1. How did you started working remotely?
I have always had a strong interest in travel as well as in international issues. After working very intensively for 4 years as a lawyer in Paris law firm, I decided to travel around the world in 2016. I then had the opportunity to meet many remote workers and the idea of being a lawyer who works remotely germinated.
Upon my return I began to explore the possibilities to do so, which was not easy because a lawyer remains traditionally attached to the country where he is admitted to practice. Also, lawyers traditionally work from a physical office.
Finally, I created the opportunity to carry out my first experience as a remote attorney in Medellin, Colombia for 4 months. After this experience I joined Squair which business model provides me with a great freedom as to where I work.
Currently, I am in Spain and have started a blog on digital nomad lawyers that I call “DigitaLawyer”
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?
Freedom and autonomy. You can adjust your schedule, avoid the “metro-work-sleep”routine, explore other cultures, eat local specialities, simply live better, while having a French income.
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?
Isolation can be one of the greatest disadvantages. I can sometimes miss going to an office and building strong relationships with colleagues. Finally, the fact of travelling so much brings a certain degree of instability that you have to deal with.
Fortunately, this isolation can be overcome, in my opinion, in two ways: by going to a coworking and staying in places in a more sustainable way to forge less superficial bonds. I think that periods of 4 to 6 months are a minimum. Also it is important to keep a strong link with your colleagues back home and to come back on a regular basis.
It is also necessary to consider the impact of jet lag. In Colombia I usually started at 5am to work with my colleagues at a normal time in France.
4. From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote?
I have travelled all over the world and visited more than 30 countries but I have really worked as a Digitalawyer from Paris of course, also from La Ceja (small village), Medellin and Santa Marta (Colombia), a short stint in Florence (Italy) and Bali (Indonesia) and for the last month in Valencia (Spain).
5. From what type of place do you prefer to work?
I think it is better to combine both. There is nothing better than being able to say to yourself that you will be able to work from a café in front of the beach one day and the other day to meet your coworkers and a more traditional work environment
6. What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?
Preferably a place with sunshine, close to France where my customers are mainly located. Spain is ideal but why not one day go to Lisbon to learn Portuguese?
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?
How inevitable the digital nomad movement is. The new generations were born with the Internet and a keen sense of travel and discovery and will always prefer to opt for a company that offers this possibility.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?
For me, as a lawyer, Adobe Acrobat Professional is the best tool to stamp my documents, modify them and sign them.
ScanScanner is also an application I use frequently: it allows me to scan parts and put them on PDF quickly by simply taking a photo
Shareplace is also a very useful app. It’s a tool that securely centralizes all types of content (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, PDF, links, videos…) which is crucial for lawyers as we are under a strong obligation of professional secrecy.
I also take a French number with Skype so that my customers don’t pay extra when they call me. Of course Whatsapp, very useful to call for free anywhere in the world.
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?
For my part, I remain registered in my country as I come back home on a regular basis.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?
For people who want to work remotely, the biggest challenge is isolation. I advise them to go to a coworking space because it allows them to be surrounded by others, to meet local people in a working environment.
For companies, there will certainly be a time of adaptation but it is a long-term investment: the costs related to employees are reduced and promoting the freedom of employees to work remotely allows them to develop personally, reduce resignations and avoid costly staff turnover.