Rolling remote with Rachel Novosad

One of the biggest pros of working remotely is the ability to work from anywhere. This is something Rachel has taken full advantage of since launching her PR and marketing agency Rebel Coast Media. She spent last winter working near Mammoth Mountain in California, integrating regular ski breaks into her work schedule. Then she did a 4-month stint with Remote Year traveling to Valencia, Sofia, Cape Town, and Prague, and has now joined the company as a program leader for 2019.

Below she shares her tips for combating the isolation that haunts so many remote workers and provides an extensive list of her favorite coffee shops and coworking spaces (both in the US and abroad).

Quick-fire profile

How many years have you worked remotely? 4 years (both part-time and full-time)

Where are you based? All over the world

Where do you spend most of your remote work hours? In a coffee shop

When are you most productive? Afternoon

Coffee or tea? Iced lattes. Mission #1 when I get to a new country: Find the spot with the best iced lattes!

Iced lattes are a workday must for Rachel. | Submitted by Rachel Novosad

Rachel’s workspace setup

What type of desk and work chair do you use?

Whatever’s in my local coffee shop or coworking space.

What features do you like most about your work space?

Variety! I love natural light and open windows–bonus if there are window seats. Good Wifi and available power plugs don’t hurt either.

Name your favorite places to work!

Favorite coffee shops:

  1. Bodega (LA, Santa Monica)
  2. The cafe at Deus Ex Machina (LA, Venice)
  3. Stella Brew (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
  4. Federal Café (Valencia, Spain)
  5. Motherland Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)
  6. Truth Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)

Favorite coworking spaces:

  1. The Fort (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
  2. K10 Coworking (Prague, Czechia)
  3. Cartel House (Cape Town, South Africa)

Do you share your work space with anyone? Tell us about them!

Nope! Just fellow remoters (aka friends) when traveling with Remote Year, and strangers at coffee shops.

Rachel working from the base of a ski resort. | Submitted by Rachel Novosad

Remote work pros and cons: Rachel’s take

What are the biggest pros of remote work for you?

  • Efficiency: I’m more efficient at doing my best work outside the confines of an office and set hours.
  • Inspiration: Traveling with a remote community, alongside dozens of other passionate digital nomad professionals inspires me to do my best work and pursue additional professional pursuits of interest. When I’m alone, I love working out of coffee shops and coworking spaces because you can feel the energy and passion around you.

What are the biggest cons of remote work for you?

I think it’s important to build a community no matter where you are in the world. Whether you work remotely or in a traditional office environment, creating meaningful connections with others is key to a sustainable and happy work-life balance. It can be more challenging when you work remotely and don’t have direct interactions with colleagues, but it’s more than possible to meet other professionals with similar passions, interests, and geographic location, especially as the remote work movement grows. Coworking spaces, meet-ups, and other community events can be great for that–so is a simple hello!

Fighting the stigma of not working as hard as non-remote peers is a toughie. At first, it was hard being barraged with questions such as “do you even work?” I’ve found that the simplest solution to this is to not take things personally, and to let your hard work and results speak for themselves.

A visit to the coffee shop goes a long way in keep the feelings of isolation at bay. | Submitted by Rachel Novosad

Working remotely tips and tricks

What software technologies do you use on a regular basis?

Slack, GSuite, Whatsapp

What habits allow you to be more productive during the day?

  1. To do lists–handwritten ones!
  2. Getting a good night’s sleep (I’m not exactly a morning person; I think I was a koala in a past life).
  3. Exercise (though I definitely don’t do it enough…). Skiing or snowboarding when I’m lucky enough to work out of a mountain town. Otherwise running, yoga, or swimming.
  4. Petting puppies. Actually, that should be at the top of the list.

What are the 3 items you can’t live without while working remotely? (If you have a brand you love, please name them!)

I drank the Apple Kool-Aid a long time ago. There’s no going back. Besides my ubiquitous preference for Apple products (MacBook Pro laptop, iPhone X, AirPods, etc) some other favorite items include:

  1. My PopSocket: I can’t live without one on my phone now. They’re great for taking photos and helping me not drop my phone as I lean over the sides of boats, cliffs, and chairlifts. Plus it’s fun to fidget with.
  2. Staedtler Pens and a notebook: I’m still a sucker for hand-written lists!
  3. Anker Portable Charger: Unfortunately I lost mine…but I love Anker products! They make great portable chargers, and I’m a pro at killing my phone’s battery.

Answers have been lightly edited and links were added.

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