Remote Letter #6

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"Everything you can imagine is real." - Pablo Picasso

Products

Nomad Travel Tools - The Swiss Army Knife of Travel Tools.

Readminder - App for tracking your reading and keeping favorite quotes.

Icebreakers - Icebreaker questions to get your conversations going.

Teamo - Group cards for teams to stay connected and celebrate wins.

eCommerce Stack - A giant library of the best eCommerce marketing inspiration to grow your store.


News & Views

Barbados Wants You to Come Work Remotely By the Beach for Up a Year
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley last week said the country is considering the idea of a 12-month “Barbados Welcome Stamp” that would allow tourists to spend extended time in paradise, working remotely.

Those who choose to take advantage of working from the dreamy locale would be able to stay in hotels, rental houses, villas, and condominiums, Mottley said, and workspaces would be available.

The year-long program will start Aug. 1, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. shared with Travel + Leisure.

The Future of Remote Work, According to Startups
No matter where in the world you log in from—Silicon Valley, London, and beyond—COVID-19 has triggered a mass exodus from traditional office life. Now that the lucky among us have settled into remote work, many are left wondering if this massive, inadvertent work-from-home experiment will change work for good.

In the following charts, we feature data from a comprehensive survey conducted by UK-based startup network Founders Forum, in which hundreds of founders and their teams revealed their experiences of remote work and their plans for a post-pandemic future.

American Passports Are Worthless Now (Map)
America is not united anymore and it’s barely a state. They have crashed right through failed state into a plague state, unwelcome across the world. This has been predicted, including here. Now it has come to pass. Just look at the map.

Americans have gone from having access to most of the world to being banned from most of it. Today, Americans are only allowed in a few Caribbean islands and the Balkans. An American passport is now worthless. Worse than worthless, it’s a plague.

In the absence of a humane government, America is now ruled by COVID-19. Welcome to the Plague States of America.

Only 13% of UK working parents want to go back to ‘the old normal’
Lockdown has given people a chance to sample new ways of balancing their jobs and family lives and they have concluded that something must change. Just 13% want to go back to pre-pandemic ways of working, with most people saying they would prefer to spend a maximum of three days in the office.

A survey of 1,500 people carried out for Bright Horizons, the nursery provider, suggests that many working parents realise that large parts of their jobs can be conducted remotely. And they believe that their employers will agree.

Nearly two-thirds think their employers will be open to remote or flexible working in the future as the widespread adoption of Zoom and other online tools has kept many businesses functioning even as physical workplaces have been shuttered.

Hybrid Remote Work Offers the Worst of Both Worlds
Post-pandemic, many companies plan to let employees work from home and a main office. But trying to do both ensures neither experience is good.

Hybrid creates two fundamentally different employee experiences to manage. Despite recent successes with remote work, employers are reopening offices to some of their employees to encourage social bonding, reinforce culture, and increase business collaboration. The assumption underlying these reopenings is that some critical things can’t be done as effectively outside of the office. Leaders who built their businesses in offices counted on shared space to act as a glue for culture and as a stopgap for inefficiencies in communication systems and processes. While the office-based model has historically proven to be successful for many companies, it will provide significant challenges for companies committed to also supporting a remote workforce. If an office is the “glue,” and processes and systems don’t adapt for a remote workforce, remote team members will not feel included and will face constant communication barriers. This will make it harder for them to perform at the same level as their in-office peers.


Discussions

An Evangelist for Remote Work Sees the Rest of the World Catch On
This is an interview with Matt Mullenweg, the founder/CEO of Automattic, which, according to the article, has 1,000+ fully distributed employees now, 15 years after its founding. This was a fun insight from him to close out the "Corner Office" column: "This column is called Corner Office, and most people who choose to have offices are usually the bosses. And I’ve been to the offices of billionaire C.E.O.s that have their own private bathroom, beautiful art and couches. But these are all things that you can have in your house. What I love about distributed organizations is every single employee can have a corner office."

Is it worth flying business class at the moment?
I was meant to move to Singapore in May however given the current situation I haven’t been able to. I was planning to fly Business class as a way to mark this milestone in my life and a sort of congratulations present to myself.

I’ve spoken to my boss in Singapore and he now wants me to come in September. I was planning to fly Singapore airlines however not sure whether to save my money now and fly business class next year when things settle down. I’ve heard that the business class product at the moment is very limited and wouldn’t get the “proper” experience.

Anyone flown business recently that could comment on this?

Solo female nomads, in which countries/ cities did you feel the most and least safe in?
I’ll be starting my digital nomad journey next year (granted COVID is under control enough that it’s viable) and wanted to compile a rough list of places I’d eventually like to end up in, and this sub is great for finding out people's experiences in various countries. However, ladies I feel like our experiences may differ from the men’s. For example, I’ve heard not-so-great things about Morocco from my female friends that have gone, but no complaints from my guy friends.

This Is What Freelancers Mean When They Say "Find Clients Through Cold Pitching"
Just as you, I have also come across various Reddit posts of freelancers asking the same question, "how to get clients?", and every time other freelancers' answers are "look for clients in job boards, LinkedIn, referrals, and COLD PITCH." People who are in this industry for a long time understand how powerful cold pitching actually is. So, they always recommend doing cold pitching, as from their perspective, it's the most effective method to get clients. However, I have noticed that most of the beginners or the people asking such questions don't know the exact steps to cold pitch, which is completely okay. Even I didn't have any idea when I first started cold pitching, but as time passed, I kinda figured it out myself.

Real ways to find remote work
Being a child from two earthlings from two different countries and having moved to a third country, I am often on the move. I struggle to find a sustainable income and would really like to find online work. But that's easier said than done. I've come across a lot of websites that claim to offer remote work, but when you dig a little deeper you start to realize that the pay is often way below minimum wage and not worth the amount of work. Do you have any tips for me on where I can find real opportunities for online work? I have photography-, research-, marketing-, data analysis- and quite a few other skills. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


Podcasts

Nomad Stories EP3 with Jose Flores (Nomad Stories)
Jose Flores is discovering the world for already 4 year as a Perpetual Traveler. During his own entrepreneurial journey, he became an Internationalization & Global Tax Planning Strategist. He and his team help digital nomads, location-independent entrepreneurs & investors from designing legal strategies for tax optimization, incorporating companies abroad to even acquiring second passports to maximize their freedom.

Mental Health Awareness: Let's Talk About Mental Health (Remotely Prepared)
In today's episode Greg & Colin speak with Habib Mankal, a Microsoft MVP who helps stand up companies for remote work. While the work schedules of many slowed or even stopped during the early days of the Coronavirus shutdown, Hab's workload shot through the roof. We talked to Hab about what teams making the transition should be thinking about and what it takes to make the technical transition work.

The REAL Cost of Living as a Digital Nomad Anywhere in the World (That Remote Life)
There have been lots of videos and podcasts made about the cost of living as a digital nomad, from the cost of living in specific locations, to ones about the minimum amount of money you need...but how much money do you need to live as a digital nomad anywhere in the world sustainably?