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Starting My Remote Year Journey

They always told me growing up, “love what you do”. As I grew older I started to understand the importance of what that phrase means beyond just hobbies and recreational activities. We spend a third of our weekdays working to support a life where you can love what you do. Many individuals search for years (or their entire lives) to find a job that combines the sense of personal fulfillment with achieving career goals. Over my tenure at Fuze, I have always wondered what life would be like if I could pair my daily job with exploring the world, a desire a so many new grads have due to endless FOMO inflicted by Instagram. In a digital age where more and more companies, managers, and employees rely on electronic communication instead of physical meetings, even when sitting next to each other, it is essential to have a reliable collaboration tool available at your fingertips. The modern global workforce strives to be location independent, redefining the rules connected to productivity and the definition of good work.

While some are more productive in an office setting, others may find their creative juices flowing in a coffee shop, a kitchen table, or on top of a mountain. Or, a growing startup may find the most qualified employees living in a different continent, who are eager to contribute their skills and experience, but unable to make a lengthy commute or relocate. Why should any company have to suffer missing out on exceptional talent simply due to location or distance?

In spring of 2016, while browsing Facebook, I stumbled upon an ad for a remote work program called Remote Year. The promotional video showed people working all around the world while also exploring the country they were stationed in, experiencing the local culture and making friends along the way. “This is everything I have been dreaming of,” I thought to myself, but simultaneously I also thought, “it isn’t possible for me and too good to be true.” Convincing myself that I was not a candidate for the program, I brushed off the idea and continued with my day-to-day routines.

Over the next two years, I discovered that the nature of my role allowed me to work remote more and more frequently. I have been very fortunate to maintain an operations role which does not require me to be in the office every day. It helps that Fuze believes in working from anywhere and creates software that enables workers to communicate and connect with colleagues, no matter their location. It was interesting to realize that my productivity was increasing when I was working outside of the office, and I could use the time I would normally spend commuting on personal development. Two years after first seeing the Facebook ad and many hours of internal deliberation later, I finally decided to learn more about the program which offered personal and professional growth along with what I so desperately sought after; freedom to explore the world and work from anywhere.

Arriving in the Cape Town airport

For the first four months of 2019, I am thrilled and grateful to be joining the Remote Year community on a journey of a lifetime, embarking on an adventure through Africa and Europe, alongside 50 other full time remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. We will be living in four countries for one month each--South Africa, Morocco, Portugal, and Spain. We’ll be provided with an apartment, a co-working office, and a plethora of organized networking events, excursions, and skill development workshops. While I will be paying for this program completely out of my own pocket, I view it a critical investment in myself, to grow personally and professionally, to learn about myself outside of my comfort zone, and to make life long connections that can one day impact my career.

Equally as important, the Fuze leadership team is investing its time and trust in me, knowing that such a program will equip me with new skills to help drive the success and growth of our organization, while also spreading awareness about the power of our disruptive technology. Fuze is a leader in the communications and collaboration space, promoting the idea of “Work From Anywhere” to organizations around the world, capitalizing on the market need for a reliable and powerful collaborative tool. My goal is to actualize and prove our own company philosophy, representing Fuze while documenting the experience along the way.

Naum Kaluzhny

Naum Kaluzhny

Naum is the Channel Operations Manager at Fuze.

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