Everyone in the Tech Collective office has worked remotely. Heck, as I write this I am working remotely in a cafe, three time zones off from the rest of the team.

First, before we get into the conversation, let me dispel some rumours about remote work and what it entails.

person wearing pair of brown boots sitting in front of black backpack
What everyone thinks remote work is like

No, we do not trek every day or lounge in swimwear on the beach or by the infinity pool.

Here’s why:

  • Deadlines matter guys. I don’t get to enjoy no deadlines when I am working remotely, in fact, it can be quite tough to set aside time when you’re by the beach, to do your work. However, I like being employed and being able to afford food and stuff, so here I am.
  • Wifi is your best friend and unless you have a great roaming data package, you need to be in civilisation.
  • A good seat at a cafe with nice lighting and no loud music is probably twice as good as a beautiful beach or mountain trail when it comes to being productive.
  • Being remote also usually means sitting in a cafe near your house or in most cases, inside your house working a full day.

Is Jack Ma on the right track about being expendable?

woman wearing white jacket using laptop computer
This is more like it

To be honest, we polled around the office and amongst our network, to get these awesome numbers. About 8 out of 10 people are happier because they work remotely. My colleague just posted a picture of her bathing her cat at 3pm on a Tuesday, because she works from home. She also just sent over all her work on time, so absolutely no one in the team had an issue with her bathing her cat at that time.

Here are some other interesting perks of being remote:

  • Traffic in Southeast Asia sucks. Being caught in KL’s awesome rush hour traffic or a Jakarta gridlock can ruin your day. Nay, your week.
  • Productivity is often fueled by external factors, so finding the best spot in your house, favourite cafe or wherever, can actually make you a better worker.
  • You control most of your life and it is a bit easier to manage work-life balance when you don’t have to factor in long commutes.
  • Being remote doesn’t mean being disconnected. I speak to my team more frequently than I speak to my partner, which is slightly worrying, but also a sign of how easy it is to be a real global employee.
  • You get to sleep more. I now get a grand total of 6 hours of sleep a day. When I worked in an office for 2 years, I used to average less than 5 on weekdays and 12 or more on weekends. My personal life was amazing.

Is sleep overrated for entrepreneurs? We debate it here.

In conclusion

Working remotely can mean a fulfilling and productive work style, but honestly isn’t for everyone. If you’re reading this thinking that it is much easier to work remotely, you’re going about it wrong.

You need to adapt to a different style of work and also learn how to manage yourself effectively. This is a lot harder than you can imagine.


Tech Collective Talks is a new segment where we discuss matters that our partners, startup founders, and staff feel is important enough to spend time around it. We discuss it as a group and from it, we craft a story to share with our readers.

If you’ve got something on your mind, drop us a note here and we’ll see if we can include it in the next session.