“Remote work isn’t for everyone.” If that’s what your mind says to you because you’re used to working in an office, think again. We’re always afraid to try something we have no knowledge or experience of. We’re presenting no myth-busting tips or advice in this article. You’ll hear work from home success stories straight from the minds of those who are doing it. They’re from different parts of the world, coming from different backgrounds, cultures, and circumstances. There’s one thing that’s common – remote work. Why? Read on to know why they made the choice to work remotely and what they feel about it.
Luis Magalhaes, Portugal
“Working in dentistry was fulfilling and paid good money, but the hours were killing me. I craved a bit more quality of life.”
The prelude to my story is that I’ve been doing somewhat remote work since 2002. I worked at a gaming blog where the team worked from home, and I was eventually invited to manage the project. Sure, it was mostly unpaid work, but it was remote work nonetheless. At the time, I was a geeky teenager living on the internet: mIRC chats, phpBB forums, MMOs… Everything just felt very natural. The work — writing, organizing, managing — fit right in.
As I graduated as a dental surgeon, I unlearned that and got stuck working in stuffy clinics for nine years. Working in dentistry was fulfilling and paid good money, but the hours were killing me. I craved a bit more quality of life.
Eventually, I got hit by a severe case of burnout. One fateful night, it all came to a head when I fell asleep at the wheel and nearly crashed into another driver. Scratch that — dumb as it may seem, that had to happen twice before I committed to changing my lifestyle.
I went back to writing, which I always loved. I started freelancing and applied the work ethic I had developed as a dental surgeon. Soon, freelance clients were offering me full-time jobs. I eventually accepted a position as a content marketer with DistantJob, a company that was all about remote work! The rest… That is a story for another article. 🙂
Follow Luis on LinkedIn to get insights on remote work and content marketing.
Mercedes Rodriguez-Sanday, Argentina
“The groundbreaking aspect of remote work is that you don’t have to make sacrifices in exchange for finding your perfect job.”
I’d honestly say that remote work saved my life. I had been stuck in a succession of jobs that paid the bills but that I hated getting up in the morning for. Dreading the alarm clock, then sharing a written countdown to 6 PM with my coworker to at least find some humor in how slowly the time went by when we were waiting to clock out and get on with our lives. Work and life were not a balance – work was an aggravation to get out of the way in order to live.
When I started out at DistantJob, I found something that I had been missing ever since my amazing first job at IBM – a strong connection, a posse, a shared sense of nerdiness that suddenly had me enjoying what I was doing every day. The groundbreaking aspect of remote work is that you don’t have to make sacrifices in exchange for finding your perfect job. You don’t have to commute 3 hours just to get the chance to work in a cutting-edge tech company, you don’t have to put up with your office being in a cold, damp, windowless dungeon just to get a better salary. When you’re working remotely, there’s a world of opportunities at your fingertips.
I found my perfect job after looking for 8 years in the conventional, local job market. When remote work found me, I was disheartened, feeling unappreciated, cynical, struggling to make ends meet, and worst of all, suffering from a severe impostor syndrome. Now I’m surrounded by people who challenge me, motivate me, count on me, and help me grow into the best professional I can be.
It saved my mental health. Remote work gave me an amazing team that fostered me to shine – and the shine spread out into all other aspects of my life, and I’m a stronger woman because of it. I recovered the confidence, hope, and positivity that I had lost throughout those 8 years. The secret isn’t remote work – it’s the team of people I found – but it was my golden ticket, and I know it can be for other people as well.
Connect with Mercedes on LinkedIn to know everything about the remote recruitment industry.
Andrew Murdoch, Canada
“No pandemic, political/civil unrest or natural disaster will disrupt my lifestyle.”
It was October 2018 and I found myself in a new digital marketing position with an American Tech Startup company. It was only my second time working from home; following numerous careers that included cruise ship scuba instructor, firefighter, and coast guard rescue diver. Yes, being a remote worker in marketing was a big jump for me and I will forever be grateful that I had the courage to make that massive career change.
You could say that in late 2018, I was at “rock bottom.” I had just ended a marriage, I had a mountain of debt, I was sleeping on an air mattress in a spare bedroom that a friend of a friend just happened to have empty. I felt like the world’s biggest loser. At 36 years old I had nothing. Well, not nothing… I had a remote job.
I rationalized in my head that there are only three ways anyone can improve their financial situation. I can make more money, cut expenses, or I could do both! It didn’t make any sense for me to stay in Canada’s most expensive city, Vancouver, any longer. Many people don’t realize that Vancouver boasts one of the most expensive locations in the world to live.
The next day I created an online ad to sell my car, donated items to charity, sold stuff and soon I stored what was leftover in a storage locker. In December 2018, I took a 1-way flight and I’ve been traveling non-stop ever since. Being a remote worker gave me the freedom to go where I want, when I want and how I want without interrupting my income source.
In 2019 I adopted the term ‘Digital Nomad’ into my life as I lived in Canada, USA, Mexico, Spain and England. I discovered software and work from home apps that made my day-to-day routines easier. I explored unique diet and fitness options around the world. I found myself constantly trying new things, adopting what works and discarding the rest.
Like many people, 2020 was filled with all kinds of uncertainty. But for me, one thing was certain. My capacities as an efficient and skilled remote worker/digital marketer that knows how to produce results and overcome obstacles became highly in demand.
Now, as 2021 is about to end, the world has embraced remote workers as a more resilient way forward. Numerous companies have announced that part or all of their workforce will remain remote. And why not? Global pandemics are now a thing and if businesses wish to remain in business, the prudent decision is to be prepared for the next one.
I myself am in the middle of launching a marketing agency and surprise surprise, my entire team is remote. No pandemic, political/civil unrest or natural disaster will disrupt my lifestyle.
I write this overlooking a beautiful view of San Jose Costa Rica and oftentimes I think of that loser sleeping on an air mattress and I think how lucky am I to have hit rock bottom when I did. Otherwise, I don’t want to know where I would be right now.
“…as a mom to be myself, I don’t have to worry about not being able to work because now I have the option to work from home!”
My story as a remote worker started almost a year ago. I had just moved to the UK from Sweden to live with my partner and I got introduced to work for this amazing company called Remote Worker. They came up with this great idea in the beginning of the pandemic to start a job board for remote working professionals as working from home was now something everyone in the UK was encouraged to do.
My experience of working remotely for the last year has been amazing! Actually, before even moving to the UK I didn’t really know much about working from home as I’ve only been in positions where it requires me to be in an office so it made me think, ‘’wow, is this actually a thing?’’. But I must say, the flexibility that comes with remote working is not only the most loved benefit of mine, but it also brings a sense of independence and freedom which is very important for me. It gives me the opportunity to design my schedule according to what works best for me.
I have more time to do things I usually didn’t have time for in my previous positions and this results in me being a much better worker and person in general. Now I have time to take care of myself which is almost impossible in this working society today. This is something I often share as a speaker at events where I talk about remote work and how beneficial it can be for both individuals and businesses alike, because remote work is just not about work, it’s a lifestyle! And so many people are dependent on this working method today.
I’m thinking of moms with children having to juggle their day around and people with disabilities who have a hard time being in social environments. This is a super helpful asset for them, and as a mom to be myself, I don’t have to worry about not being able to work because now I have the option to work from home as a mom!
Connect with Erika on LinkedIn to know more about her remote work life.
Yuuna Morishita, Japan
“If it wasn’t for remote work, I would have had to sacrifice one of the two things – a good income or coming back to Japan.”
I was born in Japan but I moved to New York City, USA after school to pursue further education. While there’s nothing I didn’t love about America, I started missing Japan a lot. From fond childhood memories to my family and friends, I kept thinking about ways to go back.
It was my passion to bring the culture of Japan to the world. The country has much more to offer than just technology. Japan has a lot of hidden gems in its rich heritage that if discovered can be enjoyed by the whole world. This urge to go back and explore more had me in two minds. I had just graduated and had a well-paying job in New York. How could I go back to Japan? Remote work came to my rescue and this was long before the pandemic.
In 2017, I quit my job and moved back to Japan after deciding to become a Remote Language Teacher. I had made several friends in New York and New Jersey during my stay in the United States and that became an advantage for me. They took a lot of interest in learning Japanese and I could easily do that from back home in Japan! This is how I started my digital nomad career and I’m still at it. Besides that, my dream to bring Japan’s culture to the world has come to life in the form of my blog, The Japanese Way, that helps people understand everything about Japan.
And I don’t just stay in Japan! While most part of the year I’m in Japan, other times you’ll find me in Bhutan, Korea, London and of course, New York. I like to travel to explore the big world we live in and working remotely helps me keep up with my blog and my remote language lessons for my students.
If it wasn’t for remote work, I would have had to sacrifice one of the two things – a good income or coming back to Japan. I can easily do both now and I’d never have it any other way. If anyone’s afraid to take the plunge, I strongly urge you to do it. There’s only a win-win with remote work.
Get in touch with Yuuna on LinkedIn to know everything about the Japanese culture.
Adeana Ayusta, Indonesia
“The convenience of working remotely made it easier for me to pursue my bachelor’s degree.”
Hello! My name is Adeana Ayusta. You can call me Dea. I live in one of the cities in Indonesia, namely Bekasi. I’m a student and also a remote worker. I work as a social media specialist in a company in Indonesia. The convenience of working remotely made it easier for me to pursue my bachelor’s degree.
Carrying out two obligations at once, becomes a very big challenge. Due to the high flexibility that comes with working as a remote worker, I am able to complete various tasks on time. When I became a remote worker I was able to manage my daily schedule much better than before. I no longer have to waste time commuting to the office. I can even save my money on transportation.
Currently our way of working has been transformed, me and my coworkers don’t always meet face to face in the same room. Often we have to collaborate with our colleagues who are far apart and even in different provinces. But we still have to have the skills to work together to create satisfying work results.
Since we’re equipped with the necessary tools like a laptop and internet, we can work anywhere and anytime. However, good time management is necessary to manage your daily schedules. Usually, from morning until noon I attend online lecture classes and then continue to do office work from noon to night.
Communication with the team is very important, we usually hold online meetings twice a week. I often work in coffee shops to change the work atmosphere but, creating a conducive workspace is very important. For me, the most comfortable work is in my room. Calm and comfortable atmosphere accompanied by some RnB music helps increase enthusiasm and work productivity.
Turn Your Work-From-Home Life Into A Success Story
Even though everything comes with its cons and you can’t have it all, remote work has a lot of advantages that outweigh those cons. Remote work gives you the freedom to move from one industry to another like Luis did. You can ditch the job you hate for another that you love like Mercedes did. You have no reason to worry about choosing between motherhood and your career if you’re a work-from-home mom like Erika. And if you’ve hit rock bottom and have no idea how to get yourself back up, take inspiration from Andrew’s determination and his decision to go fully remote. You don’t have to leave your country if you don’t want to and can still interact and work with people from across the world like Yuuna.
Take the first step and begin a journey of freedom and flexibility. If you ever find yourself in doubt, come back to this article to see how these wonderful people made it happen and know that you can too.