month vacation during 2016 I was traveling in Colombia in 2016 and fell in love with the country and the people.

While sailing in the Amazon river I was thinking to myself: “damn, I can work from here. Why wouldn’t I do it?

I was lucky enough that my company had offered me to do a part-time job as a remote consultant to the company while working also on other SEO projects.

Fast forward, 6 months later I was on a plane to my new home.

After that, I have never looked back.

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

It literally had changed my life and my perspective.
It enables me to see other cultures, to master my Spanish (which didn’t exist before), and to meet many great and inspiring people.

The world is huge, so why stay in the same place?

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

Mostly it’s manageable, but the time zones.
For some clients I need to wake up early to make up for the last meeting (I’m not a morning person) and for some, it will be in the late hours of my day.

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

For now, mostly in Bogota in Colombia, which I find as an amazing city,
Considering going to Brazil to study Portuguese there (as a fourth language) meantime I’m working.

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

WeWork, like most of the world, has taken over Bogota. So I’m working from the 13th floor on WeWork . With an incredible view to the Andes, and free beer and coffee, you really can’t ask for more.

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

I would like to discover eventually all South America.
However, I’m more keen to keep Bogota as my home base, and to travel while I can laptopless.

Trying not to combine business with pleasure 🙂

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

I have one employee in Bogota who just asked me to go to Sao Paulo for 3 months to do a course there and I approved it.

You can be at work from 9 to 5 and still be all day on Facebook and vice versa. As an employee, I always was looking for trust-worthy people before all.

If you can’t trust your employees, don’t hire them. period.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

  • Trello – project management working with clients
  • Toggl – to monitor my working hours
  • Forest – not necessary, just a fun way to gamify the process

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

I have two accountants – one in Israel and one in Colombia. Although I have a bachelor in Economics I hate handling this – that’s why I’m paying them for.

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

  1. Be responsible for your time – you are your own boss right now
  2. Be aware of your client’s timeline and manage your meeting accordingly.
  3. Email is not the solution for everything – make calls, you will be amazed at what’s the difference
  4. Keep in touch with the family and friends back home – always value what you have back home regardless how much you like your new home
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