The Perks of Working Remote Jobs

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As we’re currently going through unusual times, most of us are being forced to work from home. We are understanding that we’re not necessarily bound to our work desks, offices and chaotic environments. We can work remote, and get the tasks done just the same. But let’s hear it from the people who have been doing this for some time now, how did they manage to create top-notch freelance reputations from the comfort of their houses?

Remote working
Digital Nomad at work

Working from home is an option that has made people’s lives way easier. Each and every one of us is a click away from finding opportunities that allow us for time management and flexibility. You may be asked to do proofreading, translating or you might even be asked to maintain finances for companies, programming and many, numerous jobs that simply do not highlight the need for your physical presence at the workplace.

However, it takes a while to get used to the freedom, to adapt it to your daily routine and find the proper freelance position that you consider to be rewarding.

To tell us about their journeys, we at Youth Time have interviewed Pauline Chin and Melissa Packham, two freelance specialists working in different fields.

 

‘Remote working removes the commute time from the equation. That’s one hour, I’m getting back in my day to do other things I love’

This is how Pauline starts explaining the thing she loves most about the remote.

Pauline Chin is a support Engineer at a software company. She was born in Burma and raised in the US. By day, she troubleshoots and solves problems for a product information platform. She helps brand manufacturers such as 3M, Coca Cola, Pandora, and others build a digital shelf for retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc. By night, she says she becomes a cook and pole aerialist.

Pauline Chin / Photo: From the Archive of Pauline Chin

Why and how did you get the idea to become a remote employee?

It happened by chance; I never imagined being a remote employee. To fulfill the company’s business hour needs for our client over in APAC, I was sent over to Taiwan to establish a new base. After a few months, it became apparent that I was working alone, and no one cared about where I was as long as I was doing my job and providing excellent customer support. I haven’t turned back since; remote work is simply work.

 

What are the main benefits and challenges of remote working? What do you like the most about this lifestyle?

The biggest benefit has been the flexible schedule to manage life and having the option to work when I am most productive. We’re not meant to work 8 hours straight as most office jobs seem to suggest. Sometimes, ideas will spark when I’ve had a chance to take a long break and reset your brain.

The most challenging piece is communication. At first, I was the only remote employee for the company and for some months, I would be in a different time zone from the HQ team. I needed company support to build out processes and communication methods that can work asynchronously. It took time and a lot of help from the executive team. Luckily, both companies I’ve worked with understand that remote work adds value to the entire team.

 

What are the first steps to take when it comes to going remotely working?


First of all, is the skillset. You need to be a self-starter and life-long learner


Then, you can start setting up your workstation, your computer. You need the right communication tools to make sure that you can do your job remotely. Here’s the very baseline list:

  • Scheduling tool: Google calendar, calendly, etc.
  • Video Conferencing: I personally love Zoom and Whereby.
  • Task Management: I work as a support agent, so ticketing system; Zendesk is my task management tool. Each ticket represents one to-do item on the list.

 

What is your professional mission?

My mission in life and at work is to always lead with my values and show up in every challenge and opportunity with an open mind.

 

Do you have the bucket list of all the places you want to work from, or are these mostly spontaneous decisions?

Not really. My day-to-day is not that much different from someone working in an office. I have my own routine. I like to get the bulk of my work done in the morning, and afternoons are reserved for work from cafe.

 

How do you stay motivated?

I enjoy what I do. Every ticket that I work on is a new puzzle that needs to be solved. The challenge keeps me motivated.

 

What is your prediction on the post-pandemic world for nomads and remote workers? Will things be better or worse?

Covid-19 has forced the majority of the office workers into remote work. My prediction is that we will stay in this state for over five months. Businesses that can quickly pivot and offer their services to the digital space will ultimately come out of this better than before.

I truly believe that the transition to support remote work exposes the failure or inefficiency in current business and communication processes. With the uncertainty of when things will settle down, teams are asked to improve their processes for the better.

It forces people and traditional businesses to think outside of their comfort zone and participate in a new wave of digital services. This change will shift how we view remote work. The term remote work will no longer exist.

 

‘Staying organised with your time is key – if you’ve got a client deadline or a meeting, you’ll need structure and systems in place for yourself’

These are only some of the many keywords Melisa Packham shared for fellow people who want to get into the remote world. Melisa works as a freelance Brand Strategist at abrandisnotalogo.com . She works as a freelance brand strategist, so her work is more like communication and digital marketing inside one ‘agency’. Melissa was kind enough to provide our readers with a perspective of how you to build a brand and increase your virtual presence.

 

Who is Melissa Packham? What is your primary job? Where are you located now?

I’m a brand and marketing strategist with 15 years’ experience. I help small to medium sized businesses create conscious and cohesive brand strategies to move their business forward. I’m currently based in Brisbane, Australia.

Melissa Packham/Photo: From the Archive of Melissa Packham

Why did you get the idea to become a digital nomad? 

After a long, busy career in marketing, I needed a break and wanted desperately to see more of the world. I had a friend who’d started talking about this thing called ‘digital nomadism’ and I was curious to find out more. Lucky for me my husband felt the same way, so we packed up our lives in Sydney, Australia and travelled for almost a year. Now, as we have a small daughter, I consider myself location independent, rather than a digital nomad.

 

What are the main benefits and challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle? What do you like the most about the digital nomad lifestyle?

The benefits are being able to work flexibly while also exploring and satiating wanderlust in amazing places around the world. The challenges are the usual travel issues you face (delayed / cancelled flights, visas, etc.), as well as the potential to feel lonely. Luckily there are lots of digital nomad communities out there (Digital Nomad Girls and 7in7 to name my favourites).

 

What are the first steps to take when it comes to going remotely working?

You need to be self-directed and disciplined. Staying organised with your time is key – if you’ve got a client deadline or a meeting, you’ll need structure and systems in place for yourself (especially if you’re working for yourself – nobody is looking over your shoulder keeping an eye on you). Whatever systems you have, try to stick to them in each new location if you’re also on the move. Having a balanced routine is important so you get all the work and play into your day.

 

What skillset do people need to become successful in the digital marketing world?

An interest in human behavior (psychology and consumer behavior play a huge role in everything online business). A thirst for continuous learning. An appreciation for more than one part of the puzzle (knowing that marketing is multiple touchpoints, and not one piece of the puzzle can impact change by itself).

 

What is your professional mission?

To help businesses make an impact with their brand with a conscious and cohesive strategy. I want to see brands be a force for good. Especially now, more than ever, it is so important for brands to step up.

 

What is the difference between building a brand for your clients and building a personal brand? What things should you consider?

Actually there aren’t that many differences. For both, it all starts with having a clear understanding of your values and beliefs, being able to define and live your personality and tone of voice in everything you do, and knowing your audience as intimately as you know your best friend.

 

What’s the most important thing when it comes to online presence both for your clients and you? How to start building a brand?

Try and define those elements I named above and then, just start. Put yourself/your business out there. Own your uniqueness / weirdness.


Brands evolve over time, but the really strong, enduring brands have always been driven by the same core set of values / purpose


How do you stay motivated?

Continuously learning – I know I don’t know all there is, so I fuel my brain with audiobooks, podcasts, articles so I can broaden my perspective on my craft. I also surround myself with inspiring people. I connect with communities and peers in business who I admire and can learn from.

 

What is your prediction on the post-Covid19 world for nomads and remote workers? Will things be better or worse?

I think certainly we will see a shift with greater acceptance and availability of more remote working options, which will be a positive thing (not everyone loves their cubicle, after all). It will give aspiring job-hunters greater choice in the market as well.

I’d like to hope that the sense of community that is being built during this crisis remains when we all gain our freedoms back. It would be a shame to lose that connection. I’d also like to hope that the nomad community as a whole becomes more conscious in the way they travel, considering the environmental impact on the planet and local people they interact with.

Title Photo: Shutterstock

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