3 Reasons Why Remote Working Has Boosted My Productivity

It’s now been 4 months since I moved to Asia and during that time, my cofounder Ed and I have built Product Friends, JournoRequests.com, upgraded Hey Press and hit our goal of earning $1000/month.

Working remotely has been a different experience altogether and although I feel like I work less hours per day, I’m more productive in those hours.

Here are three reasons that might explain why:

1. Having to Communicate Efficiently

Communication is vital in any startup and even more so when working remotely. Not only is it harder to bounce ideas off of each other (the virtual equivalent of a ‘hey what do you think about this’ turns into switching to Skype and waiting for them to answer your call), you also have to deal with the timezone gap.

This means that before catching up, you need to figure out exactly what needs to be discussed, lest risking having to wait another while before you can talk about it again.

Before my daily Skype call with Ed, I note down everything that needs to be discussed in Trello (Ed does the same) and we run through each item during the call. Any action points are then assigned directly to a Trello to-do list, so that we know what needs to be done today before the next call. This means that even if the other person is sleeping, we both know the short term goals and the progress we’re making.

2. Breaking Routine

Living in a new place means I need to find new places to eat, work and play. Just the fact that I’m no longer getting the same train in, working at the same coffee shop or buying lunch from the same few places means I feel more energised, alert and productive.

I guess this is a similar effect to starting a new job, working at a new office or using a standing desk — even a small change to routine can make a big difference.

3. A Change of Scenery

Working in Asia means that I get the luxury of exploring a bunch of places and countries that would cost a lot of time or money if I travelled from London. Granted, I can’t get to Bali on easyJet prices, but 5 hours on a plane sure does beat 14 hours.

For the same reasons that taking vacations avoids getting burnt out in a job, travelling and working means I can focus on a problem long term without feeling like I need some time to clear my head.

An added bonus is that Asia is comparatively cheaper than Europe to get around in and I get to see a lot of things I would never get the chance to see, whilst trying some pretty exotic (but not always tasty) foods.

Enjoying a tasty durian milkshake…