Interview with Sarah Archer

Sarah Archer - Content Marketing Manager, Siege MediaSarah Archer is a remote based Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media. You can find her in LinkedIn.

1. How did you started working remotely? 

I’ve always dreamed of traveling and working remotely, but have never wanted it to take away from progressing in my career. After working for a few years in PR, a profession where my time zone and availability to travel remotely for work was essential to my role, I transitioned to working in content marketing and SEO, where my location didn’t affect my growth.

I currently work for Siege Media, an incredibly progressive and fast-growing content marketing agency headquartered in San Diego, CA. After two years of building confidence with the process, people, culture and clients at Siege while working in-office, I pitched the CEO on working remote full-time.

I shared how being remote could benefit the company, what my value is, how I would manage my role and workload virtually, and what he could expect from me communication and time zone wise. He approved immediately and we devised a plan on how I could smoothly make the switch.

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

From my perspective, the biggest advantage is having no commute and the flexibility to work from anywhere. My work-life balance and healthy habits have improved significantly with the ability to choose where I set up for the day. For example, if I want to make a 5:15 PM work out class, I can work from the coffee shop next door without worrying about beating traffic.

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

The biggest disadvantage to working remotely is the lack of face-to-face communication during the workday, and as a social person, it took me time to adjust to that new reality. To combat loneliness, I often work from coworking spaces or coffee shops, where I’m always surrounded by people. Additionally, I make an effort to go to daily workout classes, which gives me that feeling of camaraderie.

If you’re working on a different time zone, you’ll also have to adjust your schedule to easily communicate with your team. I’ve had conference calls at 6 AM and 9 PM depending on where I was located at the time. Some people may see this as a disadvantage, but I find it to be a worthwhile trade off.

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

I’ve worked full-time from England, Portugal, Indonesia and various cities around the U.S. One of my favorite cities to work from is Canggu, Bali — a quintessential digital nomad hub. It’s one of the most popular remote work locations in the world for a good reason. There are endless opportunities to meet like minded people at coliving and coworking spaces, as well as cafes around the city. And, you can’t beat the feeling of riding your moped to your work destination every morning.

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

I like to switch it up! I prefer to work from coworking spaces if I’m new a city since they often offer networking opportunities and activities after work hours. If I’m in a familiar city, I split my week working from a coffee shop and my accommodation.

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

I enjoy staying at coliving spaces while traveling and working remotely, so I typically base my location off of the coliving community in each city. My next destination will be Spain, where I plan to split my time between Madrid, Barcelona and Jávea.

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

I’d recommend that they don’t knock it until they weigh the pros and cons of hiring remote employees. Not everyone will thrive in a remote environment, so it’s important to hire someone who can prove that they’re a self-starter and have a hard work ethic. I believe it’s up to the employee or applicant to prove that to their current or potential employer.

I wrote this piece that covers the benefits of hiring remote employees such as higher retention rates, increased productivity and lower overhead, which is a great place to start if your company is considering hiring remotely.

8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I use a variety of tools while working remotely for project management and communication including Slack, Zoom, Basecamp and G Suite.

I also believe your physical set up is important to successfully working remote. I always travel with my MacBook Pro, Roost laptop stand, Apple magic keyboard and mouse, mouse pad and Sony sound cancelling headphones.

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

I’m a full-time employee and have a home office in the U.S. where I also work from, so that helps from a tax perspective.

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

If you’re an employee in good standing at your company, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d be open to you transitioning to a fully remote role. If it’s new for your company, suggest starting with working remote from 1-2 days per week and prove to them that you can be productive and trusted.

As for employers, learn more about how remote workers can benefit your company. Consider how it can widen your pool of applicants outside of your office location.

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