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 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.


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 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 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 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 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 Sarah about working remotely from an RV

I'll admit that remote work is not for everyone.

There is a social/psychological aspect that takes a certain amount of self-awareness to overcome (e.g. not being able to interact face-to-face with your co-workers on a daily basis).

I tend to work better independently and don't have trouble communicating my personality over an email or text. This helps stave off the loneliness/distance that some feel when they work remotely.

Some people believe that you aren't able to advance your career if you work remotely because it's harder to maintain a presence with stakeholders that would have a direct affect on your ability to get a promotion or a raise.

But I'm living proof that it IS possible! I think it depends on a number of factors like the culture at the office as it relates to remote employees, what tools are in place to maintain contact, and whether there are regularly scheduled video conferences or retreats.

I have managed to advance at my current remote job because I worked hard to stay in front of people I work with as well as the fact that I'm not the only remote employee at the organization. Leadership at my organization has embraced a hybrid team to get more done and as a result, put in place certain procedures and culture that supports everyone involved.

Sarah is a digital marketing manager who travels the United States with her partner and two dogs while working remotely in her RV.

Read full interview from Interview with Sarah about working remotely from an RV.


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 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 Cameron, a designer who works remotely at a WordPress agency

The only downside is that I sometimes miss the person to person interactions of working in an office space.

To make sure I don't turn into a hermit, I make sure to schedule time with friends at least once per week to hang out or play sports.

Learn how Cameron started full-time remote work after trying freelancing and starting a digital agency.

Read full interview from Interview with Cameron, a designer who works remotely at a WordPress agency.

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