Please introduce yourself briefly to our community.
Hi Remote Workers! My name is Lauren and I am currently based out of Central California in the United States! Outside of work I enjoy hiking, camping, and being outdoors. I am a dog LOVER and my pup, Rory, keeps me busy most of the time. I am a big foodie so I love trying new foods, beers, and wines in the new places that I visit. I love to travel and explore new cities and I appreciate that remote work allows me to do so.
What are your main reasons for joining Remote Workers?
The main reason I joined the Remote Workers community is to find like-minded professionals who have the same passionate, creative, and nomadic lifestyles and personalities that I do!
When, how and why did you start working remotely?
Although I have been working remote on and off for a few years, I officially began my full-time remote career nine months ago. I had always been drawn toward remote work because of the flexible lifestyle, but I also knew that I produced my best work when I was able to cultivate my own work space and schedule, therefore I pursued a remote career. I started off by taking on remote projects here and there before jumping into a remote role full-time and eventually to freelancing, which is what I do now.
Where do you usually work from?
It's hard to say where I 'usually' work from - but I would say 75% of my time is spent in my office (or on the couch, or dining room table) in my home in Central California. The rest of the time is shared between coffee shops, cafes or breweries here in California, or wherever we are traveling; the coast of California, Washington State, or beyond!
What kind of hours do you keep for work?
I tend to prefer working from about 8:30 or 9:00 AM until 3:00 or 4:00 PM with an hour or two break in the middle of the day for lunch and a workout, then I will work later in the evening if I have anything to follow up on. I am definitely more of a night owl than a morning person :)
Do you also travel while working remotely? What are your favourite cities?
I do travel while working remotely. I would not consider myself nomadic, as I am based out of my home in Central California, but we travel often. In the next couple months I am off to Paris, Amsterdam and Costa Rica!
In your opinion, what are the biggest benefits & biggest challenges of working remotely?
I would say the biggest benefits of working remotely is the flexible lifestyle. I am not locked-in to a schedule from 8-5 - I can workout at any point in the day, I can walk my dog or take her to the park, I can run errands or make appointments without worrying about a schedule. I can also be anywhere in the world, any day of the week, which is a very freeing feeling. I can cultivate my own work space, which may be the biggest benefit. I wasn't the type of person that liked working in a cut-and-dry office, I need to be able to move and work from difference spaces and play music and do anything that will help me produce my best work - and remote work allows me to do just that.
The biggest challenge that I have faced thus far is planning my day and staying on track. Working remote, I love to be able to take on many projects and act on many ideas, but I often struggle to organize my brain enough to focus on each project individually without trying to do it all at once.
Are there any tools do you use on daily basis?
I use Asana and my Google Drive religiously. Other than that, I am experimenting with a few others but I don't use anything else regularly yet.
How do you stay motivated and focused during the day?
I make it a point to separate my work from my personal life. I try to stay off of personal social media accounts/websites (which is difficult) but I make it a priority to do so, so that I can focus while I am working then turn off work when I am done. I also make lists for everything. I make to-do lists for every 2-3 hours, each day, and each week to ensure I am getting everything done efficiently.
How do you make sure you switch off from work?
I have to physically leave the space I was working in. If I am working in my office, I physically leave the office once I am done working. If I am working on the couch or in the living room, I physically leave the house; go for a walk, take the dog to the park, anything that will physically switch my mindset from work to play.
What advice would you give remote beginners that are planning & looking how to start working remotely?
Say yes to everything. Even when I wasn't working remote full-time I was taking on remote projects, I was helping out friends and family for free in my respective industry, I was seeking out opportunities that would help build my portfolio and give me leverage to pursue a remote career. If you're beginning your remote journey - define your goals, visualize your future and then set a road map for yourself to get there. Say yes to new opportunities and prioritize your happiness every step of the way.
Has your remote job impacted your life outside of work?
Having the opportunity to pursue my remote lifestyle has 100% improved my life outside of work. Mentally, I am focused. I get to pick and choose what I do and when I do it, meaning I ensure I have the mental space for it before it happens. Emotionally, I am happy. I am not stressed (usually), I can plan and schedule my life according to my own preferences and I can make sure I have time for the things that bring me joy. In the winter time I get to take advantage of the daylight and play outside during the workday then work in the evening when it's dark out - it's surprising what something so simple can do for you emotionally. Physically, I have the time and energy to workout and focus on my physical health. As I mentioned before, I am not a super early morning person. I prefer to wake up around 6:30 or 7:00am and before I worked remote, I was having to rush off to work as soon as I woke up. Now, I can wake up, drink coffee, and have time to relax and wake up before I start my day. If that's not a BONUS, I don't know what is.
How do you cope with feeling lonely while working remotely?
I am a SUPER social person so I was worried about this when I started working remote. But, surprisingly, I haven't felt lonely at all. Working remote allows me to not be socially exhausted at the end of the day and week, meaning I have the social energy to spend more time with my friends and family, to attend events and social gatherings, and to interact with new people! Also, groups such as Remote Workers allows me to interact with other people from around the world who are in a similar situation to mine, which makes everyone feel a little bit more connected.
Would you ever consider returning to a traditional job?
My instinct says NO WAY. I am in love with my remote lifestyle and I produce my best work when working in this environment so I don't see myself going back. That could change in the future but for now, I am happy as can be as a remote worker.
Anything else that you would like to say to our community?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. I look forward to learning about all of you!