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Deep Dive: Working Remotely In Web3 From A Tropical Country
Deep dive into my life as a designer and let's visualize together the future of work.
How does the future of work look like?
For me, it’s about living as a digital nomad.
It’s about living in a world with no boundaries, borders, and restrictions. We aren’t built to stay in one place for a long period. We’re designed to explore different environments and cultures. It’s what drives us forward creatively and intellectually.
As Investopedia explains further,
Digital nomads are people who are location-independent and use technology to perform their job, living a nomadic lifestyle.
Digital nomads work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or office.
One day, we’ll be living in a world where can travel, explore, and live in different beautiful places while still doing what we love and what we’re passionate about. Technology will play a huge part in making that happen and that world is closer than we might think. Thanks to Web3.
Working in web3
Hello y’all! My name is Derick and I’m a designer, content creator, and tech founder from the Philippines and Italy. I currently work remotely from the Philippines as a product designer for an NYC-based web3 startup backed by Coinbase ventures. Previously, I was the founding designer for a Y Combinator-backed startup based in San Francisco, California.
Web3 is all about enabling people to have power and control over their contributions, assets, and projects regardless of their location. If anything, the remote work movement will see a continuous uptrend in the following years as Web3 evolves. I’m all up for it because I love it and millions of people too.
This is my day in the life working remotely in Web3.
I usually wake up at 8 AM. I quickly take a look at my emails and messages on Discord if there’s anything that needs to be addressed urgently. This wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes as I want to eat breakfast immediately in the morning.
Because I work remotely, my working hours are flexible. However, I often work late at night from 10 PM to 2 AM in the morning to attend meetings to just be aligned with the team.
In the morning and before I work, I always make sure I have my doppio espresso or a double shot espresso in courtesy of Nespresso’s coffee machine.
I start working at 9 AM and go straight until 1 PM. At the moment, I’m currently working on a business banking project targeted at crypto-native companies. For my design work, I heavily rely on Figma as it’s also a great tool for collaboration. My main job is to discover, ideate, and prototype design solutions for the product we’re developing. Although, I do a lot of other things like user testing, UX research, and branding.
As a team, our remote setup and collaboration are entirely dependent on the power of Figma, Zoom, Notion, and Discord.
Lunch for me is at 1:30 PM, my family cooks and prepares the food, so the food is ready for me whenever I want to eat it.
However, there are times when the food isn’t to my liking, so I also order food online. Here in the Philippines, we have Grab and FoodPanda as the go-to-apps for food delivery which is the equivalent of DoorDash or Postmates in the United States. In a week, I order an average of 3–4 times and sometimes in midnight!
In the afternoon, I work less and I usually take a 2-hour nap and wake up near dawn. This is also because my productivity is higher during the evening and especially late at night, so I take advantage of that.
I start doing work again from 7 PM onwards for 2–3 hours then I take a break. The beauty of flexible hours is that you work on your preferred hours as long as you deliver on the deadline. A part of my work is researching and studying the Web3 ecosystem. So, I read a lot of source materials on the subject.
Then, standup meetings at midnight and a half where I and my team touches base with everything then collect feedback for my design. When I receive feedback that makes sense, I always apply them quickly to the next design iterations. And like I mentioned before, I sometimes stay up late until 3–4 AM because I can easily get caught up with work.
Working remotely has other amazing advantages like you can be anywhere and still do the work. Here’s the setup from 2 weeks ago on a getaway trip with my family.
The view says it all. This was around dawn.
Pros and cons
Of course, remote working isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Since the 2020 pandemic, the world has seen a rising trend of people experiencing mental health issues because of the stay-at-home protocols.
Does it mean working from home is bad? The answer is no because we’re just getting used to the lifestyle and change can be really uncomfortable, so we might not know all the best lifestyle practices yet to keep our minds sane.
Remote working doesn’t necessarily mean working from home. Remote working is about living a life like a nomad while still being able to contribute your skills and ideas to the world, regardless of your current location. This wasn’t possible just 20 years ago, but today is completely different. All you need is your computer, an internet connection, and your ideas.
What I also like about remote working is that:
You have more time to do your work and other types of work
You have more flexibility in terms of lifestyle and work hours
You can be with your loved ones or you can be in Bali
You can save more money depending on your lifestyle choices
Some downsides are:
Sometimes, there’s a decrease in productivity
A shift in the environment can cause distraction and disruption
Lack of exercise and sunlight can lead to stress or depression
You can also burn out easily if you work long hours
Lack of social interaction can make you feel out of touch in reality
In the bigger picture, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It just takes a little time to get used to, but remote working is definitely the future of work.
What do I miss about city life?
Even though I’m originally from the Philippines, I grew up in a place called Bologna, Italy, a foodie’s paradise. It’s where I and my parents immigrated more than a decade ago. It’s the capital city of the Emilia-Romagna region where some of Italy’s well-known pasta dishes, meats, cheeses, and wines come from.
Bologna is the city where I finished my secondary school and where I started my career in tech working initially as a web designer. The city is also the home of the University of Bologna, which is the oldest University in the Western world. So, the college vibe and energy are all over the place.
What I absolutely miss about living in a city like Bologna is the daily interactions with very interesting people and being able to feel their energy. It always reminds me of a place like New York City in terms of energy, hustle, and character.
There are a lot of ambitious people in pursuit of their own dreams and a lot of hipsters who are also in their own type of pursuits, some artistically. No judgment! That’s what I miss the most. The people, the energy, and of course the food!
What I don’t miss for sure is the noise during the evenings and late nights. Since I lived in the city center, getting sleep every night is surely a battle.
Advantages of living in a remote location
Living in the city can come at a cost. Ask me, I was living in one of the most expensive places to live in Italy and I lived in the city center, which is more expensive in terms of rent, food, and bills.
Now I live in the Philippines and what I’ve found beneficial to remote working from here is:
Spend less money and save more
The cost of living here is low so even If I go out or spend a lot on food or clothing, it won’t be the same as how much I’d spend in Italy. I also live with my family together, so no rent!
More time with nature
The Philippines is also home to a lot of beautiful nature spots and the weather is tropical! Once a month, my family plans a trip to the closest beach or nature park to relax and have quality time, which is a fine way to escape reality even for a couple of days.
If you think about your productivity is higher
This is true as long as you eat, exercise, and sleep well enough. Other than that, the silence in a remote location is eargasm. It can increase your focus a lot!
Stress can be the enemy
This can be minimized by socializing with people, having quality time, and practicing mindfulness. Even if you love your work, don’t overwork. You deserve time for yourself.
Thanks for reading my deep dive of the day of my life as a professional working in Web3. Ever since the 2020 pandemic, a lot of people were forced to work remotely in their homes because of the quarantine. Although most people showed dislike initially, it turns out a lot of people love the remote lifestyle and I’m one of them!
You can do so much work and I’m not only talking about your one job, but you can dabble on side projects as well. Work-life balance can be more achievable in this lifestyle and you can travel and explore beautiful places.
Are corporate offices and coworking spaces now things of the past?
Nobody knows an accurate answer to that.
However, there’s one thing I know for sure, I’m exploring the world and living the best out of my life while still doing what I love, crafting great design experiences for humans. You can do it too.
You can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bigdrckenergy. See you soon!