Carlo Borja leads the online marketing team for TimeDoctor.com, which provides an online time tracking tool for individuals and teams. He doesn’t have a fancy desk for work, he just has a MacBook Air that he carries to a coffee shop, co-working space, or comfortable spot in his home. He likes being able to work wherever he can be most productive. While he enjoys working remotely, Carlo said he had to learn how to make time for other things in his life.
What are the advantages of your remote job?
1. Being able to work from anywhere.
I enjoy the fact that I am not confined to an office. I can work wherever I can be productive. That means at home when I am with my family, going to coffee shops when I want to meet people, or traveling when I want to relax.
2. Having a flexible work schedule.
I get to work when I am actually really productive. I am not a morning person. I work best late nights and midnights. It’s a very unusual schedule, which I could never take advantage of had I not been doing virtual work.
3. More time for doing what I love.
The two advantages I already mentioned have made room for me to do some of the things I am passionate about. Here in our community, I am involved in a business group, a church group and more. I even have more time for my family and friends.
What is your biggest challenge and how have you overcome it?
“Turning off” work.
The biggest challenge I had to face was that the line between “work” and “home” got blurred. Because I can bring work with me anywhere, I noticed I was working non-stop. It didn’t help that my home and my office are in the same place.
I think of work at dinner, I open my laptop in bed, I even check emails when I’m with family. This led to burnout as little did I notice I was working almost 24 hours a day.
I was able to overcome this by setting a clear schedule. I blocked hours of the day when I need to work. And, on those times when I am not working, I make sure I block all work stuff. I don’t check emails, I don’t bring my computer, etc.
This made me more present with my family. I also got to spare more time for working out (which is also another important thing to when you are a remote worker).
What is your advice to someone who is planning to work virtually?
The remote work setup is really enticing. You get to work anywhere you want and anytime you want. But, don’t let this distract you from the fact that it still requires hard work and discipline to be able to maintain this kind of lifestyle.
In fact, I think it even requires twice the discipline you need when working in an office. That’s because you have to create a productive environment yourself. Otherwise, you’ll end up not being efficient.
It definitely is not for everyone. But, when you get comfortable with it, you surely wouldn’t want to do it any other way.
The view from Carlo’s “office”: