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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Ah, there’s so much I’m still figuring out myself. Overall I would just recommend to constantly be learning.
If you’re running a freelancing business, you should always be trying to grow in both your craft and your business knowledge.
I have a few freelancer podcasts that I like to follow, and I have recently started listening to business and creative audiobooks in the car.
I already know that I was able to avoid a couple of common mistakes by just hearing other people’s stories of how they started and grew their freelancing business.
I know it’s easy to feel like you are way too busy with work to be growing in your knowledge, but education can take you further faster. If you’re already reading this blog, you’re probably on the right track!
Erin is a videographer who carved out a successful freelancing niche—see how she optimizes her time and plans for the ups and downs of freelance work.
Read full interview from Interview with Erin, a videographer who found her freelancing niche.
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