This is part four in a series about how we work at Bunny Studio. We’re a remote company, so we’re based all over the world. We live different lives and come from different cultures, so our ways of working are unique. This is a place where we talk about the challenges of working remotely, as well as share our experiences.
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Name, job title and location?
Camilo Suárez, WritingBunny Operations Coordinator. I live in Bogotá, Colombia.
How long have you worked remotely?
Since June 2015. I worked in Production Management for VoiceBunny for 2 years, then switched over to WritingBunny.
Is Bunny Studio the first remote company you’ve worked for?
Yes. It was also my first full-time job.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
A typical workday for me takes place at our Bogotá co-working space.
I’m a morning person. But, when I say that I don’t mean that I get up at 5 am. No. I mean that I focus better in the mornings. Because of that, I try to do my more involved work then.
I get in to the co-working space at around 8 am and check my Trello board. What pieces of writing need to be looked at today? What is most urgent? I look over my pending tasks and establish an order. Then, I work through them.
Hopefully, by the afternoon, the board is clear and I have time to work on other things. My OKRs, updating documentation, personal projects… that sort of thing. I also use this time to proofread longer pieces of writing. Looking over a 7000 word project takes a lot of time, so I like to do that kind of tasks in the afternoon, once the day’s urgent responsibilities are completed.
I finish work around 5pm, sometimes a bit later depending on what needs to get done.
What does your workspace look like?
Well, my workspace varies considerably depending on where I’m working from.
If I’m at our co-working space, I work at my desk. I really like my desk. I’ve made it my own little den, in a way. Even if I’m surrounded by co-workers, I need to have my own space to work and concentrate. So I put effort into making it a happy place. Even if it’s messy. My desk may be covered in garbage, yes, but it’s my garbage. Everything that’s in my work space is there for a reason.
If I’m not working from the co-working space though, man, my work spaces really vary. I mean, I’ve worked from a friend’s living room in the Netherlands, libraries and a university hall in Sweden, and in a kitchen surrounded by people cooking (and food, so much food) in Italy. I’ve also worked from a friend’s apartment in Miami. That was fun because she works remotely too, but for a different company. It was nice to make our own little co-working space, if you will, and bounce ideas back and forth.
Regardless of where I am though, I need my own little den in order to concentrate and work hard. That doesn’t mean that the scenery around me has to stay the same; in fact, I prefer variety. I need to be in a space where people won’t disturb me, but that space isn’t tied to one physical location.
How does working remotely benefit you?
Like I said, I prefer variety. I like to explore different places and see new things. If I had the means, I would do it constantly. So, working for a company that encourages travel and working from anywhere is a great thing for me. I know that, if I wanted to, I could pick up my stuff, go someplace new, and not have to worry about my job. That’s the dream, right? Going to work somewhere like the Greek islands just because you can.
I try to make it a priority to work from somewhere other than Bogotá at least once a year. Some years I don’t manage that, and that’s okay. What’s important is that I know that I could do it if I needed to or wanted to.
What challenges do you face when working remotely?
There’s a certain flow of communication that can only happen when you’re in the same physical place as someone. There’s something about seeing a person in real life that makes communication… easier? It certainly helps it flow better. It’s also easier to pick up on nuances and emotion face-to-face, rather than online.
So, for me, permanently working in a different physical location than the rest of my team would be difficult. It’s totally fine in short bursts of a month or so, of course. That’s no issue. But long-term? I don’t know. I would find it tough, even with video calls and things like that. It’s just not the same.
I think of working remotely, away from my team, as a hobby rather than a rule. It’s fun to see new things, but it’s also helpful to be able exchange glances with a coworker when you hear a commotion outside, you know?
Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about making the change to remote work?
Oh, yes. You definitely need to understand how you communicate best. Do you prefer to communicate verbally, in writing, or in some other way? What form of communication do you value the most? What form are you best at?
In order to succeed at a remote company, you need to be good at written communication. You need to be able to express yourself in very precise and absolute terms via text. Sure, yes, we do have frequent video meetings, but writing is the main way we communicate on a day-to-day basis. If you have trouble getting your thoughts across in writing, working remotely may be a challenge for you.
Did your life change when you started working remotely? If so, how?
To be honest, my life didn’t really change much. Working here was my first full-time job, remember, so I don’t really know what it’s like to be at a company that doesn’t allow remote work.
If anything, I think my life will change if I ever stop working at a remote-friendly company. Being forced to go to an office everyday would be a shock and I’m pretty sure it would be horrible. Knowing that I can work from anywhere makes me more relaxed, you know? I don’t want to lose that.
Thanks so much! Anything else you’d like to add?
Mmm, yeah. Being able to work from anywhere is something that comes so naturally that it’s hard sometimes to take a step back and analyze it critically. But working remotely is a privilege. It’s a privilege that, I think, all of us who work remotely don’t fully recognize. I mean, I sure don’t. It’s just how I work my job and live my life. But it’s a privilege that only a few experience. We, the remote workers, need to remember that, even in moments of high work stress.