What do you not like about remote work?

Question: What do you not like about remote work? Read answers from remote workers to learn.

Interview with John, a full-stack web developer who works remotely

The only thing I don't like is the volatility, you can have work one day, then no the next.

John works remotely while using the latest web development technologies, learn how he works by reading his interview.

Read full interview from Interview with John, a full-stack web developer who works remotely.


Interview with Scott about working remotely for 20 years

Working remotely can be isolating. I’m an introvert, and even for me the silence can get to be a bit too much. It helps to have someone else in the space with you: a spouse, significant other or another co-worker.

It’s important to make connections, so I make a point to schedule coffee, hikes or other social things with friends.

Just stepping out once for a coffee midday is a really good way to counter some of that feeling of isolation.

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.


Interview with Nikita, an entrepreneur building a website to learn anything

I like working with people and solving problems together. Brainstorming on white boards and generally talking with other people about interesting things.

Remote communication lacks the human element I find.

Nikita is an entrepreneur working on his startup while optimizing his productivity—learn how he organizes his life and work to maximize happiness

Read full interview from Interview with Nikita, an entrepreneur building a website to learn anything.


Interview with Ayesha, a freelance writer that gained early clients through her blog

I find that remote working lacks a support system.

You don’t have someone you can pass off the work to if you aren’t feeling well or you have an emergency.

Emergencies happen. And when you’re working remotely, most clients expect you to be more punctual with your deadlines.

Ayesha is a freelance content writer—learn how she made the leap to remote work while building her blog and raising her family

Read full interview from Interview with Ayesha, a freelance writer that gained early clients through her blog.


Interview with Chanell, a freelance writer and social media manager

One of the issues I have with remote work is more so unique to freelance work. As a freelancer, it can be difficult to understand the state and tax laws: paying quarterly, estimated vs. actual earnings, and paying online.

This situation has been a bit of a challenge I have had to get used to and learn a lot about.

The other issue is the isolation. I am an introvert by nature, so working alone is not a problem for me. However, there are times where it would be nice to work with someone who is in a similar situation. I have made a practice of having co-working days with old college friends and attending lunches with professional contacts to combat these feelings.

Chanell is a freelance writer working from Atlanta that writes about business management tips and video game entertainment threads.

Read full interview from Interview with Chanell, a freelance writer and social media manager.


Interview with Adam, a UX engineer building his own consulting company

I am extroverted so I definitely find the isolation to be difficult at times.

Luckily, having a dedicated office space in a co-working office helps alleviate that loneliness.

Because I have that flexibility (and membership also includes perks like free coffee), that takes care of any of the downsides I would normally have with remote work. It's actually pretty great!

Learn how Adam started working remotely from a cold-email on Hacker News, to how he's using a local co-working space to grow his business.

Read full interview from Interview with Adam, a UX engineer building his own consulting company.


Interview with Deb, a sales copywriter who transitioned from software development

There are a few downsides about remote work, in my view these are:

  • The feast or famine cycle – At times I’ve had more work than I can handle, at other times I’ve had to go weeks before I got a proper project. This can be a challenge at times.
  • The absence of face to face interaction with colleagues – One of the biggest drawbacks of remote work is working on my own. Feeling isolated is a reality especially when I am doing a long-term project which means I am tied to my laptop for weeks on end.
  • Building fresh client relationships from scratch – Its not just getting a project, executing it and moving on to the next one. Its all about building new client relationships each time you bid for a project so that you can sell your skills to them. If your wavelength and your client’s wavelength doesn’t match, then you could face a problem.
  • Clients ending projects abruptly – A couple of times I’ve faced the situation of clients ending projects abruptly. One time, there was this client who’d signed me up for a 6 month plus project asking for a firm commitment from me for 38 hours per week. As a result, I declined a lot of other projects, after starting that one. Imagine my situation after a month when the client told me that he had to end the project even though my work had been exemplary. The reason he gave me was that he was facing a sudden cash crunch because of some another project that he had to work on. Not a very happy situation for me to be in!
  • Clients not paying on time or not paying at all – I have been reasonably lucky to have been paid by clients most of the time. However, there have been a couple of instances (outside of Upwork), when the client disappeared without paying me after I did my work and gave it to them. Another instance, I had to follow up with the client for 2 months before I got the payment.
  • No company sponsored benefits – As a freelancer, I have to grapple with not having access to any benefits that are usually provided by companies. So, I don’t have any company sponsored medical insurance, pension plan, paid leave, sick leave.
  • Juggling multiple clients – I don’t have one boss to answer to which can be an issue sometimes. At times I have more than one client (max I’ve dealt with at the same time is 7 clients). Each client’s work is equally important, and I have to deal with managing their expectations, responding to all of them promptly, and ensuring that they are satisfied with my deliverables. Doing this can be a mental strain.
  • Having to take care of all the business aspects myself – Since I am a one-man shop, I have to take care of all the business aspects myself. From marketing, sales, invoicing (when not working on Upwork), troubleshooting technology, keeping track of tax deductible expenses etc.
  • No one to back me up if I am injured or sick – A very big problem when working as a remote worker. As an employee of a company, I used to have colleagues who would take up the slack if I was unwell. But, as a remote worker this can be a major issue. I’ve lost one large project because I was out of action for 2 weeks due to sickness.

Deb made the jump from full-time software developer to freelance sales copywriter—learn how he made the transition.

Read full interview from Interview with Deb, a sales copywriter who transitioned from software development.


Interview with Jenna, a freelance writer who works remotely to help manage her health

I guess it can be a bit lonely at times, since interacting with coworkers face-to-face is no longer a huge part of my day.

I lean towards that being more of a good thing than a bad thing, though, because I’m so introverted, and I can always see friends when I need to.

Also, working remotely forces me to be self-motivating and hold myself accountable, and that can be a challenge at times, especially when dealing with depression.

As a freelancer in particular, I have to get used to putting myself out there, and dealing with a lot of rejection, which can be really emotionally difficult.

I knew that going in though, so I prepared myself, but there are certain days where it still gets me down.

Jenna started working remotely after realizing her office job was causing health problems—now she works as a freelance writer and writes about self-improvement

Read full interview from Interview with Jenna, a freelance writer who works remotely to help manage her health.


Interview with Hanling, a data scientist that works remotely on machine learning

If we have a long-term remote job to dedicate in, that's absolutely ideal. But the more cases freelancers experience are that they have to keep on looking for new jobs.

We have to waste a lot of time viewing and applying for jobs. And we may spend a lot of time analyzing the problem clients proposed, chatting with clients to know details and making bids but to find they have a surprising low budget or short time frame, or they are just consulting multiple people without the aim to pay.

These make me feel distressed.

So what remote work frustrates me most is not having steady work to do and wasting time looking for new jobs.

Hanling started working remotely as a student and now does freelance machine learning and data analysis for clients all around the world.

Read full interview from Interview with Hanling, a data scientist that works remotely on machine learning.


Interview with Alexandra, a freelance fashion designer building her own brand

I had to learn to manage my time and to learn to be stricter with myself at the beginning but that is not an issue anymore.

At the moment, I really enjoy working remotely because it gives me enough freedom to focus on my own brand.

Alexandra is a freelance fashion designer who works remotely while traveling and building her own brand.

Read full interview from Interview with Alexandra, a freelance fashion designer building her own brand.

Keep your remote working skills sharp—get notified when the next interview goes live!