Tag Archives: Remote Work

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“This sucks!” Isn’t helpful. It might be your gut reaction, and it might even be right. But it doesn’t point the way to improvement, and it almost unfailingly makes people get defensive. 

(Side note: telling them not to get defensive almost always produces the exact opposite effect.)

Ask questions instead:

  • “What was the thinking behind this word choice?” 
  • “How do you think the user will interact once they reach this page?” 
  • “What are you trying to convey with this color scheme?”

Questions start a process of improvement. Judgement, valid or not, prevents it.

A Podcast About The Other Side of Remote Work

If someone woke me up in the middle of the night, shaking me while asking “What’s your job?!”, I’de say “I’m a writer!” The irony that my most famous work is not in the written form, but in the spoken medium, is not lost on me.

I’ve had the immense privilege of having had hundreds of people listen to me, my brother Pedro and my good friend Daniel talk about our passion for video games. It was a wild ride that spawned several years until we went on a break earlier this year. After several months without new content, hundreds of people still download previous episodes of ene3cast.

Listener beware: the show is in Portuguese.

Now I’m starting a new, different journey. I believe that remote work is the answer to one of the great challenges of western civilization – the uneven distribution of work and value. But I also think that we’re selling it wrong. We’re reaching the people who want to work remotely, but we’re not communicating the benefits to the employers, to the decision-makers who create the jobs that people need. We’re not showing them how they can make it work, and prosper from it.

That’s why, at DistantJob, I’ve worked to create a new show, one where I interview people who have been building and managing remote teams for years. 

It’s called StaffITright, and I hope you’ll give it a listen.

Remote Work and Wealth Redistribution

“Wealth Redistribution” is a loaded term. It smacks of the dark ages of murderous communist utopias and makes hard working people fearful of big government forcefully taking their comfort away for the benefit of people who they don’t identify with.

To make matters worse, it’s usually touted by the 0.01%, people who are magnitudes richer than anyone reading these lines can ever hope to be. I’m talking about people who’ve never had to count grocery or gas money to make sure they didn’t overspend, never mind even felt the sting of hunger.

But wealth redistribution doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, and it certainly doesn’t have to come at the expense of the average Joe or Jane. Remote Work is a good example.

Simple example: when you’re working remotely for a US company, regardless of whenever you are a US citizen traveling the world or a native who found the job through the internet, you’re funneling money from one of the wealthiest countries in the planet into the local economy.  And yet, it is a win-win situation, because the value you produce goes back to the US. 

The key here is that wealth redistribution doesn’t happen at the individual level. It occurs where it should: at the economic, international level, and as an exchange of money for goods and services. 

However, unlike the import/export equation, which is by most part mediated through big companies and as such (because most companies exist singularly for generating profit) a win-lose proposition, remote work-based exchanges are always mediated at the individual level, and the vast majority of the individuals desires nothing more than to live a comfortable life. 

This is a human failsafe against the fear that all the money will be sucked out of a system in return for a disproportionate amount of value. In reality, the opposite is usually true – the economics align with getting more value for less money. But what is “less money” for one country can still be a king’s ransom in another. 

It feels that Remote Work is the next logical step in the pursuit of a more stable, global economy.