Q. When did you start remote working? When did you start doing it full time?
A. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been working remote and it was a full-time commitment. I began as a Digital Marketing freelancer along with Priyaneet whom I met on an Online Digital Marketing Course. Priyaneet is based out of Delhi and I used to shuttle between Coonoor (my home), Bangalore, Mangalore & Bombay. She & I met for the first time five months after we started doing business together. Today she is my business partner and we have called our remote agency ‘The Small Business Project’. We’re a lean team and each one of us works remotely.
Q. What is it that you exactly do in your remote working career?
A. We take Facebook & Instagram Ads very seriously and that’s where most of our focus lies. Apart from that, we work with a select few Businesses across states and industries where we strategise and execute digital strategies, web design, Email Campaigns and Social Media.
Q. Do you work out of home / co-working space? Do you mix travel and work?
A. As long as I have my laptop, a fast internet connection and electricity, I’m work ready. I was travelling for the last one year with no proper base as I was building the business. It’s just been two months since I’ve moved to Bombay and made it a sort of my temporary base. I work from home, Cafés, co-work spaces, shared spaces and even on the go. There have been multiple times I’ve taken day buses while travelling only to be able to enjoy the drive on the highway and still be able to work. With my multi-plug connected to the bus and the rest of my devices connected to it. I’m more than just comfortable.
Yes, I work all the time and I do tend to mix travel and work. Unless it’s a dedicated vacation and then I disconnect myself from the world.
Q. Is there scope of growth in remote working? How do you see growth for yourself?
A. 1. There’s definitely a huge scope for remote working. In fact, most of my clients and I hardly meet each other, even when we do it’s probably to celebrate small wins. All of the ‘work’ & ‘discussions’ happen remotely. This saves us both time in commuting to a place and small talk, small talk, small talk. I personally find myself very productive when I’m working remote and alone. We’ve got basic systems like Trello in place where everyone on the team knows their tasks for the day/week along with a turn around time. Hence less talk and more work that’s gets done in this time.
2. I’ve always believed that new people and new places make you grow as an individual. I do end up meeting a lot of people wherever I travel. The magnitude by which this has helped me in my business is immense. I notice a lot of businesses just looking out for resourceful and trustworthy people to work with. They’re not too bothered about where you work from as long as they’re happy with the work and you’re getting them the results. This is an ongoing process and I think that I will always feel I have a long way to go in terms of growth.
Q. What are the three biggest advantages and shortfalls of remote working?
1. The flexibility of being able to work from anywhere gives you the privilege of attending to personal/family events even if it’s all of a sudden.
2. As an individual, it’s important that one should stay ahead and the top of your game, working remotely gives you that liberty of researching on your own and learning from mistakes. No spoon feeding here. It’s a good thing in my opinion.
3. A quick afternoon nap perhaps?! ?
1. It’s a lonely world. There are no ‘team dinners’, ‘team outings’ and all of that office jazz. You should be able to accept it & deal with it. But if you do manage to get to know some peeps at a Co-Working space, that should help.
2. You can’t literally switch off, as much as I make it clear to my clients that I’m available only during certain hours, if your heart is in what you do, you will end up taking that call and getting the job done.
3. You can expect serious burn-outs with the long hours of work you put it. But yea, if you work smart, that can be avoided.
Q. Any advice to all those wishing to take up remote working?
A. Remote working requires that extra discipline. You might be very good at your core work but it’s important to be an effective communicator at least from the point of being able to convey messages that can be understood easily by the team on the other end.
What works for me to be most productive:-
1. Always sit at a desk/table and maintain good posture. A clutter-free space. It’s easy to get distracted.
2. Use a Project Management tool to simplify your tasks and life. Ex:- Trello, Slack
3. I love WhatsApp for work. But the only groups with notifications on are work groups.
4. Don’t entertain too many calls. Keeping everything on mail so you don’t have to repeat yourself.
5. Make briefs concise and easy to be understood. If it does take more time to make a brief more explanatory, go ahead by all means. You rather be doing that than wasting time on a task you’ve already done. Even if the task is to send a brief across.