Wow, Moritz. You finally wrote a blog post again. One of my promises for 2016 was to blog regularly, like every week. Yes, I totally missed it. But I don’t feel bad about it. Since January, I’m in Australia. That is a long way from Germany and it is the first time I left the continent. I’ve never been away from home sweet home for longer than four weeks maybe. But it’s great. I miss my friends, my family and everything else, but it’s great. Because I’m doing it. I’m working location independent.
So I’ve been here in Australia for about three months now. When we made the decision to explore this beautiful country, I thought of something else. I thought of picking fruit and cleaning hostel toilets to get along, alternating with months of hangouts and parties.
Becoming a Product Communication Ninja
Now I work for one of the most exciting startups in Germany. Well, maybe we left the startup stage at some point but it still feels like working in a startup environment. The best thing: I work from everywhere I want.
I started back in Germany and worked from home. That was tough because I had to finish my apprenticeship at the metacrew and take the finals. Then we moved to Sydney and I worked from Sydney. We moved to Byron Bay and I worked from Byron Bay. Now we’re in Brisbane and … yeah, I guess you get it. I’m location independent.
What’s next? I don’t know. We’ll continue on the Australian east coast up to Cairns. And then maybe Thailand. We’ll be back in Germany soon but I’m already looking for the next destinations. Any recommendations? 🙂
Time differences make no difference for working location independent
At the moment I experience an eight hour difference from my mates in Germany. But no worries. One advantage of working for a startup is that you’re really flexible. We adjusted the meeting times slightly to fit to everyones schedule. I had one meeting at 2am in the morning so far. But that’s a small price to pay for a life full of travel and freedom.
It’s really easy to say that time differences make no difference but if you’re not the 9-to-5 guy anyway there’s no problem at all. In general I work a few hours in the early morning where I have no distractions (my girlfriend’s still sleeping) and a few hours in the evening to communicate with my colleagues. In between there is plenty of time to explore Australia. I already forgot how much I love the sea, but now I don’t want to get out whenever I’m in. Just give me some waves and I’m happy.
Working location independent depends on modern communication
In general I have two or three video chats a week with different people. We just started using appear.in instead of Skype. I highly recommend it (you have awesome smiley options for your face)! The rest of the time we communicate via Slack on a daily basis. Every team or department has its own channels but everyone can read everything. Transparence really is a key to a great atmosphere. With partners or customers I communicate via e-mail. We keep track of our tasks in Asana and everything that is worth to be written down is kept in Confluence. There are so many great tools out there that it is impossible to say that this is the perfect setup. But it works for us. We’re always up for recommendations, so just tweet me if you have one.
Visual communication is important for working location independent
I experienced that I’m more motivated when I see my team mates on a regular basis. Our weekly meetings are great and it’s always nice to see some faces. Once a month we have our All-Hands-Meeting and this is my favorite thing. We have so many great people at FastBill that I can’t wait to see all, or at least the most of them every month.
I also can’t wait to return to Germany because I’m excited to visit them in Offenbach (next to Frankfurt) again. Just get in touch if you want to learn more about FastBill.
I want to keep working location independent
At the moment I can’t imagine to work in an office again. But I guess it depends on the environment and the people I’d work with. “Start with why” is a great book and a great approach for work. Why should I work in an office? I’ll surely find the answer to this question again when the time is right. But for now, I found out why I should work location independent. Because it gives me freedom to choose my destination. No matter if I want to enjoy some time at home or explore any other place. Freedom that I can use to discover foreign countries and cultures.
And like Peter said, who is the father of our to date best Airbnb host Kelly, whose family took us to Fraser Island for free (seriously they are the best people):
Traveling is the best thing young people can do. They learn about the world, the people who live in it and their cultures. They learn that we’re all the same. No matter who you are and where you are from.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us, Peter!