Interview with Krystian Szastok

Krystian SzastokKrystian Szastok is an independent SEO consultant who works remotely. You can find him in his Website as well as LinkedIn and Twitter

1. How did you started working remotely?  

I had this contract in a large company and when I worked alongside the staff there, day in day out, they all kept saying ‘I wish I was an SEO consultant like you, you can work from anywhere’. It was like a mantra, before that I was tied to UK as I worked for the agencies there, but since going freelance, they made me realise, I CAN work from anywhere.

Then there was a case of picking my first destination – it was Barcelona.

2. What are the main advantages that you find that remote work has? 

The ability to work from home and not having to commute to an office, if you don’t want to.

I find having my own space, without any distractions, set up in a very boring predictable way is what makes me most productive. 

If there is sun outside I can go and read a book for a while or go for a swim, I can do it. I set my own hours and workplace.

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

Collaborating with others side by side and learning different approaches is what I miss probably the most.

Having a team around you or talented people around, is what can really give daily breakthroughs. Learning from others productivity habits etc.

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

Countries and cities mixed: Barcelona, Madrid, Tarragona – in Spain, Poland: Warsaw, Bali: Ubud, Vietnam: Saigon and Hanoi, Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Thailand briefly and Russia: Khabarovsk and St Petersburg.

Favourite so far Tarragona and Torredembarra in Spain. But recently Madrid really grew on me!

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

Definitely prefer working from home, even though I worked from some beautiful and really cool coworking spaces in Barcelona. I just don’t really call ‘work’ ‘work’ it’s just life for me, so for me to sit in an office is really difficult these days.

6. What places would you like to travel to while working remotely or working from? 

United States is on my list for 2020.

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

I’d say they’re missing out on more affordable talent. They’re also damaging their workers motivation and spark. I know quite a few people who commute for 1.5 hrs one way to work! Imagine if you’re a big business and your workforce is tired and demotivated, because it was raining this morning, cold and the train was late 30 minutes, meaning now they have to stay in the office for longer and they’ve spent over two hours reaching the workplace.

With 5g on our doorstep and perfect video conferencing with screensharing every company should embrace remote working.

8. What tools do you use to work remotely?

Mostly Trello and Zoom for the calls. I like it as it has a recording function, screen sharing, international dial in numbers etc. And trello as it’s so simple to use with clients and easy to run through on calls.

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

Taxes = I hired really good accountants who don’t mind me working with them remotely.

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

Always improve things and review them. Be adaptable, as this is what our times are all about, being able to stay agile and keep adapting to the changes around us. Learn from others and embrace the fact you may be wrong on so many things, and others may have better solutions. So don’t just stick to old ways of working and doing things, always research more, meet people and learn from them.

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