The Nomad City Chats 19- Angelina Ebeling
A true remote work advocate, entrepreneur, and a Nomad City 2019 speaker- Angelina Ebeling, shares a few minutes with us prior to joining us in person in Gran Canaria soon.
Founder and CEO of acework, the remote talent platform connecting vetted candidates with remote career opportunities, Angelina has expertise in working with companies to transition to flexible working, and regularly consults teams on effectively hiring remote talent. Prior to founding acework, she led the US expansion of a German tech startup in New York City, where she realised the potential of remote work. In November, she joins Nomad City as a speaker, but before that, we sat down with her to talk about her career, her view on remote work, and more.
How did you become involved with Nomad City?
I got introduced to Nacho by a mutual connection and we had a great conversation about enabling more people to work remotely. At acework, we connect vetted talent to remote career opportunities. We also work with a lot of partners to enhance remote working in general, like coworking, education and insurance. Supporting Nomad City was a no brainer!
What’s your remote story?
I realised the potential of remote work when I opened the US office of a German company in New York. I was an accidental remote worker then – the entire team was located in Munich, Germany and I was the only one in a different time zone. A lot of things about this were great, but the company wasn’t ‘remote first’. When I was looking for my next job (remotely!) in 2017 I realised how the market was growing fast, but that it was still very chaotic. Based on my own frustration with remote job boards and hiring processes, I decided to found acework.
What’s your favourite place to work from?
Right now it’s at home, actually. I live in Berlin, and have a great setup to work from my apartment. I do like a change of scenery though, so sometimes I go to coworking spaces in the area or work from Soho House, where I also go to the gym.
Can you share with us a failure of yours that later turned out to be a learning moment?
Since founding acework, there have been lots of moments where I initially thought ‘Oh, that didn’t work at all’, but as such a young company, we had to turn these moments of failure into learning. For example, running Facebook campaigns worked quite well at the beginning, but later we had campaigns that didn’t convert at all. Now we decided to focus our candidate outreach on other channels, which actually resulted in higher quality talent on the platform.
What does your workday usually look like?
Every day is different! I blame startup life more than remote working for this 😉
Do you have any particular practices that help your through periods of work difficulties?
Taking breaks. When I feel uninspired or struggle to focus, I remind myself that it’s okay to take a break. Often I go to a yoga class in the middle of the day, which clears my head an re-energises me for the afternoon.
Any resources you would recommend to people either starting out on their remote journey, or already on their way?
Of course I recommend joining acework! In addition to matching talent to remote career opportunities, we have a network of partners that help people to go remote, such as Workplaceless (Online courses), SafetyWing (travel insurance), Upflex (Coworking), Remote Year (work and travel). Acework members receive offers from all of these and more.
What is something you wish more people knew about being remote?
There are a lot of misconceptions attached to remote working. For example, most companies actually prefer people who work from home instead of hiring digital nomads. Time zones and the resulting team processes are easier to manage when you know where people will be. For digital nomads, moving slowly (a few months in each place) is definitely preferable, as opposed to being in a new location every week.
Another issue we often have to explain to candidates is the fact that they will most likely work as a contractor, and not as an employee, for their remote employer. Since companies cannot legally hire in any country they don’t have an entity in, remote workers usually have long-term contractor agreements but are responsible for their own taxes, health insurance and so on. That takes some time getting used to, especially for European candidates.
What do you think people should focus on the most when venturing out to become remote workers or entrepreneurs?
Being a remote worker or an entrepreneur can actually be quite different.
What’s your favourite perk of remote work?
Flexibility! This includes having lunch with my partner, who also works remotely, during the week. We live together in Berlin, where it is normal that you work in separate offices and only see each other at night.
Where do you see remote work in 20 years?
In 20 years, we won’t have to call it ‘remote work’ anymore, it’ll just be work.
Any last words you would like to share with the Nomad City community?
I look forward to meeting many of you in Gran Canaria! If you have any questions about myself or acework, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Linkedin (please say why you’d like to connect as I tend to ignore unpersonalised connection requests!).