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Full-Time Remote: Vinnie Padmanabhan, UI/UX Designer

Hannah Watkins
Hannah Watkins|Updated September 24th 2018

Having already worked for Hubble for 18 months, in January this year our UI/UX designer Vinnie took the plunge and decided to work remotely. Since then, he’s remained a key member of our team whilst also being based everywhere from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City. We asked him about his experiences of working in this way and tips for those thinking of doing the same.

vinnie

What were the factors in your life that made you choose to go remote?

An existential crisis of sorts served as the catalyst in my decision to go remote. I turned 30 and realised how little of the world I had seen and so I decided that it was time to get over my excuses (too busy, too old, too cash-strapped) and take the leap.

What does your remote work schedule look like?

The beauty of working remote from Asia is that I have my mornings and afternoons free to explore whatever town or city I’m in. Having this freedom at the start of my day is something I really value and helps me to start my working day feeling relaxed and refreshed. Depending on what timezone I’m in, I’ll typically start my work around 4pm, break for dinner around the same time London breaks for lunch and then work through till around midnight.

How did you approach requesting to work remotely with your team?

After I decided that working remote was something I wanted to do I approached our CTO, Tom, and explained why I wanted to work remote. Over the course of several weeks we talked through the logistics of my proposed move and mapped out the team process tweaks necessary to make sure that my transition to remote would be smooth. We also did a practice run where I worked from home for a week to make sure that as a team we were prepared for the move.

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What are some tools that you find helpful for remote work?

  • Nomad List has been a great resource to help choose the most digital nomad-friendly places to visit and work.
  • As a designer, I’ve found Invision boards to be an incredibly useful way to present design assets, communicate UX flow ideas and collect feedback.
  • The majority of the interactions I have with the team in London is via the Zoom video conferencing app. Zoom is without question the most reliable, stable and fully-featured video conferencing application I’ve used.

What are your favourite parts of remote work?

The fact that I can open up my laptop and work from anywhere in the world has meant that I’ve been able to work and live in a new city almost on a weekly basis. This freedom has also given me the chance to spend some time with family and friends back home in Australia, which is something I previously hadn’t been able to do a lot of since moving to London in 2005.

What are the biggest challenges of remote work?

Initially one of the most challenging aspects of working remote from Asia was adjusting my body clock in order to get used to working London hours. A big part of making the adjustment was reducing my caffeine intake, doing regular exercise, and being disciplined about my sleep patterns.

Constantly moving from city to city can also make you feel quite isolated at times. However, I’ve found local meetups to be a great way of meeting like-minded people.

Do you have any tips for remote workers or those considering remote work?

If you’re lucky enough to have a job that affords you the opportunity to travel and work remotely, then squash any doubts you may have about working remote and take the leap – you won’t regret it!

Would you like to join a team that promotes flexibility in work life and supports its members to find a routine that suits them? Check out Hubble’s current openings at this link and find a way to Love Where You Work.

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