Ready for Remote
What’s the heart of your story?
As I was researching educational remote work platforms, I stumbled upon Ready for Remote’s Alpha Preview on YouTube. “Hey, timing’s perfect!” I thought, as I looked for the point of contact. “This group helps people get ‘ready for remote’? They are totally on the same wavelength as Remoter!” I waited a week, no reply. My HubSpot email sequence ran its follow-up course. Nothing. So naturally, I slid into their DMs.
Let’s just blame e-mail servers. Turns out Gary Walker, founder of Ready for Remote and co-author of the Ready for Remote book, DID reply. I just never received it.
Remote takes the wheel
Remote collaboration made this possible. Gary is located in Scotland, and I couldn’t find time to pop over while I was in the UK. Normally, I’d be more than happy to make the trip, but my time in London was so jam-packed. Here’s to the first fully remote Remoter Project participant!
Also, through 3 degrees of separation, I met Bernie Mitchell. Timing was on my side - Bernie offered to let me borrow his office for the day, a super quiet spot at Mainyard Studios coworking space. Luckily he’s also a seasoned podcaster because when I realized that I had forgotten a certain cable at home 2 seconds before having to record the podcast with Gary, guess who had backups!?
Founder of Ready for Remote and 22North, a consultancy, product development and media company, Gary Walker has been working remotely for over 10 years - a veteran, to say the least. He’s seen the spectrum of benefits it brings, from saving on office rent to renewing incumbent organizations and improving personal wellbeing.
The heart of his story
We started talking about daily routines and got onto the topic of his daughters. Gary opens up about his newborn daughter who had colic.
Gary’s story transpired and defied the high-level planning that I’d initially done. Sometimes the best anecdotes come unplanned, especially if you hit close to home. Of course, as he says, he could just go to a co-working space to focus, but it was 100% his decision to stay in the house and help his wife. She tells him that she doesn’t know what she would’ve done if he wasn’t around, and vice versa. “This wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”
Happiness and family: the reflections
I’m no parent, but when Gary recounts reading a report last year, stating that “the biggest regret of any person on their deathbed was that they didn’t spend enough time with their kids and they realize there’s no substitute for that,” I thought back to my family, about how my dad works remotely and is always around.
Whilst tidying up the story structure, I felt a refreshed sense of curiosity, the kind when you want to keep prying for more. I also remembered the constant desire to empathize during our record, continually putting myself in Gary’s shoes. He said that he doesn’t think it’s possible to sympathize and try to understand how challenging it can be, because unless you live that reality, you’re never going to understand the mental impact on it.
But I can, at the very least, understand the way remote work lifted his situation. I recognize how remote work can be life-changing for those who really need it.