Advocating remote work with June Bolneo

June is a remote work advocate. She founded The Digital Workforce and WorkRemote to guide others how to work online. Along with her team, they’ve been helping remote workers and companies who are willing to hire remotely since 2012.

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Luis Magalhaes: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Distant Job podcast. I am your host as usual, Luis, and this is a podcast about building and managing remote teams who win, awesome remote teams who win. My guest today is June Bolneo. Bolneo. Did I say that right, June?

June Bolneo: Yes. You said it perfectly.

Luis Magalhaes: Thank you. June is a remote work advocate, she founded the digital workforce and work remote and she is the chapter lead of Grow Remote in Portugal, the Lisbon chapter if I’m not mistaken. So, June, welcome on the podcast.

June Bolneo: Hi, thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here, glad to be able to share the stage with the show.

Luis Magalhaes: I am glad you are. It’s not as big stage as I would like to but I have it and it’s yours.

June Bolneo: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: What does a remote work advocate do?

June Bolneo: Oh, that’s a really good question. For me at least, for our [inaudible 00:01:19] system, the idea of remote working is very new to most people. There’s gray areas in between these categories and for somebody who is not familiar with how we are working, they don’t really know the difference and we’re here to educate them. We try to normalize this idea so that in a few years from now, it’s not going to be remote work anymore, it’s just work. It’s normal.

Luis Magalhaes: What do you think is the greatest shift happening right now when it comes to the perception of remote work?

June Bolneo: A few years ago, it was more on the employee side, [inaudible 00:02:02]. We want to go ahead and start working ahead remotely. But now, it’s shifting. The conversation is starting from the company side. Why should we offer remote work? How is this beneficial for us as a company? How is it contributing to us as a society? Which is a really, really exciting time to be in, especially for somebody like you and myself, that we have been working remotely for a very long time.

Now that we are seeing big players in the market really seriously looking into remote working, the past year has been a really big shift and it’s just going to continue from here going forward.

Luis Magalhaes: When did you start paying attention to remote work, I guess?

June Bolneo: Well, when I started working remotely seven years ago. There was really no such thing as remote work. It was just online work or you work online, right? I had so many people, friends and family, asking me, “What do you do online? Do you sell anything? How do you get jobs online? Do you get paid a lot or do you get paid little?”

There were so many questions, so a year after I started, that’s six years ago, I started a digital workforce and we would conduct webinars and then these short intro courses to educate people how does remote working or working online really is. We introduced them to Upwork. At that time, it’s already Upwork but when we started, it was Odesk. Odesk, e-lancers, freelancer and then we have all sorts of other websites there as well that offers remote work.

My advocacy has started six years way back already and it just kind of snowballed when I moved to Portugal because here, my network kind of exploded right after I met these people who are passionate about the same thing.

Luis Magalhaes: Awesome. Since you moved to Portugal, what have you changed your mind about the most regarding, again, remote work and the state of remote work?

June Bolneo: So, my focus when I started really was to help people find remote jobs online.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

June Bolneo: There was a big need of, like I said, education on the talent side, where to find these credible jobs and what type of jobs are out there. The big change happened for me, I think, last year when I joined [Real Remote 00:04:52] and I started talking to the companies side where you can see they’re looking into remote working but don’t really know how to get into that.

We know that working online and remote working and flexible working exist, but our companies are a little tradition and they’ve always been like this, so I don’t think that’s going to work out. The big shift is there. There is a need in this area for somebody to come in and teach these people how to work remotely.

Luis Magalhaes: And these conversations with these companies, they’re happening online, they’re happening with Portuguese companies or they’re happening with international countries with bases in Portugal? What kind of people are you talking about?

June Bolneo: Yeah. Good question. Most of them we encounter during events. We’ll go to conferences. We went to the Web Summit. Also, just normal conversations because when you go to meetups and these networking events, you talk to founders, you talk to executives, and managers who belong to big companies and because the way big companies are structured where there’s hierarchy and there’s a lot of bottlenecks, they’re really not the people who will be able to decide if they’re going to be able to do remote working or if it’s up to them.

They’re not the decision maker and so, the conversation kind of started like, okay, now you’ve opened up that you are interested in remote working, right? You’re a manager and you’re interested in remote working but management is not prepared. We kind of concluded that we need to speak to these decision makers who are these people so we can convince them the benefits of working remotely.

It’s not just about me, me, me. It’s not just about the talent. There’s so many sides of remote working and they need to know about it.

Luis Magalhaes: So, what are the objections that you encountered the most when people think about hiring remotely? Or maybe not even think about. What are the objections that people use not to hire remotely, I guess? Not to work with remote people.

June Bolneo: Yeah. That’s a good question. Here, most of the top reasons why managers are reluctant to offer flexible working or remote working is the trust. We call the word [presentism 00:07:39] or if you’re not at work, if you’re not in your desk and I can’t see you work, how do I know that you’re working if I cannot see you working? That’s one that’s top of the list.

The second part of that is the bureaucracy we’re in. My manager’s [inaudible 00:07:57] which is on the other side of the spectrum which is the employee thinking that if my managers cannot see me and I am working here and rub elbows with them, go coffee during lunch breaks and those little things that you build around office. If they don’t have that, they wouldn’t be promoted, they wouldn’t get more projects.

Most of them are very psychological and revolves around social barriers and then another thing is the technology. If the company’s old and probably owned by somebody who is senior or doesn’t really think innovation is something that they should apply into the company, they’re probably not equipped to go remote because they don’t have the means to communicate remotely or don’t know how to use tools. Those are the top three things that normally comes up.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, so we were talking about trust and this is something that comes up often. I get that objection all the time. It’s [inaudible 00:09:11] because trust needs to be built and you might have references but people can very easily get references. It’s not foolproof, so you kind of need to build trust, you kind of need to spend some time with someone to make sure they are trustworthy. That’s partly why we have a policy of three months trials in Distant Jo. That’s how we choose to do our hiring.

But I was wondering, how do you usually answer it? What are the solutions that you usually present to these people that are afraid that employees that are working remotely are really not giving their all? Because this is a concern. Again, that’s why we started introducing the trial period in Distant Job because people that seemed very nice people initially ended up taking advantage and [inaudible 00:10:05] the thing.

While they were working at Distant Job supposedly full time, they were actually doing part time somewhere else. Not against hustling. If you can fit two jobs in a single day, that’s your decision but in practice, what happened is that they were often under-delivering and under-performing. So, how do you solve this conundrum or how do you suggest people solve this conundrum?

June Bolneo: Right. That’s a very good question. Also, I think it also depends on the type of [inaudible 00:10:38] you have. There are types of work wherein it’s a result based, result oriented kind of work. I have a project and I deliver a project on a particular deadline, doesn’t matter how many hours I work. I could work 50 hours, I could work 20 hours. If I deliver the job with quality and on time, that’s all that matters.

There are types of jobs that are like that and there are types of jobs that are per hour, meaning that you’ve manned the hours that you are hired for. For example, a customer service representative that you are there to man from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. You need to be there because that’s the business hours where people call in, ask questions, and they have any concerns, that’s what usually customer support and technical support are.

They are not result based wherein a number of tickets that you’ve answered. No. You have to be there to assist people during those hours. To do a trial, test job, a trial period, let’s say you do three months and you evaluate the performance of the person, whether they’re underperforming, performing well, what are the issues.

I think this works also with normal office jobs. Actually, you have a six month period wherein you are still a new hire, you don’t get any benefits. You don’t have the insurance and the fancy card for dental and all of those kinds of nice things that you get when you become a regular employee. It’s the same thing with remote work, right?

Also, I think there’s always a risk factor just like with any jobs that we have out there in the market. Remote or non-remote, it’s basically like the references help, the experience of the person helps if they have worked remotely before or not. Not saying that you shouldn’t hire people that have no remote work experience, but it does help because it shows that this person already has those core skills [inaudible 00:12:59] of being a remote worker.

It all really depends on that, but yes, number one is to do a trial, a test job.

Luis Magalhaes: I actually would say that at least what I found is that the purpose of that trial is really to build trust and to figure out if the person can be trusted. When it comes to performance goals, I usually give very, very, very conservative performance goals. For example, a salesperson, I would give them the goal of a sale during the three month trial period.

That’s nothing. If you’re a salesperson and you can’t deliver a sale in your three months, then sorry, you need to find some other job because the goals really aren’t the point. The point is the process. If I can have that feeling, basically I arrive to work in the morning and I’m not guessing what you’re up to, what you’re doing if you’re here, if you’re not here, et cetera.

June Bolneo: Yeah, exactly. It’s about being comfortable with the communication, how well is communication going, how managing the projects are, and the results that you’re supposed to be delivering if you’re able to deliver them as planned. Exactly what you said. It’s a process. You get to know the other person. It’s just like dating, basically. You kind of gauge the other person. Is this the right fit for us? Does it really work?

Then okay, this person is not so good with communication and that’s a very important factor for this job. Then maybe it’s not going to work out very well and you would need to either address that and that’s also very important for you to have those evaluation points.

Let’s say you have three months trial. In the first three weeks, you need to go ahead and touch base with that person how things are going, these are our observations, and if there is any concerns regarding… Especially with communication, you would need to address that right away. You don’t wait for the entire three months to finish and at the end of the three months, you would tell them, “Well, you weren’t really that communicative, so…”

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, that’s… No, no, no. You should have a one-on-one at least once a month. At least. Preferably more, actually. You have a small team. It’s five to seven people but there really shouldn’t be a reason why you can’t talk to one person per day every week.

June Bolneo: Yes, exactly. Just a touch base. Is everything good? Everything all right? Do you have everything that you need? This is your project, how things are going? Are we on time? Are we not on time? What are the roadblocks, what are the bottlenecks? Those are very, very simple questions and it can be answered by yes or no. There is no such thing as over-communication when you’re in a remote team set up.

Yeah, as a manager and as an employee as well, you need to learn how to communicate that properly.

Luis Magalhaes: Tell me a bit more about your business. What does the teamwork and communication look like there?

June Bolneo: Well, that’s a very tricky question because I actually have different teams all over.

Luis Magalhaes: You can tell me what’s different between them.

June Bolneo: Yeah, that’s true too.

Luis Magalhaes: And why. Why is the most important part.

June Bolneo: Right. So, the two main jobs I would say that I’m working on is basically my full-time job which is the business development and now I’ve shifted to a new job. I’m in lead generation now so I’m email marketing specialist for an organization. My full-time work, we have Slack as our main communication and we have Hangouts to do regular check-ins. We do video calls all the time.

I think it’s very valuable for you to see the other person when they’re talking. We cannot recreate how it is to be in an office and there are little things that still matter. A facial expression or they laugh. The emotion is still very different when the video is on rather than just listening to their voice. As much as possible, we would prefer to see the person on the other side of the line.

That’s how it is with my full-time job. There’s already a built-in culture in there because they have been doing remote work for awhile and it’s a distributed team. We have people all over the country, different time zones and we try to respect each other’s time. So, we work and the other person would also think that to be respectful to the other person, you would also need to consider where are they located and you should block some time in those hours that would match the other person.

Luis Magalhaes: You used [inaudible 00:18:12] or something like that to synchronize?

June Bolneo: Yes, exactly. We use [inaudible 00:18:16], so they can see the schedules that I’m available in. Others we do have also… In my other team, we have a calendar or I have a calendar that is public wherein my team can see what are the available time slots that I have so they can just choose which one they can select. That’s also [inaudible 00:18:41]. Different teams use different project management tools, so one team uses Air Table and then the other one uses Asana.

We also tried Monday and Wrike, we have so many other project management tools out there available. [crosstalk 00:18:56] Yeah, but the two of those are the ones that we find most effective. We always consider how we communicate, how do you manage your projects and your tasks, how do you do the reporting. At the end of the day, you need to report what kind of work you have done, the progress on those projects.

Then the lastly is how do you manage your resources? Managing your resources meaning where are these files located, where can I find these images, who do I contact for this and this and that? So, managing the resources, those are the four key things. It might differ from one team to another but at the end of the day, they all boil down to those four key things.

Luis Magalhaes: Hey there, it’s Luis. Welcome to the intermission of the Distant Job podcast. If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a very big chance that you’re interested in building a great remote team. To build a great remote team, you need great remote employees. That’s where Distant Job comes in. Here’s how it works.

You tell us the kind of position that you need to fill. We talk to you, we try to figure out not only what are the exact requirements that the person should have, but also we try to figure out who would be a perfect fit for your company culture because we really believe that that matters.

Then once we have an exact picture of what we’re looking for, we’re off to the races. Our recruiters tap into their global network and we filter people very well so that you don’t waste your time interviewing people that are never going to be of interest to you. We make sure because we are techies and our recruiters are techies as well, so when people get to you, they are already preselected and you just have to decide between the cream of the crop.

Once you make your selection, we handle all the paperwork, we handle HR for you, we handle payments and you get a full-time remote employee that’s among the best of the world and managed entirely by you, by your processes and following your culture. If this sounds good, visit us at www.distantjob.com and without further ado, let’s get back with the show. Thank you for listening.

You mentioned before the project management tool that you used. Was it Air Base? I don’t think I’ve tried it.

June Bolneo: Air Table.

Luis Magalhaes: Air Table, Air Table. Tell me a bit about that just because I’m curious. I’ve tried a lot of them, gravitated towards Basecamp. We’ve adopted it at Distant Job but it’s always nice to use stuff. Monday was a bit overwhelmed and it seemed a bit too developer centric and we used Trello for the long while. I liked Trello, but to make it work as we wanted it was a bit too much bureaucracy and busy work, shuffling cards and creating [crosstalk 00:22:02] cards and stuff like that. So, tell me a bit about Air Table. Maybe I’ll get them to sponsor the show.

June Bolneo: Why not, right? To be quite honest, I am actually also new in Air Table because I just started with this new company. Although if I have to compare it, if I have to do some sort of comparison because I’ve used Basecamp as well before for a couple years, I’ve used Asana, I’ve used Wrike. Basically with Air Table, I could compare it with Monday, I guess, more or less.

Monday, you say, is a bit overwhelming. It’s true and it’s very visual too. It’s very visual and Air Table has a similar feel to it. It’s a very visual project management tool and you can shift to calendar view, to an Excel view. It’s nice. I’m still getting a hang of it because I’ve started in this company a week ago.

It’s nice that I am actually learning about Air Table but if I were to recommend a project management tool or a couple of project management tools actually, I would recommend Asana and I would also recommend Wrike. Wrike because you have… I think Monday is also doing this already. You can allocate the hours of… And I think Asana also has this too. A task would take you two hours or three hours and you can-

Luis Magalhaes: An estimate.

June Bolneo: Exactly, an estimate and for me as a manager, that’s very helpful because if I know that this person’s day is already packed, it’s eight hours filled with tasks, I wouldn’t expect him to do anything today, right? I wouldn’t expect him to do anything tomorrow if his entire week is already booked eight hours a day.

As a manager, you need to be conscious about scheduling and work load and whether you can move things from one day to another. If I postpone this particular task because the one that I want to assign right now is really urgent and critical, then I would need to expect that this would be moved some other day.

This will not magically add more hours to the days, like instead of 24 hours there will be 27. You have to be mindful about those kind of things and Wrike makes it very easy [inaudible 00:24:41] and Monday too, makes those things-

Luis Magalhaes: As a manager, my problem with that kind of thing is that sometimes it’s hard to allocate time for creative work. Someone who produced content in the past, tell me do you need to have a 1000 word article in one hour. Sure, I’ll get you your 1000 word article but don’t expect something great.

June Bolneo: Quality of that is going to be [inaudible 00:25:15].

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, exactly. There’s a bit of a struggle there and I wonder how do you try to solve that struggle between the urgency but also the quality? How do you expect people to manage their estimations, taking that into account? Because I can also say if I was being managed to you, I would block eight hours for my article and you know that you will have an awesome article that I would research, maybe I will reach out to people, get some quotes, et cetera, et cetera.

But at the end of the day, maybe you don’t want me spending eight hours of work time…

June Bolneo: Yes, absolutely. I completely get what you mean. How humans in general are really, really bad with estimates. When we’re estimating time, “Oh, this will take me two hours probably,” and then you don’t really account for the things that you will encounter doing that task and you will have roadblocks and that roadblock might set you back 30 minutes. Now, you’re 30 minutes delayed about your estimate, right?

Giving or putting estimates most of the time is sort of a guess work. I guess I will finish it in one hour. I guess I will be able to deliver this by Monday. It’s a lot of guesswork in there. For us to be able to avoid, not necessarily avoid because the thing is we also have deadlines or targets that we want to reach, that we want to launch it by this time or we want it live by this date.

For us to break down the task into smaller pieces and then prioritize the top three that would move the project forward. Everyday you go to work, just manage to get the top three things of your big projects or any of your projects and finish those three things that you set out to do so that even if…

Let’s just say even if you’re in target at eight hours, you’re able to finish only three things. Let’s just say you put in eight but the top three things is the most important part and that kind of makes you like, “Okay, these are the estimates more or less but I’m going to put in two or three other more things underneath this so that if in case I still have time later on, I will be able to work on these other three things.” Right?

But at the end of the day, it really is like I need to finish this-

Luis Magalhaes: What about things that you don’t have the slightest? For example, if I’m managing a team of writers because I’ve written content for years and years and years and they tell me, “I need two hours for this article.” I can see that that’s reasonable, makes sense. “I need four hours.” Yeah, that probably requires a bit more research.

Now let’s say that I hire an SEO person. Someone to optimize the website SEO and they say, “Today, I spent all my time, I spent four hours doing SEO optimizations.” I’m like, “What the hell?” Is this too little? Is he being very fast? Is he being very slow? I have no idea.

June Bolneo: Right. So, that’s a very good question because we are actually… Now, we have an SEO consultant which is the people who actually implement or at least in our team, this is how it works at the moment is that we have SEO consultants work and they give us all of the recommendations. We block an hour with them or let’s just say we block eight hours of work or consultation time with them.

They evaluate the websites and give us all of the recommendations that needs to be changed in the site, right? These changes could be regarding content, this could be regarding with analytics, this could be a [inaudible 00:29:13] consult or this could be within the website that we need to change some things.

What we do is we have the list of things that needs to be done which came from the SEO consultant, right? Then depending on the type of task that they have, we allocated to the right person. The right person could be these are things that need to be changed in the website and there’s 20 things that need to be repaired in there.

We have a developer that would say, “Hey, the SEO consultant says that you need to go ahead and change this.” This is the task, there’s 20 of them, go ahead and do all of those 20 things. Right? Or it could be something to do with the content, like the blog post for example. This needs to be redone because it doesn’t have enough of the keywords.

We have a content team who also does all of those things wherein the SEO consultant actually just said that we need to change these things in our articles. This is the list of things that needs to be done and you need to get it done by this date. It’s up to them how fast or how slow they are going to make those changes because like I said, it really depends.

If it’s something that you have never encountered before, it’s very difficult for you to actually give an estimate like, “Oh, can you build this type of program”… To give an estimate, any kind of estimate to satisfy your manager, it’ll have to be breaking them down into smaller pieces and those smaller pieces [inaudible 00:30:52], I can deliver this by this date.

Luis Magalhaes: Makes sense. I would also say that it makes sense to just try it for a day or two or even a week and then match your expectations with reality. But again, that brings us that you need to trust the person. You need to trust their feedback.

June Bolneo: Exactly, [crosstalk 00:31:13].

Luis Magalhaes: So it goes back to trust.

June Bolneo: Yeah, and trust.

Luis Magalhaes: Thinking a bit more deep into the weeds of your management, how does your day start? How does your day end? What’s your typical day as a manager? Or if your days tend to be very different, what about the typical week?

June Bolneo: Oh my god. I’ve shared these things to everybody I know. I do time blocking. I do volunteer work as you know and this is how you knew me. I work for Real Remote and I also have some other communities that I volunteer for or I work for like the Women In Tech, Lisbon Project, undocumented immigrants and refugees and those kinds of stuff.

Those are the things that I do for spare time. My day typically starts, you wake up 8:00 in the morning, you prepare for work, you start one hour for going remote, one hour for whichever other organization I want to help with. It could be Women In Tech, it could be Lisbon Project, it could be something else, right? Those are already two hours, from 9:00 to 10:00 and 10:00 to 11:00.

Then 11:00 onwards is when I work for my regular job and then you take a break, one hour break for lunch and then you continue again for my full time job and then I end at 8:00 PM. Then 8:00 PM, dinner and then 9:00, I have time for my daughter and then by 11:00 onwards, I can do whatever I want. I can watch Netflix or I can just prepare for bed or just spend time on my phone.

Luis Magalhaes: When people say that you work online, you work through the internet, that you work remotely, I bet they have no idea of how full your day is.

June Bolneo: Yeah, exactly and people think you’re just online. No, actually my day is pretty full. Of course, there’s always the flexibility of that. For example, we’re doing this interview so instead of my go remote hour in the morning, I move that towards the afternoon because I’m doing this for the organization. That’s the beauty of flexible working, of working online because you can move your schedule around.

I don’t have to be in an office where I log in and sit down in my desk and if I need to meet somebody, I need to get out of the office and meet them somewhere.

Luis Magalhaes: Absolutely. At least for myself, I have a big cost in shifting. What I usually do is I try to get two hours, one and a half, 90 minutes or two hours of creative work in the morning because you can’t really do more than two hours of creative work. At least I can’t. I schedule all the meetings in the afternoon.

So, I’m talking with you. Pretty enjoyable, pretty enjoyable conversation but after this, if I’m going to try to do something creative like craft an email campaign or set up a content plan or something like this, or even review an article submitted by one of our writers, I’m still going to our conversation for at least 30 minutes.

I’m not going to be able to do good work there, so I’d rather just I have meetings, [inaudible 00:34:46] minute break, another meeting and et cetera. Do you feel this is the same for you and how do you find room for creative work, I guess?

June Bolneo: You describe it perfectly, basically. I have a block of time after lunch. Most of the time I have that hour blocked because I work for a company in California so it’s TST. The 1:00 PM onwards is still really, really early for them and no one is going to bother you at that time. But 4:00 PM onwards is when I block my hours for meetings for my company, for the people that I work for.

Because that’s 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM for them which is really good because they’re fresh and they’re there to start their day. For me, it’s good because it’s also towards the end of my day wherein I’m ending and I’m closing out stuff and I’m preparing things for the next morning.

The creative part… And I’m completely useless in the morning, to be honest. Completely useless. You know how it is. You have your peak performance and you need to determine which hour is your peak performance. My peak performance is 3:00 or 4:00 PM, so 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, those time are when I’m usually designing things or writing things because my brain works at the optimal level during those hours.

4:00 PM onwards, it kind of starts declining where my day is about to end and I just need to go ahead and close things and talk to people and follow up.

Luis Magalhaes: It seems like it actually worked out with the company being based on TST. In my case, I have people in Israel and I have people in Mexico, so I need to be a bit more defensive about my scheduling, otherwise I would [crosstalk 00:36:48] all day long.

Why don’t we finish with some rapid fire questions? The questions are rapid fire but the answers don’t need to be. You can take as long as you want answering.

June Bolneo: Okay.

Luis Magalhaes: If you had 100 euros to spend on a tool for each person working for you so that their quality of work, their work-life quality would improve and it can be software or it can be hardware, what would you give them?

June Bolneo: Only 100? That’s actually a very good question. I think I would spend that money on getting them training on time blocking. Yeah, because then-

Luis Magalhaes: Any specific time blocking training you recommend?

June Bolneo: I don’t know. That’s a very good idea actually. We should create that because I’m finding out-

Luis Magalhaes: Remember to send me 10%.

June Bolneo: I know, right? I know. 10% of the profits and this is an idea we can work with. I will look it up but time blocking or time management changed my life, I would say so. When people ask me, “How are you able to manage two companies and then two other organizations? That’s like four companies.” It’s all because of time blocking. If you dedicate the time, you will be able to do things. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do it. It’s intentional and it’s purposeful, right? So, people need to know that.

Luis Magalhaes: Absolutely. Turning it around, what purchase has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

June Bolneo: I would say getting the right tools. For example, the computer. The right computer for me is…

Luis Magalhaes: What is the right computer for you?

June Bolneo: Well, for me at least I used to have an Acer. Nothing bad to say about Acer-

Luis Magalhaes: I have plenty of bad things to say about Acer if you want.

June Bolneo: No, that computer lasted four years, got me through from the Philippines to Portugal and it survived and it still is surviving. It’s still here, it’s back up computer but getting a much better computer, like I have a Mac right now and it was provided by my computer, just changed your productivity. A faster computer just…

Even a few seconds difference when you click on something can add up to a lot of stuff. The tiniest bit of time you spend and the frustration-

Luis Magalhaes: I’m a fan of the Mac as well. It’s not the faster computer because you usually pay more for the brand than for the performance but it’s really reliable. It just never breaks.

June Bolneo: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I haven’t had any problems with mine but I hope I don’t get any. But my point is it’s not about buying a Mac. It’s buying a reliable tool for me.

Luis Magalhaes: Exactly.

June Bolneo: It could be reliable headphones, like those noise canceling headphones [crosstalk 00:40:25] a lot of meetings. That could be a good investment. But for me, it was the computer. It was a game changer.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, what book or books have you gifted the most?

June Bolneo: I actually don’t gift books.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s all right. If you don’t gift books, what book influenced you the most in that case?

June Bolneo: What book influenced me the most? “The Alchemist”.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. That’s a good one. What did stick with you the most about The Alchemist?

June Bolneo: I think it was this line if you want something to happen, the universe will conspire to make it happen. My story of coming to Portugal is a living testament to that. It’s a living testament to that. Although if I have to recommend a book at the moment, I would say “The High Performance Habit” by Brendon Burchard.

Luis Magalhaes: “The High Performance Habit”?

June Bolneo: Yes, “High Performance Habit”. Yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: First time I’m hearing of it. Sounds interesting.

June Bolneo: Yeah. Not to toot my own horn, I feel like I’m a regular person. The book actually taught me… At first impression when you see someone, you would think that they go their things together on how they are able to achieve that [crosstalk 00:42:00].

Luis Magalhaes: I just think that everyone is a disaster when you’re not looking.

June Bolneo: That is so true. That is so true. This book actually kind of elaborates on it more because high performance people did not just get there because they were born high performing. It’s very strategic how they outline their day. That’s why I did time blocking. And how purposeful they are with their time. If you have one big goal…

How do you eat an elephant, right? You eat it one bite at a time. But basically which part do you bite first and how big are those bites? [crosstalk 00:42:45]

Luis Magalhaes: The nose looks pretty tasty, pretty soft.

June Bolneo: That’s a good part to start with.

Luis Magalhaes: You could do the ear. I’m going to get a lot of hate from animal lovers, I guess but I guess the ears should be pretty nice on the barbecue or something.

June Bolneo: Yeah, exactly. You’re already strategizing how you’re going to eat the elephant but that is exactly the point. It helps you kind of strategize how are you going to arrange your day or arrange your week, your life to achieve a bigger goal? Because you don’t go in a straight line and it doesn’t happen overnight. It happens consistently with the little things that you do.

Are the little things that you do today contributing to the bigger goal of your life? That’s what the book taught me.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. Final question. If you were hosting a round table/dinner about remote work on the Chinese restaurant… Actually I don’t need to. You are hosting and you’re going to tell us a bit about that. You’re hosting a meeting of remote managers just at the end of this week and you expect to repeat it. Let’s say that you were serving Chinese food. What is the message that is inside the fortune cookie that everyone will open?

June Bolneo: Question though. Are they already remote managers or are they…

Luis Magalhaes: The topic is remote. They might be remote managers or not. It’s that crowd.

June Bolneo: You ask very tough questions.

Luis Magalhaes: [inaudible 00:44:30], I guess.

June Bolneo: Yeah, it is a compliment because it makes you think. I would say how are you taking care of your workers? It’s a question, right?

Luis Magalhaes: Fortune cookie. The rules are all over the place. You can ask a question.

June Bolneo: Right, you can ask a question or let your employees live where they’re happy. Yeah, that’s a tagline. That’s a tagline. Live where you’re happy. Right?

Luis Magalhaes: Work where you’re happy as well. Sounds good.

June Bolneo: Yeah, work and live where you’re happy.

Luis Magalhaes: So, June, thank you so much for this conversation. Before we stop, I would like you to tell everyone what you’re up to, where they can find all the things that you are involved, and if they want to continue the conversation with you, what is the best way to reach?

June Bolneo: As you know, I’m the chapter lead for Grow Remote in Lisbon.

Luis Magalhaes: We didn’t even talk about that at all.

June Bolneo: I know. Maybe for another call. For them to offer or at least think about offering flexible and remote working because the more managers, the more companies we convince to shift to this remote work culture, the more jobs will be available for everyone, right?

If you are in Lisbon, reach out to us. Go to growremote.ie, we are there. We are here to help you out, guys and we’re trying to create this community where we support not just the talents, not just the individuals but the companies as well because both parties need to learn how to work remotely harmoniously.

Luis Magalhaes: What are some kind of ways that you support companies?

June Bolneo: [inaudible 00:46:34] that we’re going to do on July 13th, it’s going to be a monthly thing. So, if you are a remote manager we would like to invite you because we want for you to share your knowledge with us, best practices and if you are a manager who is thinking of shifting your team to a remote one or if interested, curious or whatever, and you want to find out more about it, you can come to our meetups and ask questions.

Hear what the topics are. How do we manage remote teams? How do you create policies? What does the career growth look like in a remote work setup? Those are the type of conversations we want to have in these meetups because we want to bring in decision makers, leaders, thought leaders into this space wherein anyone who wants to convert their companies into remote working ones or flexible entirely would be able to get support and have their questions answered.

Luis Magalhaes: Sounds great. Where can people sign up?

June Bolneo: That’s a very good question. You go to growremote.ie.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay.

June Bolneo: We will have the link in there.

Luis Magalhaes: What about yourself? How can people get in touch?

June Bolneo: You can find me in LinkedIn. You just look for June Bolneo and you will find me there. I’m also in Twitter. Same thing, June Bolneo. I’m more active on Facebook because that’s where our community is and the community in Lisbon is more active in Facebook. If you look for Grow Remote PT and join in on the community, we are small but intimate and we value your participation.

Luis Magalhaes: All right. On that note, again, thank you. It was a pleasure talking to you. We’ll be seeing each other I hope.

June Bolneo: Yes, yes. I look forward to seeing you in person in one of the meetups.

Luis Magalhaes: Hope that will happen very soon. See you, June. And so, we close another episode of the Distant Job podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well.

You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners. Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click on your favorite episode, any episode really, and subscribe.

By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up, so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form.

And of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent.

To help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate 40% faster than the industry standard. With that, I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode.

For further inquiries regarding podcasts, eBooks, blog posts, or general information about remote recruitment don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected]  

More ways to listen:

Should your company go remote? The answer is probably yes, but there are a few things you should consider to know if your team is ready.

There are a bunch of reasons why managers are reluctant to work remotely and June Bolneo surely knows about them. In this chapter, we go deep into learning the ins and outs of remote work and how your company can (or should) make the leap. 
She’s found that most of the problems that arise when working remotely are very psychological and rely around social barriers. So, what can we do about it? Listen to this podcast and find out.