Ali‘s story as a location-independent professional started where most do – stuck in an office chair in a traditional 9-to-5 life. She was working in New York City, in the Human Resources/Learning and Development department at an advertising agency. When she quit her full-time role to consult and travel she used to joke that she traded Madison Avenue for Machu Picchu.
Having worked entirely remotely since 2014, she spent four years as a full-time digital nomad while also being a part of the leadership team of DuckDuckGo as the Director of People Operations. In her role, she helped grow the company and increase gender diversity, all while climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town and slurping ramen in Tokyo.
As her experience and expertise grew, she became an expert in remote work and started advocating for it whenever conversations on this topic were heading in the wrong direction.
This year all her lived experience and knowledge as a remote work expert made their way into a book she co-authored with Tamara Sanderson: Remote Works: Managing for Freedom, Flexibility, and Focus (published by Berrett-Koehler and distributed internationally by Penguin Random House).
What determined her and Tamara Sanderson to write this book?
“When many people were forced into this great ‘work-from-home’ experiment in the early days of the pandemic, we had a huge fear that if people did not adopt a remote work fluency, which is the behaviors and mindset to work in a digital-first environment, that they would be forced back to a work situation that we felt was inherently broken, yet familiar, instead of learning this new skill for the future of work.
With remote work, you open yourself up to benefits personally, professionally, as an individual and as a team that can be life-changing, and we wanted people to be able to have the ability to unlock the same doors that remote work unlocked for us.
The book does not only teach people how to work remotely, but also how to create a unique remote work plan for themselves and their teams – encouraging them to be designers of their own work life.”
If you haven’t read the book yet, but you’re curious about it and wondering if it’s right for you, here’s what Ali says: “This book is for remote managers: project managers, people managers, and strategic and cultural leaders who are the heartbeat of an organization. When writing the book, we wanted to help solve the problem of extreme variance in the employee experience, often found within remote organizations.
Whether you have worked remotely for years or have never worked remotely, if you are responsible for projects, people, or teams in a digital-first environment, this book is for you.
Plus, with our definition of “manager” (as you will see in the book), everyone leads themselves when remote!”
With its unique structure, Remote Works: Managing for Freedom, Flexibility, and
“Remote Works: Managing for Freedom, Flexibility, and Focus” is a valuable resource for anyone responsible for projects, people, or teams in a digital-first environment, whether they have worked remotely for years or are new to remote work. It provides practical advice and insights that can help create a more productive, fulfilling, and successful remote work experience.
Bonus! Next week, you’ll have the chance to meet Ali in our live masterclass, where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions on all things remote work!
Written by: Andreea Gatin (Growmotely’s Event Designer & Facilitator)