Why I Work Remotely

Written by

Oskar Čorič

Published on

Blog

Ever since I started my web design & development business, I worked mostly remotely, with occasional in-person meetings here and there. In recent years, I’ve shifted entirely to remote work. This article delves into the reasons behind this choice and its impact on my business.

Nature of the job

This is how my collaboration with clients used to look:

  1. In-person meeting before the project starts, negotiation, and project definition.
  2. Proposal discussion (online).
  3. In-person meeting to sign the master service agreement and statement of work.
  4. Work and communication (online).
  5. One or two in-person meetings to discuss how the project is going.
  6. Project finish (online).

Looks good, right? One would assume that all the in-person meetings would add value and make the final website a much better business growth tool than if we never sat in the same room together.

Well, there are some—many—problems with the process above. Here are some of them:

  • Negotiation over the project definition and price cannot happen in one meeting, at least not properly. Website projects are complex, and the input I get from the client needs to be processed into actual website requirements. Only then can I attach a price tag to them. This simply cannot happen inside a one-hour meeting. So, we would need to schedule 2 – 3 meetings just to discuss the project before it even starts. In practical terms, this means at least a month of delay before the project starts. Neither I nor my client can afford that, in most cases.
  • A meeting to sign contracts is wholly unnecessary with tools like Docusign available. We will be discussing the contract online before the meeting anyway, and scheduling the meeting gets complicated by almost inevitable delays posed by lawyers who need to go over contracts themselves. This usually adds another week (or two) to the project start delay.
  • Meeting in person to discuss project details might seem like a good idea at first. After all, as I have said many times, website projects are complex, and there are many specifics to be discussed. But, here’s a problem – even if we only meet for priority decisions about certain steps in the project, that still means we need to hold 2 – 3 meetings for that alone. Before the meetings can take place, the big decisions aren’t being made – which always delays projects by another month at least.

All of these in-person meetings can easily accumulate 2 months of delays, and that’s not even a worst-case scenario.

Instead, here’s how it can all be done remotely:

  • Project planning and proposal are sent and iterated over email. This allows for many changes in the project proposal. An online meeting is always held to discuss main points. It usually takes an hour.
  • Contracts are discussed and signed online with minimal hassle and delays.
  • Project discussions are consigned to pre-planned online meetings, with templated documents and checklists of approval. Decisions are being made in alignment with the website build process, and the project remains on track.

In my experience, my clients and I gained almost nothing by meeting in person. Instead, we lost a lot of time, delayed our projects, and often made a mess of the whole process.

I already had many fully-remote work relationships with my clients, but the pandemic has certainly increased their number. These days, I work fully remote, and I am more productive than ever.

Productivity

I am much more productive when working from home—I’ve been doing it for 10 years. I wake up and immediately start working, do my tasks for the day, hold meetings online, and organize all my work for the next day.

I can stay extremely productive and efficient this way, and I can also serve clients over many different locations.

Global reach

I have clients in many different regions and countries. This means that if I wanted to meet all of them for every important decision, the only place I could be doing any work would be on a plane.

Service-based modern businesses (who I work for) are usually not concerned with where I do my work. They only care about results, as they should, and I can only deliver results if I have a way to service all my clients at the same time.

Vision for the future

The remote work is becoming increasingly common. It can be used to enhance productivity, instead of lessening it.

I am certain the next decade of my work will be fully remote. I have an increasing amount of international clients with headquarters in many different cities and I can’t possibly meet all of them in-person.

So I will keep doing my job this way. My clients are satisfied with the results, and I am satisfied with the freedom and flexibility it allows me.

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