(In today’s guest-post from Carles Sans, Founder of Punta App, which is a great new nomad networking app for digital nomads, shares his valuable tips and experience of working remotely.)
Hello to everyone in the remote working community, and to those thinking of joining it. My name is Carles, I am from Barcelona and I'm a Data Scientist who has spent much of his career working in the fast-paced and challenging sectors of Finance and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
Beyond my professional background, I am also the co-founder of Punta App (www.punta.app) – a social platform designed to unite digital nomads worldwide, helping them discover and connect with each other along their travel routes.
Today, I'd like to share my personal journey and some key habits I've adopted to thrive as a remote worker.
In my quest for a better work/life balance, I decided to try working remotely primarily to gain greater flexibility over my schedule, to escape the draining daily commute to the office and to create a focused, distraction-free working environment.
My remote work journey has largely followed my familial ties in Spain and Sweden, each place having its distinct charm.
Spain, in particular Barcelona, has a vibrant street culture, which I wanted more time to enjoy and explore. Music concerts in the street, fresh seafood, great friends and the impressive mountains and secluded coves with unspoilt beaches around Catalunya and the Costa Brava.
While in Sweden, the serene landscapes provided a tranquil backdrop for deep concentration. And I was able to learn about the cultural origins of my partner’s native country.
Working remotely in both environments uniquely enhanced my experience and quality of life.
When I first took the plunge into remote work, I realised that the traditional office-bound lifestyle had given way to a new reality – a setup that required discipline, self-care, and a constant need for balance. In order to properly manage one’s well-being, whilst remaining productive.
Over time, I've discovered five core habits that have reshaped my approach to work and life.
1. Suit up for success
As mundane as it may sound, changing out of my pyjamas and into work clothes plays a vital role in my daily routine. This simple act of 'getting dressed for work' allows me to mentally switch gears from a relaxed, sleep-induced state to one of productivity and focus. It draws a clear boundary between 'home' and 'work', staving off the allure of returning to bed.
2. Stepping out before stepping in
I've found that beginning my day with a short walk to a local café for breakfast has become an essential precursor to diving into work. It helps shake off the residual lethargy from sleep and kick-starts my day on a bright note. The outdoors' refreshing ambiance, coupled with a hearty breakfast, primes me for the day ahead.
3. Socialise to energise
As a remote worker spending hours on coding and solitary tasks, I find that my need to engage with others grows significantly. Therefore, I make it a point to meet people and visit the gym almost every afternoon. This daily socialisation, away from the confines of the screen, is essential for my mental well-being, keeping me invigorated and balanced.
4. Mastering Time Management
As a remote worker, time can either be your ally or your nemesis. Hence, I've honed my skills to manage my schedule wisely, allowing myself frequent, short breaks to refresh my mind and avoid burnout. Writing out a list of prioritised tasks at the start of each day can really help clarify your schedule and add structure to the day. Using a digital calendar app is also very useful for this.
5. Walking & Talking
Another unique habit I've cultivated is incorporating walking into my work routine. Whenever I have a phone call or a meeting where a camera isn't necessary, I take it as an opportunity to get moving. Going for a stroll while talking not only allows me to stretch my legs and enjoy a change of scenery but also helps stimulate my thoughts and ideas. This habit is a testament to the flexibility of remote work – important conversations and decision-making are no longer confined to office walls or static screens.
In conclusion, I can confidently say that the switch to a remote working lifestyle is well worth the effort. The sheer flexibility of being able to work from anywhere, the luxury of not losing precious hours commuting (which, in my case, used to be at least 2 hours a day), and the freedom to travel as I please have been transformative. It’s allowed me to design my work around my life, rather than the other way around.
While the challenges of remote work are very real, I've found that by cultivating the right habits and maintaining a positive outlook, the rewards significantly outweigh the hurdles. The digital nomadic lifestyle is not just a dream – it's a rewarding reality.
And as the world continues to evolve, I believe more of us will embrace this way of life, finding our rhythm and discovering our unique paths. Still, I believe it is better to start a career path non-remotely, since having a good manager that can help you immensely during your first steps and is the key for your success afterwards.
As I sign off, I extend an invitation to all aspiring digital nomads to join us on www.punta.app, where we continue to build a community that supports and encourages the remote working lifestyle. See you there!