Philipp Hentschel
by Philipp Hentschel

Remote Studio Barcelona

Working from abroad – A field report

We opened our studio flat in Barcelona a few months ago. Most freelancers are well aware of the benefits of remote work, but still don’t make use of them effectively. A report on 2,5 weeks remote work in Barcelona.

The right foundation

In our daily business working with freelancers we use a project management tool everyone can access from wherever they are. While in other companies people need to communicate with each other directly to share passwords or discuss the newest layouts, this has helped us reducing time and effort in keeping everyone up to date. And everyone is benefitting. Voice over IP providers now make it easy to continue using our local Berlin phone number even abroad in Barcelona. For coordinating the most important aspects of a project tools like Skype or HipChat help us the keep everyone working smoothly. We find that a combination of these tools is an ideal prerequisite for making remote work worth your while.

An Increase in Productivity

I was happy to find that I had ticked off all points of the worryingly courageous to-do list I had made for my stay. The limited time that I had in Barcelona was, I believe, an important factor. You start getting things done straight away and put off less than you normally would. Although admittedly my team did support me from Berlin, I was able to meet the demands of the daily office routine like answering calls much like I would have done “on location”. Remote work is definitely a more intense experience. And just as well the sun sets a little later in Barcelona so there’s more time for roaming the city in the evenings.

A new place is always inspiring

Yes, Barcelona may be especially interesting, but I believe a change in place and surroundings is always inspiring. As for me, I went to see exhibitions, admired sights and architecture and met up with other freelancers and people from the co-working scene – and through that new ideas and thoughts spring to mind almost automatically.  Often new visions, projects and business ventures are born within new surroundings. 

And what are the cons?

Remote work is most effective when everyone supports the idea. But you obviously miss out on lunch dates, office banter and the motivating effect of team meetings, let alone face-to-face meetings with clients. Personally, I didn’t see these negatives after 2,5 weeks, but that might change once the remote period is extended. Even when communication was already well established before I left, for some projects my absence slowed things down slightly. We are keen to find the root of these hiccups for the next time, of course, but I don’t consider them a serious problem. 

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The freedom to choose where you want to work from is more and more common, so more people are bound to make use o fit. There are endless anvantages.

Would I do it again?

In the blink of an eye. It was worth it on so many levels. I have met other co-working space owners, spent time with friends, saw great exhibitions and had a wonderful time with my girlfriend. If you’re looking for the perfect read on the topic, I recommend the best selling “Remote - office not required” as well as the little less recent “Rework”. If you haven’t heard of these books, get your hands on a copy and make your way to Barcelona. We are looking forward to answer all your questions about dates and booking of our remote studio: bcn@welance.de.