Josh Hernandez launched into remote work as an independent soft goods designer after college as a way to get working immediately. Although he trained as an industrial designer, he has added branding and graphic design work to his practice.
What made you interested in Remote Work?
I had an internship at a big company. I liked having something I designed make it to store shelves. But I also saw that there was a downside to the corporate environment. I could have gotten a full-time job there, but I knew I'd be stuck there for a number of years.
What do you like about working remotely?
I really value the freedom it gives me. I choose when to work. If it's a nice day, I can take a break and go outside. That frees up my mind and I find that I'm more creative and productive.
Is there a downside?
It's difficult to meet people, especially if you move, which I did. I was in a new community and I didn't have an office to go to every day so I didn't really have any connections. I found myself staying indoors and just doing work. I really had to push myself to go out and meet new people and try new things.
What was your solution?
I found a co-working space. It was a great option. I had a place to go and I was able to meet people. They do things like have happy hours so people can get to know each other.
How did you choose the place?
That was a simple decision, being physically active plays a large role in my life, and this co-working space happened to be located within bike distance, so I could take a nice ride with my backpack, which is really all I would need to carry my work items. Not only that but, I try to live as environmentally sustainable as I can and Paramount Co-op was that perfect combination. All co-ops are generally the same, so this place interested me because of the journey to get there.
How do you stay on track with work?
I try to stick to a regular schedule. I find that I can get more done when I get up early and get to work. But that can be tough if I'm working on a project since I will often work late into the night. It's really about finding balance and creating a good rhythm.
What is a typical day like for you?
There really is no typical day, and that simply goes with being an independent designer. It can be difficult to plan too far ahead, and I am still trying to figure out a formula that works best for me, but a day can be filled with meeting client and potential clients, working from my computer at home or at the co-op space, creating industrial or soft goods based prototypes, shopping for project-based materials etc. There are some things that remain constant and that usually stems from longer projects, but overall I tend to plan my schedule on a weekly basis. I think this is why I love remote work so much, for me it's exciting and different, you get to experience all of the process and its really about the journey anyway.
What's your best advice for remote workers?
Make sure you are passionate about the industry you are in. If you're going to be doing something full-time, you will need that passion to carry you through the challenges of working largely on your own.
Looking for more advice on working remotely? Check out our newest book, 30 Hacks for Productive Remote Workers, part workbook and part guide that will help you work smarter, not harder. Oh, and did we mention that it was written by remote workers for remote workers? This advice is tried and tested, and we know it will help you maximize your productivity.
Images provided by Josh Hernandez
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