Working Remotely as part of a Distributed team

When explaining our nomad lifestyle to others it takes a few minutes to iron out the details. That is if they are actually interested enough and don’t just assume we’re homeless vagabonds. Usually, they start out thinking we are trust fund babies or some form of “we’ve struck it rich and don’t work anymore”. Then, they usually think along the lines that we’re taking a gap year and have saved up months or years of expenses and we’ll head home broke and have to rebuild, or even that we’re travel bloggers somehow making money by traveling…

The reality is (sadly) we’re not loaded and I still have a job. I work as a web developer building websites and I work remotely, or you may be more familiar with the term “work from home”.

Dilbert to the rescue

I’ve had many surprised or even confused responses from people. “How can you work from all these seemingly random places?” “Are you doing contract work as you go?” “Do you work for yourself and just support your own clients?” No, while these are possible, I work remotely as an employee for a company. I’m part of the workforce at 10up, and they allow me the flexibility to work remotely. I’m on a team of others who work remotely. The whole company in fact works remotely We’re all remote! Or better put, we’re a distributed team.

I enjoy this setup because the company has specialists in things like winning new clients and projects, dealing with things like SEO and project management, account management, and server infrastructure, accounting and billing clients, and other legal issues, as well as the HR issues like health insurance and payroll, etc! I don’t excel at any of that. But, I do have a specialty as well, I’m a web developer, and I didn’t want to go out on my own because I’d be required to either pay people/services to do all that for me or somehow figure it out myself. It’s been a perfect setup that allows me to live my dream lifestyle as a nomad and travel the world as a way of life.

This dream came up in part when I first heard about companies that allowed employees to work remotely 100% of the time. I’ve done stints of remote work and always enjoyed the experience; the extra time and the freedom it gave me. So, I began looking up (and stalking) companies that are set up this way. To make a long story short, I found a distributed team at 10up and have jumped into this nomad life! I’m grateful for the company I work for, the work is truly interesting and I’m growing as a web developer, while also living my dream lifestyle. Talk about a good work-life balance!

Along the same lines, here’s a video from Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, a “parent company” of sorts of the WordPress foundation (the software that runs a third of the internet). Like 10up, Automattic is another distributed company, and I really enjoyed how Matt talks about all this. He even mentions the nomad lifestyle! I wanted to share this video because it explains why a company would want to be distributed.

Some even choose to not even have a home base. They’re nomads. Whether they’re in RVs or traveling through Airbnbs, they’re in new places every day, week or month.

As long as they can find good WiFi, we don’t care where they are!

Matt Mullenweg

I’m happy to be a part of this growing group of digital nomads. I feel like I’ve won the lottery because I traded in a daily commute for world travel.