This Founder Has Been Working Remotely Since Before It Was Cool
Digital nomad diaries

This Founder Has Been Working Remotely Since Before It Was Cool

Welcome back to the Digital Nomad Diaries, where wanderlust meets work. This time, we’ve teamed up with our fave home-swap app Kindred to profile how their community of travelers are working remotely without breaking the bank. 

Get exclusive access to Kindred’s members-only home swapping community. Girlboss members jump the 50,000-person waitlist and receive 5 FREE credits (nights) if accepted. Use invite code: GIRL.BOSS.

Who: Anais Cisneros, the co-founder of Amela, the largest private network for entrepreneurial women in Latam and Europe.

Where: Peru, Germany, the US and Mexico (but she’s previously worked remotely from Ecuador, Panama, Dominican Republic, and the UK too).

Michelle Fishman (left), and Anais Cisneros (right) working on their business, over a laptop.

Here is my cofounder, Michelle Fishman (left), and I (right) working. Our company started remotely.

When did you start working remotely?

“My first internship after my Bachelor’s degree was remote without me knowing what I really signed myself for. I moved to Washington D.C. and at the beginning of my internship, my boss had to move to Brazil to manage a conference. It also turned out that my direct team was spread across different countries and suddenly I was ‘remote.’ That was over 10 years ago. I had no other option than to learn on-the-go. My working life was born remote. 

A little bit later in my career, I became a consultant in financial services, and while I was not the stereotypical digital nomad, I managed multiple remote teams from different sites. When the pandemic came, I already knew a lot of the benefits of working with remote teams and had a bit of a head start with managing relationships remotely. Now, at my own company, Amela, we are a remote-first company.”

Four members of the Amela team posing for a photo.

This is the Amela team that works remotely and meets a few times a year. Talent is so precious and working remotely helps us get access to some of the best talent out there.

What practical considerations did you have to take?

“When I was younger, it was a bit easier to go hostel-hopping, as I worked remotely. However, as I got older and my responsibilities grew, having a suitable workplace (where I can speak loudly and manage multiple meetings) and having somewhat of a routine (eating healthy food and exercising) has become essential for me to be effective at my work. In order to quickly set up a routine in the place I am working from, I have a pretty effective tech stack that helps me set up fast: 

  • Kindred for housing with a WFH setup included
  • Classpass to access the gyms across the world
  • BetterHelp to have my weekly therapy no matter where I am
  • Revolut to pay in the local currency wherever I go
  • Treatwell in case I need to find a hair salon for my next event

I don’t have animals or plants because  moving often does not allow for the long-term responsibilities of living creatures.”

What was the time difference adjustment like? Do you pick your destinations with this in mind?

“Time zone is definitely a consideration. I tend to adapt my sleeping schedule to the side of the world I am in. I avoid moving all the time and try to slow travel, making sure that I spend at least a week in each place and that I can sleep the full 8 hours my body needs to function. In the last year, my travels were months-long, so I was able to adapt my sleeping patterns to the new places. It was definitely not easy, but I managed to spend the winter being an early bird and the summer being a night owl.”

Anais Cisneros and her boyfriend posing for a photo in Brooklyn with a view of the bridge.

A picture of my boyfriend and I during our NYC trip to attend a fintech gala and meet investors for Amela. This stay was only possible thanks to the house-swapping platform Kindred.

What are the costs like?

“One of the largest costs is housing. So, last year, I became a founding member of Kindred, a curated, house-swapping platform founded by two wonderful women entrepreneurs. I can book affordable homes and search for places with a WFH setup that enables me to be present at my meetings and cook from home. I had a few conferences last year in New York City and the housing prices were through the roof. Kindred helped me stay in the city and feel like a local without breaking the bank. I love Kindred so much that my company recently closed a partnership with them to help more women founders in the Amela ecosystem swap their homes and travel effectively while keeping the costs low.”

What are the best parts of working remote?

“Talent should be where they feel most comfortable, and remote work enables people to live where they feel the happiest and most productive. In order to fulfill your dreams, you no longer have to live in a specific city. This enables our talent to also create impact in the place they are at. Traveling has helped me better understand people and their motivations, and see the similarities that we all have as humans.”

What are the worst parts and frustrations?

“Not everyone is used to working remotely, so if you have a new team member, it usually takes a bit of time until that person gets the hang of it. Spending time in the same place definitely helps speed up the learning curve of working styles among teammates.”

Did you find that you were fully able to enjoy being abroad while working?

“I purposely add week-long stays as I travel, so I have enough time to work effectively the usual hours and also explore the new city on the weekends. For the sake of my business objectives, the moment I became an entrepreneur, I decided not to travel to a new location during the week unless it’s extremely important.”

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