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Remote Worker Profile: James Maskell

October 10, 2014 by

What are you working on?

Two portals to evolve medicine to deal with the modern epidemics. Revive Primary Care is a patient portal that educates patients on the four major causes of chronic disease and connects them to a doctor in their zip code. The Functional Forum is a monthly web-TV show for those same doctors about new trends and best practices in clinical, practical and technological aspects of evolving medicine.

What’s the biggest challenge of working remotely right now?

Keeping my team motivated and coordinating my team, who work across many states and different project teams. Not being able to get everyone together physically to keep up morale and inspire their best work is a constant challenge.

Describe your workspace/ How do you choose a spot to work from?

I work at Neuehouse, a co-working space near Madison Square Park in Manhattan. It is a cross between Soho House and WeWork, and has been my main office since Summer last year, when I realized working from home with an infant child (and a loud voice) was not a recipe for success.

James Maskell Neuehouse Office Space

What are the most important types of tools you use as a remote worker (video, chat, email)?

We use Google Docs and email the most, but also we use Asana and Basecamp to coordinate the different teams.

What’s the biggest misconception about remote work?

I worked from home for 5 years before landing at Neuehouse, including a brief fling with having my own office in Williamsburg where I live. It is a misconception that you can get a lot more done at home, because you have to be a lot more vigilant not to let other things distract you.

Top tips for working remotely?

Daily routine. You have to have some sort of way to keep yourself on task and focus on the major things. It is really easy to just drift through a week and get nothing done. Being on commission at the start of my career really pushed me to work out a system. I was fortunate to have a great mentor (who was also my manager) who helped me get a structure that was sustainable and an accountability to get the most out of me.

My other tip is to use other spaces. During the months in NYC when you can go outside (April - November) I always liked to write out a list of calls I had to make and make them walking around Central Park or Riverside Park. I find I am much more eloquent on the phone standing up and walking too.

Do you think remote employees are more productive?

Yes, as long as you can provide the right structure and accountability mix to get the most out of the individual concerned. There isn’t a one size fits all!

Follow James on Twitter @mrjamesmaskell

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