To put it simply, I am a huge advocate for remote work. There are so many benefits to this way of life that can have a huge impact on your personal, professional and financial well-being. After two years of working remotely and traveling the world, I have some thoughts on what the the most important things are that you can gain from working remotely. Here are my top ten benefits to consider if you want to go remote:
1. New Experiences
When it comes to breaking out of the bubble of everyday life, there’s really nothing better than travel. Living life on the road constantly puts you in new and different situations. I hate stairs, and hiking, but when I was in Peru last year I decided to climb Machu Picchu anyway. I almost died (tip: don’t wear slip-on shoes when hiking in steep areas), but I’m still here and I can say that I did it. When was the last time you didn’t want to do something, but did it anyway?
You are also guaranteed to meet new people with different views, which can be a good thing. I’m an introvert and sometimes find being in large groups too overwhelming. But I’ve also learned that extroverts are great because they plan fun activities and all I have to do is show up. There are a lot of interesting things to experience if you open your mind to new possibilities.
2. Personal Growth
Working remotely is bound to give you opportunities you wouldn’t have if you were staying at home all the time. Traveling and working with groups like Hacker Paradise has given me the opportunity to do a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do. For example, I have never been into public speaking, but as I’ve traveled I had the goal of practicing it and getting better at it. Through social interactions with diverse groups of people you can also learn interesting things about yourself. For example, the max number of people I can socialize with is five to six people. If the group gets bigger than that, I may shut down or disappear from the event.
When you learn those things, remember that you don’t necessarily have to fix it, but you can try to be better at it.
3. Save Time
Working remotely has saved me so much time! I don’t have to commute anymore, I can just wake up and start working. Think about it, you don’t even have to shower, or change out of your pajamas if you don’t want to! Once you see how much time you’ll save, you get to think about where you want to spend it. Maybe this will give you more time with family and friends, or to take a course that can help you advance your career. Time is valuable!
I have learned so much about productivity since I started working remotely. For one thing, you can customize your life and your workspace for productivity. Some people do their best work at cafes, some people prefer to work at home or in a coworking space. When you are in charge of your own work environment, you get to pick whatever works best for you.
You also learn to be very efficient at your work. For example, my social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – everything is 99.95% automated. I post every day, but I create a month’s worth of content at one time. This helps me advertise that I’m an expert in my industry, but also gives me more time to be an expert without being on social media all the time.
Building a network isn’t always easy for an introvert, but I’ve developed a strategy that works great for me wherever I am. When I meet new people, I try to find what they need. If they have problems and I can help them then we instantly have a connection. I will often advise companies and people for free, without expecting anything in return. This lets me build a solid connection with people. Those connections – along with good karma – often come back to me in the form of new clients.
The more you network, the more you get strategic assets. (Strategic assets = talented people who can help you.) I’ve met a lot of VCs and bankers in my travels. In the future I’d like to start a company with a much broader scope than what I do now as an SEO consultant. I’m not pitching them anything right now, I’m just giving them value by offering advice and help where I can. I’m getting to know them, they are getting to know me. In the future when I need something, they might be willing to help me because they already know me personally.
6. Personal Branding
As I mentioned, I’ve done some traveling with a remote work group called Hacker Paradise. (I’ve also done some SEO consulting for them – see my thoughts on karma, in Benefit #5.) Being a part of Hacker Paradise has turned out to be a great investment for me, as I’ve been able to use interactions with the group as a form of personal branding.
The company has featured me in articles and interviews (Hacker Paradise, BeNomad) YouTube) on their site, which has led to some great exposure and connecting with people who want to work with me.
Like a lot of people, I started my career working with a major company, and then later decided to try freelancing. In the beginning I thought, Hey maybe I could make more money doing this, but it has also allowed me to work with more companies, get more exposure and gain new skills.
When I started my career I worked in the automation industry, and I was 100% focused on that without many opportunities to branch out.
Once I started freelancing, I got to work in some new fields that were very interesting to me, like finance, real estate, food and travel industry. Now that I’m not just stuck in one industry I have a lot of versatility in my experience and what I can do.
8. Save Money
Well, not really for me because I spend a lot more than your average person on accomodation, flights, food and the odd crazy outdoorsy activities.
But still, for many other remote workers, the beauty is that you don’t have to be committed to any one place. There are some very expensive cities in the world. As a remote worker, you can visit them for a short time or avoid them altogether. You can go anywhere as long as you have good Internet and have work that is remote-compatible.
9. Tax Benefits
Tax benefits. OK, I admit that this can be sort-of a gray area. But depending on how you structure your business, you may be able to save money on taxes while working remotely. For instance, I opened my company in Estonia through the country’s e-residency program. Basically my entire life is tax-deductible now. I recommend considering what will work for you and your business, and consulting a tax professional if you have questions or concerns.
10. Higher Salary
Most remote companies don’t discriminate on where you’re from, as long as you have good communication skills and the skills for the job they will pay you a fair salary. When I got my first remote job with Zapier, an American company, they paid me ten times the average salary in Malaysia. Once I started freelancing, I was able to earn triple that. Once you’re in with a remote job, make sure you commit and do well. Prove to people you can actually do remote work.
Once you’re an experienced remote worker, companies may prefer to hire remote, even if they are a traditional business. When you have experience working remotely, you learn how to communicate more effectively and work more efficiently. Once you get out of the office and try working remotely, you will see how often workers make artificial blockers. In a remote environment, you learn to default to action. You learn not to create reasons not to do something. Because of this, in my experience, businesses are now competing for remote workers.
Once you go remote, I think you’ll find that these benefits will just continue to build and grow. As you travel and meet new people, new doors will open and you’ll discover new opportunities you never even knew existed.
If you’d like to chat with me about SEO, or remote work in general, drop me a line at https://asadzulfahri.com/contact/