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 Bennah, a remote ESL teacher that teaches kids English all over the world

What I do not like about remote work is that sometimes, I have difficulty understanding what the clients want since language barrier is really a deal.

And the job is not permanent so you do not know if it would really compensate you well since there are no fix salary rates for the job.

Bennah is an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher who teaches students from all around the world while working from home.

Read full interview from Interview with Bennah, a remote ESL teacher that teaches kids English all over the world.


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 Hannah, a freelance writer that travels the world

For me, the hardest part of working from my computer is that it involves a lot of sitting. Too much sitting is terrible for your health. I’ve even heard people say that in some ways it’s as bad for your health as smoking.

Since right now I’m a complete digital nomad without a home base, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a standing desk. Some coworking spaces have standing options, but that’s not always the case, and I don’t always have a coworking space.

This means I need to get creative to keep healthy blood circulation flowing. There are a lot of tasks I need to sit for, but you can bet that if I don’t need to sit for a task, I’ll try to avoid it. If I’m on the phone, I’ll try to walk around. If I need to watch a video, I’m watching it while I’m doing squats or stretching.

Another tough aspect of remote work is that it can be isolating not working near other people. If there is a social coworking space nearby, I highly recommend signing up for it.

Coffee shops are a bit too noisy for me, but it’s another option. If a significant other or friend can also work remotely, try working in the same room. It may seem silly to have somebody nearby if you aren’t communicating frequently, but it’s still nice to have someone there for occasional chatting.

Hannah is a freelancer writer and social media manager that travels the world while working remotely. Read her interview to learn how she works.

Read full interview from Interview with Hannah, a freelance writer that travels the world.


Interview with Elizabeth, a graphic designer and art director

Remote work can be lonely. Whilst I’m lucky to share an office with another cool human, it’s not a constant party.

It’s easy to put on my headphones and fall down a rabbit hole of a new project or idea without realising the time.

Hours can pass without speaking to another person and man, that is GREAT for productivity and focus, but it can be hard to pull myself out and remember that there are other people in the house who’d probably like to have some of my attention.

You know, my children, our two ridiculous dogs, the Waitrose delivery people…

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.


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 Meryl, a digital marketer and master of home office organization

Nothing. Love it. The challenge is to maintain enough business to pay the bills and keep going strong.

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.


Interview with Artur, an engineer who found purpose as an Intrapreneur

Loneliness has to be at the top of the list. As I mentioned earlier, my fiancee also works remotely in the same company. That, of course, has a whole suite of advantages, benefits, and dreadful pitfalls.

I am not alone, but we find ourselves in a bit of social vacuum. People over thirty generally have more trouble making friends than before.

Most of my friends are in the office. So, I have to make a deliberate effort to see another human being besides my fiancee (but she is a deity, so she does not count). This is one of the reasons we rent a coworking space.

The other thing is that flexibility has its price. When you take a break from work to do the laundry, the other errands start to pour in. So, strict work and life separation have its benefits. For example, after a stressful day, the commute back home is a nice bookend, and a chance to reflect and relax.

Working from home means that you bring your stress, annoyance, and irritation straight into your living room and to your family.

Artur realized entrepreneurship wasn't for him—see how he carves out his creativity and purpose as a remote Intrapreneur at Automattic.

Read full interview from Interview with Artur, an engineer who found purpose as an Intrapreneur.


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 Nathan and Connor, owners of Freeeup

I think anyone that works remote will say this...sometimes it gets lonely. There are days that we wish we lived closer so that we could get together, brainstorm, and spend the day working together. It’s a different dynamic when together in person rather than on a phone or video call.

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.


Interview with John, a web developer who works from home

I love pretty much everything about working remotely, but there definitely are a few challenges.

When you work with a team 8 hours a day for months or even years, they become your friends as well as co-workers. Not having the option to end the day with an impromptu group going out for a meal is a bummer. For me, having a meal with my team would require a lot of planning and travel.

When I was running a business, I was really terrible at setting boundaries. It became very easy to be at my desk every waking moment. This lead to some terrible burnout.

I'm much better about it now, but I have to stay on top of it so that I don't fall back into old habits.

John is a web developer running a mini-agency inside a larger WordPress agency - learn how calendar management and establishing boundaries have helped him boost his productivity.

Read full interview from Interview with John, a web developer who works from home.

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