I’m Sarah Hawley, Founder and CEO of Growmotely. Passionately committed to redefining work for humanity, and the role remote work plays in that.
Founder & CEO, Growmotely
Tell us a little bit about your background & how did you get started with remote work?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2009 and decided to turn my companies remote in 2014 as I wasn’t experiencing the level of freedom I had desired when becoming an entrepreneur.
Remote work unlocked the door to a more conscious way of leading people and creating culture; it transformed my team and me and gave me the freedom to live the lifestyle I wanted to live while still doing work I loved with people I was passionate about working with.
Take us through your typical weekday?
After eight years of remote work, it’s not super typical, and I have a lot of flow to my days and weeks, depending on how I’m feeling and what’s going on at Growmotely.
Generally speaking, though, I spend the morning with my son, Luka, until his Nanny arrives, at which point I’ll dive into work. I try to have as few meetings as possible but usually have a few each week. Some days I go to yoga to break up the day, and usually, I finish around 6 pm and cook dinner with my family.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I do have a desk; however, I’m very used to just working wherever feels best at the moment. If the weather is nice, I like to be outside in the garden, some days I work from bed (like right now) and often I’ll head to a cafe when I need a change of environment.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without?
We’re big fans of Basecamp for centralizing workflow and communication. Outside of that, I’d say my MacBook Pro and iPhone are pretty essential, although I have to admit I very much enjoy completely switching off my phone for a few days at least three or four times a year!
How do you keep track of what you need to prioritize?
In our weekly leadership meeting, we work through our current priorities and check in to ensure we all agree they’re still the thing. Over the years, I’ve become pretty good at staying focused on the things that matter. So this weekly check-in gives us a chance to keep our main priorities front of mind.
How do you recharge or take a break?
As I said, I do enjoy switching my phone off for a few days (up to a week) several times a year for a full digital detox and the opportunity to embrace presence more fully. I love gardening and nature; in winter, I also spend time skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.
Where can we follow you (Twitter, Instagram, etc)?
I’ve recently decided to move off social media personally. I don’t feel in alignment with it anymore and think that it’s doing more harm than good in many ways. It’s also a huge drain on time and energy for most of us. You can still find @growmotely on the usual platforms, but we’d instead connect with you over email, so hop on to growmotely and register or subscribe.
What are you reading currently? What do you recommend?
Sacred Economics (by Charles Eisenstein and can recommend anything he’s written). I’m also making my way through The Gene Keys by Richard Rudd, who’ll be speaking at our upcoming Align Summit.
Advice for someone who is looking to switch to a remote job?
Go after it! You’ll never look back. Be prepared, however, for the growth curve; remote work is more about knowing ourselves and how we work best, what motivates us and what doesn’t.
There’s often some trauma-recovery from the traditional working environments that need to be healed and worked through as we explore and integrate this new way of being.
How do you stay focused on your tasks?
This is not a challenge for me, as I absolutely love what I do and only work on things I enjoy and feel expansive and aligned. In my experience, when we love what we do and are operating from a place of our unique genius, the focus is not an issue.
Of course, I block myself at times, doubt lives in me like it does everyone else, and in these cases, I meditate and journal and talk through with trusted people so I can clear whatever is in my way.
What working remotely really means to you?
Empowerment, diversity, community.
Right now, we have the opportunity to redefine work completely, get to know ourselves as individuals and how we work best, create our days in ways most suited to us, and choose to work in companies that align with our values and passion.
It’s a very exciting time, and I’m here to support the world as we make this transition to a more conscious, healthy, and engaging relationship with work.
What qualities would you recommend are a must-have for a person seeking a remote job?
Introspection, self-awareness, and a willingness to grow and evolve.
What is the most challenging aspect of working from home?
The transition away from being told what to do all day, how to do it and where to do it from, during what hours, is I think, what’s the most hardest. Taking ownership of self and what works best for us as individuals is exciting but challenging for a society that’s very unused to doing this.
Be compassionate with yourself as you navigate the change, but know that you’ll become better and better at it as you learn and trust yourself more.
What according to you are the pros and cons of remote work?
It’s only been pros for me. But, eight years later, I’m living a life I’ve designed (and can continue to design) for myself, working on Growmotely, which I’m incredibly passionate about, but with the freedom to be wherever I need and want to be.
My lifestyle is completely decoupled from my work in the traditional sense. I’ve spent years as a nomad traveling the globe, lived in six different cities since going remote, and none of this impacts my work.
I look forward to having annual get-togethers in person with my team, which has been the only challenging aspect during the past two years (but this is not a con of remote work, it’s a con of the global pandemic)
Want to work remotely like Sarah? We recommend going over the list of top remote companies allowing work from home. Facing issues searching for a remote job and not knowing where to look? We have the latest remote jobs posted in various categories to help you.
Also, learn how to write the perfect resume and cover letter for a remote job and connect with like-minded remote job seekers in our LinkedIn remote community.