Remote Letter #7

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"Sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did." - Steve Jobs


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News & Views

21 Best Remote Work Tools For Software Developers
Ever had someone tell you you’re a fast worker? They might have asked you to edit a few images, create a short video about something, or find a bug fix in the code they’d written. A task that’d take you a few hours, they thought. But you simply whipped up Canva, Loom, VS Code, and did what they'd asked in mere minutes. The right remote work tools can supercharge your productivity. They enable you to move fast without compromising on quality. The better these tools get, the more we can accomplish during our working hours. That’s why we compiled a list of our 21 favorite remote work tools for software developers.

Gov't to allow int'l citizens to work remotely from Georgia
As part of the strategy to gradually open the country, the Georgian Government has decided to allow foreign citizens to enter Georgia under a special regime. According to the Ministry of Economy, the project is focused on freelancers, self-employed foreigners who can work remotely. The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava noted that the citizens of all countries obtaining the right to live in Georgia for at least six months will be allowed to enter the country. Turnava pointed out that within the framework of the project, for those who wish to stay in Georgia for a long period, an online platform for applications has been developed.

Zoom announces a $599 touchscreen device for remote workers
Zoom, whose user base exploded with the onset of COVID-19, is expanding into hardware. The company has announced a new touchscreen device designed to help with remote work. The appliance, called Zoom For Home — DTEN ME, will cost $599 and will ship in August. The DTEN ME is a 27-inch touchscreen device with three smart webcams and eight noise-reducing microphones built in, and it comes preloaded with the Zoom software. Zoom isn’t actually building the hardware; the product comes from DTEN, a San Jose-based company that makes videoconferencing appliances. While $599 may seem like a steep price to pay for a Zoom-calling device when you can already Zoom from a phone or computer, the idea seems to be that it’s an easy way for newly remote employees to jump right into Zoom without having to deal with installing the software or setting up any complex equipment.

Gartner Survey Reveals 82% of Company Leaders Plan to Allow Employees to Work Remotely Some of the Time
A Gartner, Inc. survey on June 5 of 127 company leaders, representing HR, Legal and Compliance, Finance and Real Estate, revealed 82% of respondents intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace. For many organizations with employees working both onsite and remotely, adapting to a new, more complex hybrid workforce is the challenge as how people work together to get their job done evolves. Nearly half (47%) said they intend to allow employees to work remotely full time going forward. For some organizations, flex time will be the new norm as 43% of survey respondents reported they will grant employees flex days, while 42% will provide flex hours. “The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a huge experiment in widespread remote working,” said Elisabeth Joyce, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice. “As business leaders plan and execute reopening of their workplaces, they are evaluating more permanent remote working arrangements as a way to meet employee expectations and to build more resilient business operations.”

Why WFH Isn’t Necessarily Good for Women
By altering attitudes toward working from home (WFH), COVID-19 may have forever changed the way we work. According to a new MIT study, half of those who were employed before the pandemic are now working remotely. As company executives see for themselves that excellent work can be achieved, and productivity heightened, even in jobs that no one imagined could be done virtually, a growing number of companies, including Facebook and Twitter, are announcing that they will allow employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. It’s tempting to think that such flexible work options will be a big equalizer for women. Many are daring to hope that by removing the stigma attached to WFH, and by cutting commuting time and the insidious “face time” norms that can add hours to the workday, women can maintain full-time jobs and avoid losing traction in their careers during their caregiving years. There is some evidence on which to base this dream of a better future — studies have shown that flexibility allows mothers to maintain their working hours after childbirth and to stay in relatively stressful yet well-paying occupations through times of high family demand. But before we declare victory, we need to consider three potential trip wires.


Remote workers: how do you deal with loneliness?
I've been working from home for nearly 2 years. There are certainly many advantages of remote work. However, over time, I started also noticing some disadvantages. The biggest drawback is that I don't have much chance to talk with people. I feel more and more isolated. Do you also miss the social interactions that happen in the office? How do you deal with loneliness?

8 rules that make us a strong remote team
Despite the fact that our team works remotely from 9 countries in 5 different time zones and up to 7 hours difference, we still don’t have any problems in team collaboration and efficiency. Since 2014, we have been experimenting with different processes, tools, rules, traditions, and styles for continuous improvements. It has resulted in a system that we want to share with our readers. Next, we shared 8 remote work rules that the data rockets team follows.

How to Guarantee a Good Stay In Airbnb. My checklist after several burnouts with Airbnb...
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I feel stressed out by staying in an Airbnb. As a DN, Airbnb is quite an important tool when it comes to travel. (but who knows whether will it last after COVID ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I never know how to make sure to make the host and myself satisfied. To prevent such guessing work, I decided to break down the process and make a checklist out of it. Some of the items on the list here may seem pedantic to some of you. But I assure you they all come from my experience.

Am I in the wrong? Client from hell
First time posting here as I am new to freelance. I am a graphic designer/ illustrator by trade and have thus far enjoyed a salaried position. Well I recently moved and applied for a job in the area that offered a full time position but I would have to work on contract for the first week to see if I was able to complete the project type I would be working on for them. They gave me a week deadline to make illustrations, logos and set up a simple wordpress site. The flat fee was $1000.00 (this takes place in canada). My first mistake is that I did not establish a contract. I was applying for a full time position, I thought it would be safe to trust my new employers and was confident it would go smoothly.

Freelancing websites are a race to the bottom, where can I find customers online ?
I started learning web development to secure a second source of income and possibly change my career path. I'm able to develop simple websites and get my hand in design but don't know where to get leads.


Nomad Stories EP4 with Sofia Konstantinidou | From Teacher to Entrepreneur (Nomad Stories)
Sofia forfeit her secured government job to pursue her own freedom. She since grew a thriving online community, and created a successful on-line course. In episode number four of Nomad Stories she shares her journey, how her mindset has changed, the dynamic with her business partner who is also her life partner, and why she chose to go vegan. An inspiring story of conquering our fears and limiting beliefs.

Motivation and Visible Teamwork in Remote Teams (21st Century Work Life)
Visible teamwork is a set of practices which include using technology to make our work and ourselves manifest in our remote teams - staying connected, as well as collaborating. So we need to understand what drives us to do our work in the first place: our motivations, for being part of a team and working toward common goals. Deci and Ryan’s definition of intrinsic motivation comes from the positive position that we all want to do our best, in work and in life, but the environment gets in the way of that. It follows that we should assume positive intent in others too, so that’s a good place to start.

How the World Changes When Everyone Works From Home (Badass Digital Nomads)
WORK-FROM-HOME FOREVER: What happens when no one commutes to the office anymore? The pandemic marks a turning point in global society and the start of a major cultural change in working remotely for the rest of our lives. How we live and where we work have changed. Naturally, you have some questions about what to do next. "As long as you’re punching the clock in your 9-5, who cares where you are?" The hosts of The Guy Phillips Show on KTRS Radio asked Kristin to come on to explain how the world will change when everyone works remotely and how you can best prepare for the unknown.