Beatriz Afonso Santos has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle wholeheartedly: She’s currently based in Brazil but has spent the past several years taking in the sights and lifestyles of numerous locations. “In the past five years I have been working from many diverse places, including a trailer in the middle of the woods in Vancouver Island, a hammock next to a creek in Brazil, a cabin in a small village in Patagonia (Argentina), [and] a coffee shop in central Oakland,” she said.
Beatriz juggles a number of work projects in her travels, including content strategy and freelance writing in Spanish, and translation work from English to Spanish. She also develops performing arts projects that often inform her work, especially her creative writing.
How many years have you worked remotely? 5
Where are you based? Currently, I am in Florianópolis, Brazil, but I am a DN (digital nomad) and in the past couple of years I have been in Canada, USA, Venezuela, Mexico, Spain, and France.
Where do you spend most of your remote work hours? I split my time between co-working spaces, my home office, and other spots with WiFi (libraries, coffee shops…)
When are you most productive? Afternoon
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Beatriz’s home office setup and decor
What type of desk do you use? Whatever’s in my local coffee shop/co-working space, or even my lap when I work from a hammock, my bed, or a puff…
What type of chair do you use while at work? Whatever’s available in my co-working spot or local coffee shop
What features do you like most about your work space? The views, surrounding areas and the absence of city noise. I have the beach one block away from home – I can jump in the ocean when I need a break. At the Impact Hub I sit looking at a hill with lush vegetation and there are tissues hanging from the ceiling to decompress your back 🙂
Do you share your work space with anyone? Tell us about them! I have a roommate who also works remotely and it’s great because we can divide the housework (like cooking lunch and dinner). We have a dog at home, Lee. She stays outside, so she does not interfere with my work at all.
Remote work pros and cons: Beatriz’s take
What are the biggest pros and cons of remote work for you?
Pros: Schedule and travel flexibility, better work-life balance, more time cut from commuting, a less stressful work environment, and fewer transportation expenses
Cons: Less focus, feeling isolated or less connected with colleagues, and fighting the stigma of not working as hard as non-remote peers. She adds: “Sometimes you need to make an extra effort to establish limits as some people think you are ‘always’ available.”
Working from home tips and tricks
What habit allows you to be more productive during the day?
- The Pomodoro technique
- Waking up before 8:30 a.m. and starting the day with at least 15-20 minutes of yoga
- Committing to work 2-3 days from a co-working space or library
- Really completing the tasks in my weekly calendar/schedule
- Physical activity: I practice capoeira 2-3 times a week, workout on my own, use my bike to commute daily, and, when possible, I hike and paddle.
What are the 3 items you can’t live without while working remotely?
- My iPhone (6S)
- My handmade notebook
- My laptop (Asus I7)
Answers have been lightly edited and links were added.
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