What are you working on?
I am the Chief Culture Officer and co-founder of jeffandvaden (Digital Marketing Agency based in Northern California) and currently lead social media strategy initiatives for our sporting division. At the moment we are doing some exciting work with sportsblog.com, which represents some of the most popular online sports bloggers and athlete bloggers in the nation. We’ve also had a unique opportunity to interface with organizations such as the National Basketball Players Association, National Basketball Retired Players Association, Women’s National Basketball Players Association and the National Football League Players Association with regards to their partnerships with sportsblog.com and the amplification of athlete authored content via social media channels.
What’s the biggest challenge of working remotely right now?
For the past 5 weeks I have been working remotely from the island of Flores (1 of 9 islands here) in the Azores, Portugal. Most people haven’t heard of it, if you’re one of those check out this link: Where's Vaden (800 miles west of Portugal). Just a week ago the charger for my Macbook Pro decided it didn’t want to charge anymore and unfortunately a carrier pigeon could get a new one here quicker than the mail service could. It has forced me to put my iPad Air to the test and thanks to innovative tools/applications I have managed to be productive and efficient.
How do you choose a spot to work from?
It really depends on the weather here in the Azores. If it’s raining I will work at the kitchen table of our home. If the sun is out then I will hop on the scooter and zip down to the Port Cafe at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, while enjoying the amazing sounds of massive waterfalls in the background.
What’s the biggest misconception about remote work?
The biggest misconception is the utilitarian idea that you can work from anywhere, despite the distractions that surround you. As great as it is to work from a remote destination like the Azores, Portugal I all to often find myself hacking on the keyboard, or glued to my iPad while others around me are basking in the sun and swimming in the ocean.
Top tips for working remotely?
Start your day as if you were actually going to an office among other colleagues. It's easy to roll out of bed, hop on your computer and start working. The problem with this is you become immersed in projects/business of the day and before you know it it's 2:00pm and your still in PJ’s, haven't brushed your teeth or combed your hair. This can be even more troublesome if you need to collaborate with someone via Fuze and forget what you look like to the outside world. Wake up, shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, then start working…your Productivity will sky rocket!
In addition, I highly recommend using collaborative tools such as Fuze, Basecamp and/or Yammer to stay connected to your team. These tools have been the glue that keep our teams at jeffandvaden moving forward while bringing transparency, accountability and productivity to the forefront of how we manage client initiatives.
Do you think remote employees are more productive?
Absolutely, the office can be great for many aspects but it’s also a mecca for distractions. There's always people to talk to, office drama, weekend plans, and many other things that will take your attention away from projects at hand. What I love about working remotely is it's project based, there's no busy work. Remote workers generally work based on projects and as long as you get the projects/tasks complete you’re able to see things moving forward. The projects/tasks workflow that stares me in the face as I start each day is also a great metric to measure my productivity for any given day, week, month and year as I assess my own performance.
Follow jeffandvaden on Twitter @jeffandvaden
Want to learn more about how to take advantage of Fuze for remote work? Check out the Fuze Use Case Catalog.