Remote Working, Women Working Remotely

Incredible Women That Work Remotely-International Women’s Day 2019

Today, our workplace is ever evolving and employees are looking for a schedule that differs from the typical office 9-5, and instead caters to a better work-life balance. As demographics continue to change, remote working can provide women, in particular, with the time and structure they require with family, travel, and the ability to make their own schedule. To create awareness this International Women’s Day 2019, we wanted to showcase some of the incredible women who successfully work remotely, in various industries, all around the world. From Roscommon to New Zealand,these women work in various industries from entrepreneurship to technology, but they’ve all decided to live and work in their preferred locations. The common thread in these stories is that these women have uniquely paved their own journey and have proven that goals can be achieved, all while working from their own home. These are their stories.

Talia Richardson - Strategic Partnerships Manager at Shopify

Tell me a little bit about you?

I’m a Strategic Partner Manager at Shopify   I’ve been working from home for 2 years based in New Zealand.

How has remote working benefited your life?

Although challenging to adjust initially, I love remote working and would find it very hard to turn back! Flexibility & ability to work anywhere are the most obvious benefits, but there have been a bunch of other ways that remote working has positively impacted me. Communication is key to success with remote working, so I’ve become a far more efficient communicator. At the same time, I’ve become very resourceful and comfortable with full autonomy – necessary particularly when working across time zones, and not always having someone available to answer questions. Being able to test & adjust my schedule to suit my productivity (and fewer distractions in general) has overall made me a more effective worker. One surprising benefit is that it’s really encouraged me to get out & engage with people & communities that I may not otherwise (joining women in tech groups, connecting with other remotes in my co-working space, making genuine friendships with the barista at the local coffee shop etc).

What’s one thing you wish you’d knew before you started working remotely? How important it is to set yourself up properly from the get go?

There’s a bit of a misconception that working from home means working less, full of home distractions and breaks. Most remote workers actually have the opposite problem – it can be very hard to switch off. Having a dedicated work-space, setting your working hours (and switch off hours), getting out of the house, etc, are key to getting off on the right foot.

Vanessa Tierney - Co-Founder at Abodoo

Tell us a little bit about you?

I’m the Co-Founder  of Abodoo – the fastest growing global platform for SmartWorkers. I’m also a mother of two great girls who love that Mummy and Daddy get to #SmartWork and be around more. I started WFH in 2010 due to an illness, and never thought it would be for me as I do like to be social but once I got over the initial hump as they call it, I realised not only how much life time I had back but just how many talented people were out there that were craving it or not employed but wanting to be if given the opportunity to have more flexibility. The creation of Abodoo “Abode” meaning home and “Do” meaning work was to enable companies and people to find each other while reducing unconscious bias that exists in traditional job search channels.

How has remote working benefited your life? 

It has had a multi layered effect. Firstly my health recovered and having the time back each day from what is usually spent commuting can be put into fitness. Now that I’m a Mummy, I get to also have precious time each day with our girls. Financially you save and you can feel you are doing your bit to support the reduction of carbon emissions. However, it’s the day to day being able to manage your own schedule and yes on the breaks you may put a wash on but mentally that is far better for you then letting it build up and thinking after a long day you now face more work. Overall though I’ve enjoyed making that close connection with colleagues from all over the world because working remotely gives you a privileged insight into so many homes and lives.

What’s one thing you wish you’d knew before you started working remotely?

The potential is unlimited, beliefs change and if you can demonstrate early on to a company the benefits, they will embrace. As our motto goes “life is a journey not a commute”

Noelle Quigley - Merchant Success Guru at Shopify

 Tell us a little bit about you?

My name is Noelle Quigley I work as a Customer Success Guru for Shopify who are a Canadian ecommerce company, I do this from the comfort of my home in rural Co. Roscommon. I’ve been remote working with Shopify for three years now and it has been a revelation. Prior to this I had always been in office based roles with the commute, time away from home, politics and stress that goes part and parcel with that model.

How has remote working benefited your life?

Remote working has enabled me to remain deeply invested in my career while also having a very healthy work/life balance. I’m at the stage of my life where a lot of people depend on me. As a mum with a toddler, aging parents, extended family commitments, marriage, friends, it’s a busy time. Remote working allows me to do my job and follow my career goals, which is really important to me as an independent individual, but when the laptop closes at 4pm I can immediately be all the other things I need to be. It gives me the flexibility to be out in the garden with my son ten minutes after work, weather permitting it’s still the West after all, but I’m present straight away. Previously it was the drive home, get out of the work clothes, put dinner on and hey presto it was bedtime again. Now I can put the slow cooker on in the morning before I even get started and after work is real family time.

What’s one thing you wish you’d knew before you started working remotely?

I wish I’d known a long time ago how genuinely sociable it was. I’m quite outgoing and always loved the company/buzz of an office so I didn’t consider remote working even as a possibility really. I can honestly say it’s one of the most engaged work spaces I’ve been in. I think because everyone is remote there is more effort put in to spending time together as a team. We have a quick video meeting each morning and often wind down the last half hour of the day that same way. It is staggering how much more focused you are without the office distraction during the busy working day and then you can decompress and work on projects together as you need to. The best of both worlds, truly.

Rose Barrett - Self Employed Digital Consultant – Folio Digital

Tell us a little bit about you?

I qualified as an Equine Scientist, did some time in laboratory work but during my degree we covered topics like marketing and entrepreneurship and the spark was lit. From there I went back to get a degree in innovation and project management and decided to take the self employed route. I love being able to work with different businesses and to help them make more of their digital presence. And I rediscovered a love of spreadsheets. I’ve been working remotely via various teams for over 4 years and 3 years in my own business. Remote work really started for me through that degree as much of it is taught online and the various teams I worked with were spread across Ireland. In learning to work with an agile framework and using video conferencing and online project management tools, I could see the potential in this way of working.

How has remote working benefited your life?

A huge benefit was being able to move to a more rural community where I secured a house with an office unit at a fraction of the cost in a more urban area. That teamed with being able to base myself somewhere that I can follow my hobbies, I helped set up a kayak club last year. And to choose a location that allows for a certain quality of life that I might not get if I had to live in a city center. I’m also able to help out my sister with her children, they now associate Aunty Rose at the laptop with work, which I love. They’re learning that work doesn’t need to be tied to a location. If I need to travel for a meeting I’m more productive because my workflow and processes are online and I’m more flexible in where I can work from. Once I get my headphones on and hit start on my pomodoro I’m good to go.

What’s one thing you wish you’d knew before you started working remotely?

The different communication challenges and how you can overcome many of them. I now make video a big part of my work as it helps so much in improving communication and helps to build trust. I do still have clients that prefer to speak over the phone, or don’t have access to a strong enough internet connection to allow for video calls but I use video in my deliverables to clients and they have all reported that it’s a huge help. They can refer back to the video and I can walk them through a report or a particular process where they can see my screen which helps them in implementing recommendations.

Victoria Thygesen - Founder at Creative Yoga Wear & Coach

Tell us about a little bit about you?

My name is Victoria, I am employed full-time working from home and I am also a multi passionate entrepreneur running my own 2 businesses from home. I have been working remotely for over 3 years now and I can’t imagine ever doing anything else!

How has remote working benefited your life?

I am introvert, which – for me – means that I need a lot of time to myself to process things. Working remote has given me an amazing opportunity to literally create my own space, where I can feel most creative, productive and motivated to do my best work. The few times I have tried working from an office, I get super distracted by the chatting and the noise and, on a personal level, I spend a lot of energy just being out interacting with people all day long. So both in terms of productivity and efficiency, as well as reducing stress levels and feeling happier, I have found remote work to be absolutely amazing.

What’s one thing you wish you’d knew before you started working remotely?

In my first role, working remotely, we had a pretty clear schedule for the day so I didn’t actually find it that difficult or challenging to work remotely. I knew what I was doing when, and we had several times to check-in with the team during the day. The challenge really came when I switched roles and had far less structure. I had to set my own schedule and create a structure for myself and, at first, it was definitely easy to be tempted into longer lunch breaks, taking more breaks in general or even starting later in the day etc – cos there was no one there to check up on me! So from that I had to learn to be more disciplined with myself and that was a challenge. Now, I absolutely love having the freedom to create my own schedule and I feel good about the structure I have created for it. I have got to know myself better and I now know what works best for me. Having the possibility to be myself and work in a way that suits me best, is incredible.

Thank you to all the wonderful women who contributed to this post.  We praise the women all around the world who work from their preferred locations and continue to find and achieve their success.

These stories are diverse and it shows how remote working has contributed to our lives in so many different ways. The more I speak to women about their remote working transition, the more I can see the positive impact it has on truly living the lives that we desire.

Happy International Women’s Day 2019.