How has your remote job impacted your life outside of work?
Now I’m stress free.
So many positive ways: I have time to make important appointments. I can drop off and pick up my daughter from daycare and still actually have time in the evenings to hang out with her. I can help my husband with things he needs to take care of. I can arrange work around my life, and not the other way around, and that feels amazing.
At time of answering this interview (September 2016), I’ve been a remote worker for 26 years, nomad for the past 22 years, and have visited and/or lived in 85 countries. So because of remote work, I’ve been able to discover the world while living my business life and expressing my creative side…
I’m more relaxed and feel less like I’m not doing all the things at home or with family that I should be doing because I’m miles away at an office. I used to feel completely guilty when severe weather hit my home area while I was off working in another state; I needed to be home when trouble was heading there. I am now!
It’s really helped shape my entire lifestyle, because working remotely allows me to travel full-time.
It gives me the freedom to chose when and where I work—hence, I can spend much more time doing things outside of my work life. I can chose places that facilitate my lifestyle (surfing, yoga, warm climates) and I can jump on an airplane at any time to attend events, see friends or family, go on retreats, or simply just to have an adventure when I feel like it.
Since I generate most of my income passively, I only need a few hours a week to maintain my business, which frees up a lot of time to actually LIVE my life.
Last year, I left Italy for a meeting in Los Angeles. I was struck by how rushed and frantic people were in their daily lives. While I was just as productive—or more so—than they were, I was visibly more relaxed mentally and physically.
I tried to tell them that they don’t HAVE to live like that, but it is an integral part of their persona. I could not understand them as much as they could not understand me.
I have much more time to spend with my horse and family. I can also take advantage of beautiful weather and go hiking with my kids before they go to daycare.
It has had an absolutely tremendous impact on my life outside of work. I’m able to actually live more along the lines of what I always wanted—being able to travel more and live in places that for whatever reason I’m attracted to.
My remote work transition was tied closely to a greater lifestyle change so it feels like everything’s different! I feel a much greater sense of freedom and control over my life. While I’m learning that things always take more time than planned, it’s so exciting to map out big new adventures and know that my career can remain stable.
The main impact has been that my work hours are not traditional. I may work on Saturday night, yet take half a day on Tuesday off.
I am more enthusiastic about getting out of the house and doing things—change of scenery. Remote working isn’t so common in Spain and so many of my friends don’t understand how I can have a job and be at home.
I’ve become a lot more outgoing and made a lot more friends. When I lived in one place I was content with my small group of friends that I saw a couple times a week. Now that I’m constantly moving I’m making 30 new friends every month. And since I’m spending a huge chunk of time with these people all at once, the friendships get very tight very quickly.
I’m a lot happier, which has improved my life in immeasurable ways. Working at home has also made it easier for me to manage life stuff, even simple things like having someone here when the cable guy comes or being able to run out and get groceries on my lunch break. To be honest, I don’t really remember how I made life work before I worked remotely.
A few months ago, we moved to a smaller city. Moving was something my husband and I had never considered because we thought that with our tech jobs, we’d always need to live in a certain area. Since we can both work remotely now, we realized that we could make a massive change and move somewhere that would be better for our family.
I’ve made great new friends and communities, and we have planned our time so that we coincide when we can. There is a lovely consistency with the friendships I’ve made that I can pick them up in a new place wherever we left off.
It’s given me the flexibility and freedom to be curious, and experience life the way I want to. I can take opportunities to travel, see friends, go on new adventures, and not have to worry about clocking in, asking for permission, or disappointing others. It’s made my work-life balance much more fulfilling by allowing me to go where I need to while still feeling productive—whether it’s into the mountains to recharge or a new city to find inspiration.
I think it has helped me be more balanced with my health and family. I try to go to the gym a few days a week, and really like going before I start work. I can accommodate gym time much easier on the days I work from home. If I need to get prepared to go into the office, I may skip the gym because it’s harder to fit it in. Remote work also facilitates taking a break in the middle of the day, as needed, to do things with my family without cutting my workday short so I can still complete my work.
Working remote and being nomadic have killed my dating life. No problem at all meeting new people, but finding the right person and staying connected is definitely a challenge because I refuse to compromise standards. The majority of remote couples were partnered previously and are doing it together; it’s rare that you find someone suitable on the road.
It has allowed me to be a caregiver to my mother and grandmother. It has allowed me to participate in my spouse’s career development because I was available to do so. And, it has also afforded me extra time to pursue hobbies such as bike riding and playing golf.
I feel less stressed. I used to have these aches in-between my shoulder pains, they are gone. My complexion didn’t use to be great, now it’s clear. One of my eyes used to twitch often, although you couldn’t see it, but now I don’t experience that anymore. Working remotely has been a game changer for me.
Since remote for us means thousands of miles from NYC, and often times not based in America or even an English-speaking country, our social life has become different, but quite interesting. House-sitting has been a great way to quickly integrate into community, the homeowners always introduce us to their neighbors and friends, then invites and opportunities often unfold from there. We’re outgoing and love meeting the locals so we’ll go also to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, dive bars, and music clubs, not knowing a soul or even the language. Walk into any place with a smile and an open mind, and good things happen.
I get to travel A LOT, and I get used to seeing my friends and family more often. Also, I’m able to prioritize my health and happiness more—for example, when I’m in Waco, I make time each day for yoga during a long lunch hour and take one afternoon a week to get acupuncture. That wouldn’t be as simple in an office job!
Working remotely gives me the flexibility to work in my own time and pace. It’s also helped me to be more active by traveling and exercising more frequently. I feel so much healthier now. I sleep well, exercise when I get up, and can take my time getting ready for the day and eating breakfast at home since I don’t have to commute. I have a work-life balance.
Working remotely has allowed me to travel the world these past eight years. Although I have no doubt that I would have traveled no matter my job, a traditional job would have changed the scope of my travels, and my ability to travel for years on end. Now, so many of my closest friends also work remotely and travel the world—it’s hard to imagine my life without this defining aspect.
In the beginning, I had trouble adjusting as I was trying to work in a traditional model. Once I found a schedule that made sense for me, I was able to do more things with my down time. Working remotely has allowed me to get to know myself better. Previously, I was not on board for change of any sort. Freelancing has taught me to go with the flow of life and enjoy things that come my way. It’s also made me a bit of a travel junkie. This year, I’ve spent maybe 3 months (non-consecutively) at home.
I’m a homebody, so I would often find myself itching to get out of the office so I could just go home and relax. Now I’m home all day, so I’m more willing to go out after work. Even if I’m not going out socially, I’ll go to yoga or to my local rock climbing gym to just get out of the house.
It’s improved it because going to the same office day in and day out for years would definitely have killed my spirit; it did for the few years in my 20s that I followed that routine.