Hi, I’m Hallie Wiseman, Manager of Community at Remote and Co-Founder of The Everyday Company. At Remote, my team focuses on building community with our customers, followers, advocates, and thought leaders in the remote space. For those of you who do not know what Remote does, we make it easy for companies to hire and pay people living anywhere in the world. We take care of payroll, benefits, compliance, taxes, stock options, relocation and more for international employees and contractors.
I have also been working for the last 4 years on a startup called The Everyday Company! We are currently in Seed funding, and are on a mission to create the first vertically-engineered platform for knowledge work, designed to streamline workflows and eliminate single-point apps, integrations, and busy work.
I am excited about how remote work is changing our generation’s view on life. We are now provided the flexibility to pursue our passions, relocate where we actually want to live, and spend more time with family. The latter is especially important to me as we are expecting our first baby (boy) in May, and plan to spend ample time with him before he goes into preschool – something that would have been impossible a handful of years ago.
My home base is Spokane Valley, Washington, but we like to get out of the country at least once a year. We recently took a workation in Hawaii, and have plans to do the same in Mexico next year.
Where can we follow you?
Describe how you work in 10 words or less.
I work efficiently and collaboratively, made possible with strong async communication!
Tell us a little bit about your background & how you got started with remote work.
I began my career in marketing working for tech startups in downtown Portland, OR. During that time, I would commute to the office and bring my little pup in with me. I dreamed of a day that I could have the flexibility of remote work – something that I even pushed for back in 2015. I knew that I could be more productive working a few days at home than coming into the office full-time.
Like so many others, in 2020, I finally went fully remote.. but unfortunately it took a worldwide pandemic to make that a reality. Since then, I have relocated with my husband to Spokane Valley, Washington and now have more freedom and flexibility in our lives.
Take us through your typical weekday.
I know for many remote workers, they may not have a typical work day. For me, however, I have always been one that thrives on routine and a set schedule. I typically get up with the sun and start my checking Slack and email to prioritize any time-sensitive questions. This allows me to unblock others who may be working in a different timezone.
After a strong cup of coffee (and once the rest of the world logs off for the day), I’ll transition over to my deep work – diving into projects and planning that need to get done. Meetings will be dispersed throughout my day, but I like to follow the ‘no agenda, no attenda’ policy (unless, of course, they are for social interactions and coffee chats – equally as important!).
I typically take an hour long lunch break around 2 PM my time when my brain seems to shut off, and get my workout in upstairs in my makeshift at-home gym. I finish out the day closing up my tasks and running through LinkedIn, transitioning my focus to The Everyday Company in the late afternoon.
What’s your workspace setup like?
First off, I need a BIG monitor. I always have so many tabs and windows pulled up, that it makes my life so much easier. Secondly, I have my handy-dandy Yeti microphone that helps me sound clear when I host events. Thirdly, I have my nifty ring light for those early-morning calls. Fourthly, I have my standing desk and mat that allows me to get up and stretch my legs throughout the day – super important for an 8 month pregnant woman (haha!).
Most importantly, I have an office filled with natural light and surrounded with pictures and wall art that brings me happiness. Having a space that is dedicated to your work is extremely important as it helps me shut down for the day and transition to a better work/life balance.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without?
Definitely my standing desk to provide me the option to get up throughout the work day. Humans aren’t meant to sit for 8-10 hours a day! I also rely heavily on my logitech webcam for clear video calls and recordings.
Being remote, I rely heavily on async communication – Loom videos and Zoom recordings being one way I like to communicate effectively with different timezones. I also have a pair of Felix Grey blue light filter glasses that help me stay focused throughout the day and prevent eye strain.
Lastly, solid wifi and a personal hotspot on my phone to allow me to connect to the internet when I travel!
Aside: Find out more about common remote tools and gears used by remote workers.
How do you stay focused on your tasks?
As a remote worker, we can be bombarded with notifications on an hourly basis. When it comes down to it – work can be distracting! Slack notifications, emails, meetings interrupting your flow state, etc.
One thing that I have incorporated into my routine is to block out chunks of time on my calendar to get work done and focus. I turn my computer and slack notifications to Do Not Disturb, and focus on being heads-down. Secondarily, I rely heavily on to-do lists. I like to start off each day with a priority list of things I’d like to get done, and I typically write these on a piece of paper that sits directly infront of me throughout my day.
At The Everyday Company, we are building a workspace that solves for this very problem to give people back the time and focus they need, as knowledge workers, to get deep work done without constantly switching through apps. More to come – but that will be a gamechanger.
How do you keep track of what you need to prioritize?
To-do lists and a strong project management tool. We currently use Asana as a team, but there are still shortfalls with that (like cross-team collaboration, organization of tasks, and keeping things up to date manually).
I default to the old-fashion, written to-do lists every morning on a piece of paper. If I need to add something, it’s as simple as picking up a pen and writing it down. I don’t end my day until all of the things are checked off my list.
How do you recharge or take a break?
I like to get my exercise break in during my mid-day lunch hour, whether that be going for a walk with my dog or busting out a quick HIIT workout with my favorite workout app (FitOn).
Sometimes if my husband and I overlap on our breaks, we will take 10 minutes to sit outside on our back porch in the sun to chat about how our day is going and recharge as we sip on our mid-day smoothies. Being meaningful about taking the time throughout the day to take breaks will make you more productive, and in my experience, provide the brain space to get more meaningful work done throughout the day.
Advice for someone who is looking to switch to a remote job?
Before you switch, make sure you are prepared to work remotely both with your setup and mentally. It can be a tough switch for many people as the whole way you work changes. I would recommend taking some remote job prep courses, learning the best ways to communicate asynchronously and how to prioritize your work.
Sometimes, all of the notifications and documentation can be overwhelming, so deciding on what works for you ahead of time and on ways to mentally recharge during the day. Another thing you could do would be to reach out to friends and people in your network who are working remotely, and ask them for their best tips and advice that you may be able to carry through.
Lastly, give yourself grace and patience. You will constantly be learning throughout your journey as a remote worker, and things will always be shifting as you progress throughout your career and journey in life. Priorities will change, there will always be new people to meet, and your leadership and work style will also change.
Aside: Learn the skills required to land a remote job
What working remotely really means to you?
Working remotely means a total shift in the way people live their lives. I heard a statistic the other day, that younger generations are spending the majority of their expendable income on experiences rather than items (unlike previous generations).
What this truly means is that the world is becoming interconnected like never before. People of all different backgrounds and cultures are able to work together, providing more perspectives to the workplace, and people of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and abilities, now have greater access to work – all because we have removed the in-person requirement.
Overall, it means more life fulfillment. My hope is that all find more work-life integration and broader life fullfillment.
How should one go about finding and getting a remote job?
There are plenty of remote work job sites – flexjobs, remote.co – but there is also a whole world of connections and communities out there that you now have access to.
My recommendation is to join some virtual communities based on your passion and skills, begin networking and meeting people for coffee chats, and you will be far more likely to get recommended for a role than applying blindly somewhere as remote competition can be extremely steep.
Aside: Learn how to find a remote job?
What qualities would you recommend are a must-have for a person seeking a remote job?
Here are some of my top recommended qualities:
- Ability to connect with people virtually. This carries over to your interviews and will largely depict if you land that next interview. Practice, practice, practice!
- Comfortability with async communication and documentation. You need to develop the skill of communicating your thoughts in a succinct and organized matter so that collaboration with others remotely is seamless and streamlined.
- Ability to prioritize and focus. Like I mentioned before, all of the notifications can be distracting and overwhelming. You need to determine the best way for you to plan out your work and provide you the space to focus to get your best work done.
What is the most challenging aspect of working from home?
The most challenging aspect of working from home is connection with people. As an extrovert, I still crave those in-person coffee meetings, lunches, and collaboration that remote work will never be able to solve for. I try to be intentional about scheduling time for our team to do personal shares, and for myself to make regular time for coffee chats with workers that I haven’t met yet.
My best advice is to try and join local communities or groups so that you still have the option for in-person connection, or try to work remotely from a co-working space a few times each month.
Aside: Learn how to avoid burnout while working remotely.
What, according to you, are the pros and cons of remote work?
The pros are the access to great talent and different perspectives that remote work allows for – and what we, at Remote, empower companies to do. As mentioned, it also provides for work-life integration and flexibility so that you can spend more time with friends and family, or pursing more passions.
The cons are that if you don’t be intentional about finding ways to connect with people and take mental breaks from work, you can burnout quickly. Luckily, there are tons of great resources and advice around this topic – and you can be intentional about choosing to work for a company that values mental health.
Want to work remotely like Hallie? We recommend reviewing the list of top remote companies allowing permanent work from home.
Are you searching for a remote job and are trying to figure out where to look. DailyRemote has the latest remote jobs in various categories, such as software development, marketing, virtual assistant jobs, etc. Also, connect with like-minded remote job seekers in our LinkedIn remote community.