In the second episode of LEAP‘s new season we get to hear an exciting story from Emmi Linkola, who works as a frontend developer at a wholly remote company called SafetyWing. 

Emmi first heard about Startuplifers while she was studying Information Networks at Aalto University. While still a student at Aalto, she went through a couple of job interviews but didn’t end up getting a job. She then spent a couple of years gathering more professional experience and developing her skills in Finland. According to her, that was the right decision as it made her more confident in her professional skills. 

Emmi had always been eager to work as a digital nomad and enjoy the freedom of remote work. So after graduating from Aalto she decided to apply for a fully remote role at SafetyWing through Startuplifers. Fast forward six months and she landed a job as a Frontend Developer with the company.

Working for a fully remote company

Founded by Norwegian digital nomads, SafetyWing is building the world’s first social safety net for remote workers. Currently providing health and travel insurance, the company’s plan is to eventually build a complete social safety net that covers workers anywhere in the world. 

Even though the company generally practices a remote setup, they have physical headquarters in San Francisco. Before the pandemic took over in early  2020, Emmi was able to meet up with her new team in California. Apart from having a few team gatherings yearly, Emmi’s co-workers are spread around the world, “one team member even lives on a sailboat in the Caribbean” she says. 

Best practices for remote work

Sometimes working remotely with a global team can be challenging, but there are some tips that can make remote work a little smoother. Emmi points out these three tips:

  • Avoid unnecessary meetings when working from different time zones

  • Set boundaries and form healthy habits to separate work and free time 

  • Work smart and manage your time: “It’s not about the amount of hours you work but the  output of your work”

How about the practicalities of working remotely? 

“I work as a contractor and have a limited-liability company,” she says. “As I knew that I would be staying in this role for a longer time, I figured this option would be the best for me. My contract is not for a set period of time but ongoing” she adds.

Connecting with coworkers

Working remotely can get lonely sometimes, right? But when you work for a fully remote company, how do you get social with your coworkers? According to Emmi, the team uses a virtual office to connect between the team members: 

“It actually looks like a Habbo Hotel type of platform. You can see your colleagues’ avatars in different areas of the virtual office chatting to each other, so you can easily join conversations.“

The team also gathers together for virtual events such as Hackathons as well as physical team gatherings a couple of times a year. However, due to the pandemic the team has not been able to organize such gatherings so for now those meetups remain fully online. 

So what is next for Emmi?

Working remotely as a digital nomad

Even though Emmi has not been able to live the digital nomad lifestyle to the fullest due to the pandemic, she enjoys the flexibility of working remotely and has a bucket list of exciting destinations  to explore once the world opens up again.

So when the world opens up again, where will you travel first?

“So many places. Definitely going back to the US for some time. I love the mountains so maybe Switzerland or  Italy. We’ll see.” she says.

Tune in now to hear Emmi’s whole story. Available on all major podcast platforms.  

Are you interested in working for a startup and become a stellar developer like Emmi? Check out our open positions today.

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