46-year-old father-of-three Rowland Okoli – one of our Growmoters currently residing in Lagos, Nigeria – revolutionized his life (and his lifestyle) when he switched over to a 100% remote work set-up in 2013.
Swapping out his twice-a-month six-hour commute in Lagos (most days it was about threehours total) for a set-up where he takes his kiddos to school in the morning, and then picks them up again in the afternoon, Rowland made sure that the Nigerian joke about fathers who spend so much time at work that their kids mistake them for an uncle was not going to become a reality in his household.
So, who is this Rowland fellow exactly? And – why am I featuring him in this article?
Great questions. Keep reading for the answers!
Rowland is our UX/UI Design expert here at Growmotely, and his (official) job is to make sure that your user experience on our website and on our platform is easy and enjoyable. Awesome! He also has a number of unofficial – but no less important – jobs here at Growmotely, most notably: he is in charge of closing out each of our monthly team meetings with some inspirational words. Otherwise known as: Rowland’s words of wisdom. (Yes, this portion of the meeting has its own slide.) ⬇️
So, how exactly did Rowland get into remote work? And so early – in 2013 – to boot? (More great questions…!)
At the time, Rowland was in the US – Atlanta (Georgia) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) – and doing work there for companies in Nigeria. He started to understand that there really wasn’t any work he couldn’t do remotely. (Interestingly, this realization flew in the face of what his parents had inculcated into him growing up: working means putting on a shirt and tie, and going into an office!)
When Rowland left the US that same year and headed back to Nigeria, he decided to set up a business from home (called Elsorn Concepts Global), and noticed immediately the lifestyle difference from his former life in Lagos when he was working for a telecoms company:
➡️ “I could go grocery shopping whenever I felt the need to do so.”
➡️ “I had more time to bond with my kids.”
…and then fast forward to 2022 – after nine years of working remotely, these are the things he had to say:
➡️ “Remote work gives me the space to think.”
➡️ “Remote work has allowed me to realize who I am.”
➡️ “It gives me the room to do the things I want to do in life.”
➡️ “The environment that I’ve created for myself – where I do my work – calms me down. It’s my zone. I’m comfortable here. Every day I’m productive.”
It’s worth noting as well that when Rowland started working remotely, his mother noticed a difference immediately…he started taking her calls during the working day! “Hey, Ma! What’s going on?” replaced him asking her to call back later. His friends and family members also noticed that he was more relaxed and chilled out…a return to his true nature. 🙏🏼
Here at Growmotely, we agree with Rowland’s profession that “remote work is the best thing since sliced bread.” And we love that it has afforded him the opportunity to opt out of getting stuck in traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos for six hours when he’s not in the mood for it. (Now – if he’s in the mood and chooses to – that’s different! It’s the longest bridge in West Africa after all, which is pretty cool!)
At Growmotely we see the Future of Work as a place where any father who wants to be sure that their kids never mistake them for an uncle (!) – and as such want to drop them off at school, and then pick them up again at the end of the school day are able to do so without any problem. (Because – let’s face it – it’s hard to find something more important than spending time with our little ones.)
We would love for you to join us – and our UX/UI man Rowland Okoli – in building this enticing, chilled-out, commute-free Future-of-Work. 💫
Written by: Vanessa Kettner (Growmotely’s Creative Writer and your Remote Work Cupid)
Dedicated to: Rowland Okoli – thank you for so graciously sharing your story with me! 🎆
P.S. Our Growmotely Community is now OPEN. Woop!
✨ Who is it for?
Our online community is for remote professionals – and professionals who are looking to transition into a remote lifestyle. People from all around the globe are welcome!
✨ What is included?
Access to first-rate masterclasses – covering a range of topics related to remote work, access to professional mastermind groups (e.g. finance & graphic design), curated resources for your remote work journey…and more!
✨ How much does it cost?
We are charging via a monthly subscription model, and we have five different price points – varying from $3.00 – $21.00 USD per month. You can choose the price point that feels most aligned for you! (All price points allow equal access.)
✨ How do I join?
Cruise over here to sign up! 💫
One thought on “Rowland, remote work & being a (dope) father in Lagos…”
Great article Vanessa and an inspiration in this world where pressure and technolgy is sucking out our souls and more frightenly, those of our kids.