I’ve been working remotely for 20 years, and have done so in a variety of capacities.
I’ve managed distributed teams and been a solo contributor. Ive worked from spare bedrooms, dedicated offices, coffee shops and back porches.
The last bit of advice I have is to be a lifelong learner.
What fuels you? Working remotely can afford you the time and energy to pursue some of those things, so don’t wait for it. Make a plan.
If you want to learn a new technical skill online, pick up the guitar, join a community group, start drawing or build something in the garage … go for it. I have seldom worked on something that hasn’t influence my paid gig in some way.
Scott is a designer and developer that's been working remotely since 1998, read his interview to learn how he's been successful
Read full interview from Interview with Scott about working remotely for 20 years.
Don't try to force remote work into a work culture that actively or passively opposes it.
If the vast majority of your organisation, division or team are not remote you are going to have a really tough time being included in conversations (unless they are already mostly happening in places like Slack and GitHub).
Make sure you ask tough questions about such topics in your interview process so you don't end up somewhere unfriendly to remote folks by mistake.
Mike got started with remote work after getting an offer from his dream organisation. Learn how he works remotely while working on open source projects and publishing books.
Read full interview from Interview with Mike, a software engineer who works remotely at GitHub.
The first thing I advise remote workers to do is to have a set space to work as well as boundaries, preferably something with four walls to help draw the line between home and office.
But if you don't have four walls, try creating a perimeter with a desk and computer.
Get into a routine of when you start and stop work and take breaks including standing breaks every hour. (A smartwatch is great for reminding you.)
Ensure you have the right tools and technology including an ergonomic-friendly desk space. Make the space yours.
Meryl K. Evans is skilled at creating a home office that leads to remote work flexibility. See her advice for creating a successful workspace, and hear about her journey into freelancing.
Read full interview from Interview with Meryl, a digital marketer and master of home office organization.
Be lucky :)
But seriously, luck played a lot of a role in the bigger contracts I got. Work hard, but don't be afraid to throw out that post about whatever you're writing, or try to sell some hours on a popular community site, or apply for that job. You never know what's going to get you in the door somewhere, or put you on someone's radar, or give you that next idea to run with.
Work hard, don't mess around, be straight. This advice applies even if you were an employee, but it's even more important as a remote worker. Your boss / client can't see you work, so they only have how they perceive you're working to go off of. Always communicate, before you start a project, as you work through it, when you're ready to sign off. Involve people in the process of your work, share your progress, always make sure they know what you're on and how it's going.
Being remote means they can't tell how things are going as easily, so be the person to let them know. I cannot stress how important this is, regardless of if the projects are going well or poorly. As long as you are straightforward with where you are and any challenges you might be running into, you're in a good place. You can't cover that stuff up. Don't skip owning mistakes.
Build a reputation as someone who they can trust to tell them the real state of the project.
Learn the tips and tricks Ben uses to stay productive while working remotely on a hybrid team
Read full interview from Interview with Ben, a web developer who freelances from home.
My advice is to stay connected with the people you work with and develop bonds with them.
You don't have to be best friends, but when you find common ground with people you work with (or for) and when you discover and establish that you're working toward the same goal, you'll find your passion and motivation increase.
Create and encourage a team environment and you'll find joy in your work.
Laura Coronado discusses her method for juggling her career as a communications specialist by day and her side hustle as a freelance travel writer by night.
Read full interview from Interview with Laura, a communications specialist and travel writer by night.
One thing I hear a lot is, "how do I get a remote job?" However, that's not the right question. The question you need to ask is, "how can I use my existing skills to work remotely?"
So, if you're just starting out, my advice is to work with what you know and go from there. Look at it like any other job/career choice and search for work you're passionate about and experienced in, not just the fact that it's remote-based.
In terms of the actual work, I think you need to have a strong degree of self-awareness in relation to your strengths and weaknesses and be brutally honest with yourself at all times.
You have to be comfortable and confident about working autonomously and managing your own schedule, so it's really important to focus on building your time management skills.
Communication is another big one. It's more important to over-communicate than run the risk of getting your wires crossed or be misunderstood (this is so common when you're communicating solely online!). As silly as it sounds, an emoticon at the end of a message can go a long way.
Grainne's freelance work led to her landing a remote work job—see how she manages distractions and balances her work with Buckets.co and her clients.
Read full interview from Interview with Grainne, a professional writer and content marketing manager who works remotely.
I truly believe that remote work is the future of work in general. I’ve developed some really bad habits over the last six years - be ye not so stupid.
Take the time to enjoy the benefits of remote work like setting your own office hours, but do remember to set them, and establish a few boundaries for yourself along the way.
I also recommend using tools that make you happy - even if you have to spend a bit of money on them. I walk into the studio every single day and smile at my ultra-nerdy set-up.
I look forward to working from my various computers and devices, using software and tools that are appropriate for the task at hand. Don’t be tempted to try and run a business using free or limited versions of the apps you need to deliver excellent work.
Elizabeth provides the ultimate list of tips for aspiring freelancers and remote workers. Check out her game-changing tools, and advice for thriving as a freelancer.
Read full interview from Interview with Elizabeth, a graphic designer and art director.
Communication, communication, communication. Have set methods for providing daily updates, meeting weekly, and staying on the same page with clients.
The more you stress communication upfront, the stronger the relationship could become over the long run.
You could be the best at what you do, but if you can’t communicate, you’ll struggle with remote work.
Thinking of creating your own remote startup? See how Nathan and Connor built a successful and effective remote team from scratch.
Read full interview from Interview with Nathan and Connor, owners of Freeeup.
"With great power comes great responsibility." So, if you are a remote worker or looking to be one, make sure that you take this opportunity with both hands and double up your output as well.
Ayush is a CEO that is committed to helping companies build successful remote teams—see his process and tips for developing location independent teams that thrive.
Read full interview from Interview with Ayush, a CEO and avid remote team builder.
Get organized!! Set a schedule and try to stick to it regularly. Have a set start time, and include breaks as well as an end time for the day.
Be prepared to have conversations with family and friends about the boundaries of work time.
That's a real conversation I've had with family who thinks that because I am home, I'm not working. Be firm and know that remote work means flexible hours, but if you don't work during the day, you might be pulling all-nighters to complete tasks.
Also, get out of the house to work. Change your scenery. Find a coffee shop (with wifi) or a library where it's productive to work.
Lastly, find a remote work buddy to work alongside. Being remote doesn't mean you can't be sociable!
It takes a minute to find your rhythm in a new remote position—hear how Alaina organizes her time to hit the ground running in a new remote work job.
Read full interview from Interview with Alaina, a nonprofit program state director.
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