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 Michael, a VFX artist that works remotely

It is very inconsistent to say the least. There are times I may get to work for 6 months which is great, and then no work for 6 months.

Some of the clients aren’t very understanding at all. When Hurricane Harvey hit south Texas I was in the middle of a contract where the power went out. They were so angry with me telling me to use my hotspot and a laptop to finish, but it was a natural disaster there was no power anywhere. After I went through all the extra effort to turn in something I wasn’t even paid for the work.

Some clients won’t pay out for the work you do for them, which is one reason I started at Upwork. I had one client I told not to update the software without reworking all of the scripts and they did it anyway a year later. Came back and told me to fix it because it was my fault it doesn’t work anymore.

I’ve even had a client not like the fact the person they hired wasn’t the person they wanted to see.

So a summary of not enough work, rude clients, chance of not getting paid unless you use something to manage your accounts such as Upwork, and slow.

Do not get me wrong, not all clients are like these I’ve had about 5 really horrible clients and about 14 good ones so far.

Documenting everything that includes chat logs, phone conversations, emails, contracts, company name, contractor information, phone numbers if given, literally every time I have had an issue with a client I go back to my documentation.

People in general are human and if they don’t understand why something happened or they don’t remember it is your job to make sure you can go back and find where something was done or said.

Skype saves message chat logs forever in your settings. No one should be able to rip you off if you keep everything filed. Upload it to a secondary cloud server so you will never have to worry about it.

Michael is a freelance visual effects (VFX) artist, creating 3d models, mockups and videos while working remotely.

Read full interview from Interview with Michael, a VFX artist that works remotely.


Interview with Shivani, a remote content writer who shares lessons learned

Sometimes I just need to talk to a co-worker, whether it’s brainstorming on a project or chatting over a cup of coffee.

Having autonomy in my work is fantastic, but not having face-to-face interactions with the people I work with on things we’re all passionate about can get lonely.

Shivani provides all you need to know about making remote work...work. She shares tips on finding the best remote work opportunity and thriving once you get it.

Read full interview from Interview with Shivani, a remote content writer who shares lessons learned.


Interview with Eddie, an Engineering Director

There's a lot to like about remote, but it does require certain adjustments to personalities, habits and expectations.

Loneliness and perceived isolation. Humans are social creatures and - speaking as a lifelong introvert - there is just no substitute for face time.

Since seeing people doesn't happen organically in hallways or shared office spaces, we have to cultivate those opportunities remotely, even if it feels artificial at first.

We organize a variety of these events throughout the month - from small team talks, to company-wide lunch-and-learns & new hire meet-and-greets, to individual coworker "coffees".

I also encourage people to join or form non-work-related channels on Slack. They act as informal clubs, social outlets, and can be a great way to get to know colleagues across the organization.

Information overload. We encourage over-communication and use a variety of tools and services - like email / Slack / Basecamp / Google Docs / et cetera - to distribute it. There is a cost or burden on folks to have to find and retrieve it ("pulling"), so I also encourage folks to push that information out as much as possible.

(Example: "the schedule for X can be found [here]" and "fyi I've just updated the draft for X [here]", then looping in any key members involved.)

  • Timezones and asynchronous communication, in general, are foreign. Adjust your expectations, embrace the ability to "work async" instead of waiting until someone pops online and thinking you need that information right now.

  • Work/Life balance. It's easy to "do work" when it's no further than your pocket.

Learning to disconnect (and that it's OK to disconnect!) doesn't come naturally.

Eddie is an Engineering Director - learn how he manages to absorb interruptions and manage information overload while staying productive.

Read full interview from Interview with Eddie, an Engineering Director.


Interview with Kevin, a developer and remote consultant

This is a hard question to answer.

I think if my goals were different - if I wanted to be more part of a team, if I wanted to move into management - I think working remotely would work against those goals.

But I am very happy doing what I do and my goal right now is to ensure I'm able to work this way for as long as I can.

I think that it can be helpful to work face to face for certain tasks. For instance, when doing deep design work, standing at a whiteboard together (or even at the same table) can be much faster than doing things in sync online. I think this can be solved with an occasional in-person meeting, though.

This may just be my computer, but video conferencing software often leaves me wanting. I look forward to better software in the future.

Kevin is a developer and consultant working on many different projects - learn which tools he uses to optimize his time management.

Read full interview from Interview with Kevin, a developer and remote consultant.


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 Nelvina, a fashion designer who designs bags and clothing

Sometimes, it can be difficult to communicate with clients. Given the fact that we do not meet in person, it is sometimes difficult to really understand the customer’s point of view. Nevertheless, we still have Skype and can have video calls to talk about projects.

It is also difficult to get quick responses from clients if I need to check something with them for a design element. Some clients have other jobs and are only able to talk at night and because of the time difference, we struggle to find a time frame for us to talk.

Many people do not even know Mauritius exists and they are sometimes afraid that I might not have the required qualifications and knowledge to design a nice product. Some businesses or individuals only hire designers from their country (e.g. America or Europe).

Nelvina is a freelance fashion and graphic designer that works remotely while working with clients all around the world

Read full interview from Interview with Nelvina, a fashion designer who designs bags and clothing.


Interview with Max, a Deep Learning Engineer with a winning strategy for distractions

So far the positive aspects of remote work predominate for me. However, individuals can make the maintenance of flexibility a challenge. For example, if someone else has an actual, physical meeting, however nonsensical it might be, it can be hard to argue that you need to sit down in a cafe and code right now.

After a chance Twitter conversation, Max found a remote position as a Deep Learning Engineer —see how he manages distractions and maintains focus throughout his day.

Read full interview from Interview with Max, a Deep Learning Engineer with a winning strategy for distractions.


Interview with Igor Kulman, a software engineer building iOS apps remotely

Working remotely can sometimes get lonely. You can feel isolated, missing human contact. Communication can be also a bit tricky sometimes. It helps to work for a company that is remote, meaning most of the people are working remotely so the tools and workflows reflect that.

Igor converted a part-time contract into a full-time remote software engineering job—learn how he did it and his tips for working remotely.

Read full interview from Interview with Igor Kulman, a software engineer building iOS apps remotely.


Interview with Ben, a CEO/Engineer who works remotely

One of the hardest things to do when you have a completely flexible schedule is to know when to stop! When you can work at anytime, you can sometimes feel guilty when you're not working, as you know you could be.

Ben is a CEO/Engineer who works remotely - find out how he balances working at home and family life!

Read full interview from Interview with Ben, a CEO/Engineer who works remotely.


Interview with Shauna, founder and business consultant specializing in remote work

I don't like bias or perception that sometimes come with remote working. Remote working isn't necessarily going to suit everyone or every company. I think we need to get better at speaking about our challenges and issues with remote work. Only then can we truly learn from each other and create a positive change.

Shauna is a consultant that guides companies in thriving while remote—see her advice for staying grounded as a remote worker.

Read full interview from Interview with Shauna, founder and business consultant specializing in remote work.

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