How Hubstaff’s 100% Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Hubstaff team working remotely

Hubstaff’s team is 100% distributed working remotely from all corners of the world. That doesn’t stop us from collaborating and creating together and I feel so lucky to be working with such a talented bunch of people.

In this post, we would like to tell you more about our team, our culture, our values and how they allow us to succeed in working remotely. If you are thinking about building a remote team or already part of one, we hope that you’ll find some of this advice useful.

Dave Nevogt, Co-Founder

Dave Nevogt | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Love what you do and it won't be work. Find something that will drive you. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I wake up between 5:30 to 7 a.m. without an alarm, take a quick shower and start working. Apart from a quick breakfast & lunch with my family, I’m usually in front of my computer until around 5 p.m.

How I Work

I have one espresso coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day. Sometimes I’ll have a beer around 4 p.m. I listen to music all day.

Why I Love Remote Work

I can work wherever I want, whether at a coffee shop or on a road trip. My family and I travel to Chicago a lot to see my in-laws, and often I work in the car.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

It would be nice to grab a beer after work with my team.

My Biggest Distractions

Kids

My Advice for Remote Workers

Love what you do and it won’t be work. Find something that will drive you.

Jared Brown, Technical Co-Founder

Jared Brown | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Set clear boundaries with spouses and kids when you work at home. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I wake up around 8 a.m and usually don’t do much else before sitting down in my office and playing email catch up. I’m kind of bad about stopping for lunch and often cereal breakfast bars are my sustenance of choice.

How I Work

I listen to various music genres on Spotify while I work. I have a 30″ Cinema display connected to my MacBook Pro Retina and I try to keep my desk area clutter free. I’m usually drinking water, but sometimes I’ll grab a sugar-free soda or cup of coffee.

Why I Love Remote Work

I love the freedom of being able to attend events at my kids’ schools in the middle of the day. If I want to drop them off in the morning or be the one that picks them up in the afternoon, I can.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

There isn’t much that I hate about working remotely. The biggest issue is not always having a quiet house when on a conference call.

My Biggest Distractions

I’m able to avoid distractions pretty well, but the biggest distraction would be my wife asking me random questions or my kids excitedly busting into my office with something they want to show me. Usually, if I have my headphones on, they know not to bother me.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Set up clear boundaries with spouses and kids. Make it known that you are “at work” when in your office.

Kelvin Diaz, Customer Support

Kelvin Diaz | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Being responsible, organized and disciplined is the only way you'll be successful as a remote employee. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I have breakfast in the morning with my 2.5-year-old son, then I blast some music on my headphones and get to work. My son takes a nap around midday, which is usually when I’m most productive. My wife gets home around 5 p.m. so I spend some time with my family, then do a quick workout.

How I Work

I usually use my Macbook Pro Retina for work but also have a PC desktop computer for gaming. My office has an ergo mouse and a mechanical keyboard. I listen to Rock, R&B or Latin music while working and always keep a jug of water nearby.

Why I Love Remote Work

Remote working gives me the freedom and flexibility to do practically anything I want. I love being able to spend time with my wife, and get to be with my son as he grows up.

My Biggest Distractions

Opening a new tab to read an article or browsing Youtube.

My Advice for Remote Workers

If you’re considering this lifestyle, be responsible, organized and disciplined; it’s the only way you’ll be successful as a remote employee.

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Danny Baumann, Front-End and Support

Danny Baumann | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Be the best remote worker you possibly can be. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I live by routines. I wake up at 3:15 a.m. every day and do as much as possible when I’m sharpest in the morning. I go on a run every day at 5:15 and then I’m back at my desk and ready to go at 6. I get pretty weary around 2 p.m. in the afternoon.

How I Work

When I really need to buckle down and focus, I love to listen to production music and power metal. I keep my office as cold as possible, drink several cups of coffee each day, and get an occasional office visit from my dogs.

Why I Love Remote Work

I don’t have to commute, can work as early as I want and I get to work with people from all over the world. I’m also not limited to opportunities based on geographic location.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

It’s hard to separate work and home sometimes, and I hate being the only one to show up at my office Christmas parties.

My Biggest Distractions

My new son Jude, people stopping by and phone calls.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Be the best remote worker you possibly can be. The better we remote workers are, the more mainstream and accepted remote working will become. Don’t ruin it for everyone by slacking off.

Jennifer Roberts, Marketing

Jennifer Roberts | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

A USB WiFi range extender antenna is your best friend. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I wake up around 9 a.m., walk our dogs and make breakfast for myself and my partner. I’m not a morning person and I prefer to start my work day in the afternoon and evening. Then around 10 p.m every day, I go for my evening run. Midnight is quittin’ time for me.

How I Work

I either listen to podcasts or have music going on while I work. I prefer classical or jazz. I have to have a glass of water next to me. I try to stay away from sugary beverages because they make my energy spike and crash.

In the summer, I work outside as much as possible, ideally close to the beach – I’m currently located in Side Antalya, on the Turkish Riviera. In the winter, I’m working on my favorite chair, and our big orange cat Girly is always on my lap – she also doubles as my “supervisor.”

Why I Love Remote Work

To say that I don’t miss the daily commute or office politics is an understatement. Since I’ve started working remotely, I’ve lost 6 kilos (about 13lbs), trained to run a marathon, and learned two new languages – all while continuing to grow my professional skills.

Why I Hate Remote Work

Self-discipline is a big challenge. I’ve learned to set mini goals for myself throughout the day – I’ll tell myself if I meet a small goal in 20 minutes, I can go do yoga or have a little chocolate. By playing little tricks on my subconscious, I get things get done much faster.

My Biggest Distractions

The Internet is my best work tool, and it’s also my biggest vice. Social media, news, and my favorite shopping sites are like a looming black hole that’s so easy to fall into. My solution has been to install StayFocusd, which allows me to set up a list of websites where I tend to waste time and allow myself to spend only half an hour on all of them each day.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Move your body! Humans were not made to sit still all day. Do some yoga, pilates, or even some push-ups. Even light exercise will give you much more energy and improve your focus for the rest of the day.

Madhav Bhandari, Growth

Madhav Bhandari | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Remote work is smart, optimized working. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I start work at around 10 a.m. by checking the analytics. The first four hours of my day are the most productive, so I try to complete my higher priority tasks within that time. Every evening I hit the gym for a 2-hour workout. Post 9 p.m., I work for a couple of hours, do some reading and go to sleep late.

Note: I’m currently trying a slightly toned down version of Benjamin Franklin’s work routine. You should try it too!

My Office Setup

I have a clean and tidy workspace and an ergonomic chair that helps me keep a good posture while working (very important). I keep my water jug in the kitchen so it forces me to get up and move every few minutes.

Unless I’m in crunch mode, I listen to music while I work. I use 8tracks that has dedicated playlists for every mood (here’s a collection of my work playlists). 

Why I Love Remote Work

Remote work is just smart, optimized working. The flexibility of my work schedule allows me to attend a social engagement without having to take the day off.

I also like the freedom to work from wherever I want. A couple of months back, I did a three-week backpacking trip to the UK while clocking a few hours every day.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

The lack of social interaction. Sometimes it’s nice to do a pub-crawl with your colleagues on a Friday night.

My solution to this is meeting friends on weekends and being actively involved in various communities. Thankfully, my Hubstaff colleagues Rachel, Ilia and Neeraj are on similar time zones as me so we often have interesting discussions.

My Biggest Distractions

My guitar and social media. Playing the guitar actually refreshes my mind so I don’t mind that distraction as much, but I dislike spending work breaks by browsing social media. Instead, I try to go for a walk in the park or to my neighborhood coffee shop or talk to someone.

My Advice for Remote Workers

  1. Keep your social interactions alive
  2. Work out regularly — It improves your productivity and makes you look and feel good

Neeraj Thakur, Conversion

Neeraj-Thakur | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Even though remote working is blissful, socializing and human interactions are a must. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I don’t have a fixed working routine yet though I find evenings to be quite productive for me.

My Office Setup

I live in a very quiet locality near the mountain top. It’s nice and peaceful around my place, but sometimes I put on some music when I want to change the tempo of my work. I can’t function without Chai tea!

Why I Love Remote Work

The obvious rewards are no commute, no fixed hours and no workplace constraints. I can work in any location at any time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with awesome folks from around the globe.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

You have to learn a lot about self-discipline and how to maintain work enthusiasm without any face-to-face communication with the team members and other people.

My Biggest Distractions

The occasional pings from my social networks or an important news/blog piece that demands to be read immediately.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Even though remote working is blissful, socializing and human interactions are a must. You can’t go very long working by yourself locked up in the house. Get out for casual hangouts with your parents or join a co-working space to help maintain sanity.

Rachel Go, Content

Rachel Go | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Remote working means you're responsible for your own software and hardware. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I am not a morning person, but I’m trying. Lunch is optional, but coffee is required at multiple points throughout the day. I have a habit of finding myself still working at 3 a.m., then I read a little before bed.

How I Work

I love Coffitivity, try to keep the temperature at 22 degrees Celsius, and alternate between coffee, wine, and tea while I work.

Why I Love Remote Work

The world is my office. I can pick up and explore a new continent anytime I want. I can drink wine while I write an article. I can work in my PJs or a banana suit.

I’ve also discovered that a lot of the people who function well in distributed teams are incredibly talented professionals. I enjoy working with colleagues that I can learn from, whether they’re next door or in a different timezone.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

Remote working means you’re responsible for your own software and hardware. Right now I’m working from the Philippines and trying to find a decent Internet provider is a pain.

My Biggest Distractions

Chores. I like to keep my apartment clean and stay ahead of the laundry pile. Also, I live in a studio apartment so my fridge is a little too close to my work desk.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Invest in tools. I’ve enjoyed using Basecamp in the past and Hubstaff keeps me focused and accountable for my work.

Discover a time tracking tool for remote workers

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Ilia Markov, Digital Marketing

Ilia Markov | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Brush your teeth and change into real clothes first thing in the morning. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I try to get up as early as possible (aiming for 5:30 a.m.), have a delicious cup of coffee and finish the meatier things on my to-do list. During these early hours of the day, I find it easier to focus and get high-quality work done before people start emailing and messaging me.

Why I Love Remote Work

I love the freedom and the ability to decide on my own schedule. I feel much more motivated and interested in doing good work.

My Office Setup

I invested in a good office chair and use an external display, mouse and keyboard with my laptop for the sake of my back. I often listen to music while working and I find that the selection varies depending on my mood. I always keep a pitcher full of water on my desk (keeping hydrated is important!) and alternate with coffee, tea, or freshly squeezed juice.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

Working remotely can limit your contact with other people, especially when the rest of your team is in a completely different time zone. I try to deal with this problem by exploring co-working offices in my city, as well as companies that open their facilities to office surfers. Attending events and meet-ups in your area is another great way to keep in touch with people.

My Biggest Distractions

Email and social media are my biggest distractions, but I deal with them by turning off notifications and using SelfControl, which blocks access to the websites that distract you.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Brush your teeth and change into real clothes (leave the PJ’s for bedtime) first thing in the morning.

Nikolai Adrias, Technical Support

Nikko Adrias | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Focus on the positive things your job brings and don't let the negatives discourage you. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

My dogs start jumping on the bed around 6 a.m., but it takes me another hour to get fully out of bed. I start with a hearty breakfast of fried rice, eggs, dried fish, chorizo and the typical Filipino style “almusal” with a mandatory cup of coffee. After breakfast I find a quiet spot in the garden to do a 10-minute meditation session, then it’s on to my desk to start checking emails and support tickets.

My Office Setup

I prefer to work in a well-lit room with plenty of space to move around. I listen to Spotify and enjoy music while I work.

Why I Love Remote Work

I have the freedom to accomplish tasks on my own time, at my ideal workplace, depending on the time of day and my mood. I earn more than I would at a regular office job with less stress, and I get to work for a growing Internet-based tech company.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

I work alone instead of alongside my colleagues, so I don’t get to chat or go on a break with people as much. I also miss the team-building activities and camaraderie is hard to come by.

My Biggest Distractions

TV and my dogs. I reserve these distractions for the afternoon after I finish my shift.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Enjoy the opportunity you have. Focus on the positive things your job brings and don’t let the negatives discourage you.

Kevin Sterling, Content Crusader

Kevin Sterling | How Hubstaff's Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Cultivate discipline and avoid chatting with your friends while working. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I have a Bulletproof coffee in the morning, espresso in the afternoon and lots of water throughout the day. I take some conference calls at 11 a.m. before having lunch with my wife, who is a remote freelancer, and 3-year-old son, who usually plays in the living room behind me while I work all day. If the weather is right, I might take a walk around the neighborhood or go fishing in the lake across the street.

My Office Setup

I have a DIY standing desk that I made from Home Depot, which sits in a corner of windows with lots of natural light. My iMac is on one side with a big cutting surface on the other for when I need to draw something or whack a hammer. Dave Brubeck is my go-to Pandora station, or if I’m doing design work that’s not typing-related I might listen to a podcast or documentary.

Why I Love Remote Work

We’re fortunate to live in a private lake community in the Hudson Valley. That’s my view while I work. 

A Pain Point of Remote Work

If I absolutely had to pick some pain point of remote work, I’d say I’m jealous of people who work in cool startup offices and get free beer all day.

My Biggest Distractions

My son usually plays by himself, but I get pulled away every now and then for the random request. There’s also the occasional delivery guy, utility person or solicitor.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Cultivate discipline. I’ve known lots of colleagues who wanted to be digital nomads and couldn’t make it. They would either get bored being alone all day or try to do serious work in cafes, which I don’t think is feasible in the long term.

Andy Baldacci, Marketing

Andy Baldacci | How Hubstaff's 100% Virtual Team Excels by Working Remotely

Most people take up remote work for the freedom, but you still have to get work done. Click To Tweet

My Typical Working Day

I wake up around 7 a.m. and spend the first 30 minutes reading in bed to wake myself up completely. I tie up loose ends until 9 a.m., then click on for Hubstaff. I work until 6:30 p.m., taking lunch and regular breaks to get away from the computer.

My Office Setup

I have a 15 inch Windows laptop on a stand with speakers and a mouse, with a 27 inch mounted monitor above my laptop. I stick to water and snack regularly throughout the day. I usually have ambient music playing.

Why I Love Remote Work

I love the freedom of determining my own schedule. For me, 80% of the time that means working basically a 9 to 6 job, but when friends are in town or I want to get away I am able to easily shift things so that my work fits my life. I still have responsibilities I need to stay on top of at work, but I can choose the best schedule for me, which is invaluable.

A Pain Point of Remote Work

Isolation. After 5+ years of remote work I am pretty well adjusted to it, but sometimes I do miss having some social interaction that doesn’t take place electronically.

My Biggest Distractions

My ADD. I’ve never been able to really sit down and focus on a single task for hours at a time, so I have to take regular breaks to get away from the computer.

My Advice for Remote Workers

Create some sort of routine that you follow. It seems counter-intuitive, because most people take up remote work for the freedom, but you still have to work and having a strong default routine helps get the work done efficiently so you have more time to focus on the rest of your life.

Hubstaff time tracking

Over to you:

What about you? What are your tips for remote working and how do you optimize your time? We’d love to know your remote working setups. Share them in the comments below and let’s start a discussion that showcases remote workers!