Andrew works remotely for International Insurance, an international insurance brokerage. The company is based in Boston, but Andrew and his girlfriend chose to escape the cold, heading south for the winter to work remotely.
When Andrew contacted Remoter, he was working from Florida, but plans to continue making his way around the US, chronicling his journey on his blog Teleworking Traveler.
As a fairly new Remoter himself, Andrew offers up some valuable newbie tips. His biggest suggestion? “Own the morning and find a routine that works for you and sets you up for success throughout the day. If you are a morning person, go to the gym, journal, do some yoga, have a good breakfast, and relax before logging on.”
How many years have you worked remotely? Less than a year, but I previously worked one day a week from home
Where are you based? I’m from Boston, but am now traveling around the US
Where do you spend most of your remote work hours? In my home office
Are you most productive in the morning or at night? Early bird
Coffee or tea? Black coffee throughout the day and maybe some matcha. I also use Nuun electrolytes and energy tabs throughout the day.
Andrew’s workspace setup
What type of desk and office chair do you use?
So far it has varied based on the apartment I’m living in. I usually work off a single screen, so my setup is flexible. I prefer to stand when I work, so in my previous apartment I had to get creative and set up a box on the counter. Luckily, in my current space, I have a breakfast bar that I can use as a standing desk. In the afternoon, I’ve been moving out to the screened-in porch and sitting to work in the afternoon.
I need to change my work environment throughout the day to stay productive. Being able to move from spot to spot helps me feel refreshed.
What features do you like most about your work space?
In my current spot in Florida, it has to be the porch. I have never had the option to work outside during the day as my company is based in Boston. Being able to get some fresh air during the afternoon leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to work.
Do you share your work space with anyone? Tell us about them!
During the day I usually have my own space. My girlfriend tends to work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so it’s very quiet during the day.
Remote work pros and cons: Andrew’s take
What are the biggest pros and cons of remote work for you?
My favorite thing about working remote is being able to set my own schedule and not having to worry about a commute. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to work remotely and for a company that is not about punching a time clock. If I log on at 7 a.m. some mornings and finish at 5 p.m., it’s not a big deal. If I want to go on a run and do errands in the morning, I can log on a little later.
It has also been great not having to commute. Commuting always leaves me frustrated and when I get into the office it takes time to settle in and get to work. Now, I can log off and already be home, adding an extra hour of productivity to my day.
The first downside is the lack of face-to-face contact with coworkers. Although I work for a small company, being able to walk to someone’s desk and talk to them is much easier than using Slack or Google Hangouts. The second downside or adjustment for me is knowing when to log off each day. Since I work for an international company, there are people I could speak with 24/7, however, it has been important for me to make sure I do not get sucked into my computer. Having your office at your fingertips takes some getting used to.
Working from home tips and tricks
What software technologies do you use on a regular basis?
What habit allows you to be more productive during the day?
Moving around workspaces is key for me. I also like to wake up earlier in the morning and get a workout in–gym, run, yoga, etc. This helps me attack the day and get out some energy.
I wouldn’t recommend setting an alarm and immediately logging onto your computer as it will hurt productivity and leave you with a feeling of burnout. Take some time for yourself in the morning and plan out your day. I also jot down some sales ideas and other thoughts in a journal each morning. As I like to put it: Own the morning.
What are the 3 items you can’t live without while working remotely? (If you have a brand you love, please name them!)
- Coffee maker: I need to keep that caffeine coming throughout the day to stay productive. I make a batch of cold brew every few days as well.
- Spotify, podcasts, TV, or some sort of background noise: When I’m not on the phone, I do feel more productive when I have some background noise or good music to motivate me and stay focused.
- Healthy Human water bottle: I use it for smoothies in the morning, coffee during the day, or water with a lemon. I love their products and it keeps my drinks hot or cold for hours!
Answers have been lightly edited and links were added.
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