5 tips for working remotely anywhere from the CEO who works by a beach in the Canary Islands

Summary List PlacementShane Pearlman’s office is different to most chief executives’. He works from his balcony overlooking Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Playa de Las Canteras beach.
To the left lies the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, the concert hall named after one of the island’s most famous sons, Alfredo Kraus Trujillo, the celebrated tenor. To the right, the rugged and wild El Confital, another of the Gran Canaria capital’s playas.
He wears a Californian surfer chic T-shirt that says “always stoked.”
“Who needs air conditioning when you’ve got an ocean breeze on your doorstep?”
Pearlman’s website and app design company, Modern Tribe INC, has no headquarters. Employees work from their own homes all around the world.
Here are his five tips, in his own words, on how to treat prospective remote workers to help them work anywhere.
1. Make a checklist to find the right environment
My wife and I used to live in Santa Cruz, California. We decided we wanted to bring up our family abroad. So we made a giant list. Categories included broadband, timezone, airport, business facilities, infrastructure, health system, and education. We’d then go live somewhere for a month in the likes of Japan, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. None of them ticked most, let alone all, of the boxes.
Then we came over to Gran Canaria at the end of 2015. It ticked most if not quite all of our boxes. The mosquitoes here don’t want to kill you, and I speak after experiencing the ones in Nicaragua.
That’s the beauty of working remotely; being able to be location independent. You can put a thousand and more miles between you and your fellow employees. Despite the distance, you can make it work.  But you have to enjoy the right environment. If everything’s not more or less aligned, you’re fighting a lost cause.
Read more: I moved my family from NYC to Miami this year and it was the best thing I could’ve done as a tech cofounder
2. Use a calendar
My working day’s split into manageable chunks as I carefully design it to fit in with my family commitments and to stay healthy. At the end of every working day, I make a list of key priorities. These are the three things I consider the most important to do the following day.
People talk about the work-life balance. There’s no such thing. It’s a total fallacy — there’s just life. Work is one factor amongst many. Design your life. Take control. That’s why I put having dinner with my kids and going surfing in my calendar, alongside project deadlines.
3. Set boundaries
Establish a dedicated working space, one with a door and sound cancelling. At Modern Tribe Inc, we include a monthly allowance of $125 for our employees. They can use this to put towards purchasing a new desk or desk space in a coworking space. The choice is theirs.
Be professional. Don’t title emails Madman Mustafa. Remember not to use the toilet when you’re on Zoom. There will still be epic fails. I remember my young son running into the room when I was pitching Disney. “Dad, I pooped,” he proudly announced. “That’s great, buddy. Can we get a round of applause?” 
4. Stay curious about your employees
We wanted to live abroad to expose our kids to other ways of thinking. People get stuck to a viewpoint. There’s no such thing as your truth, there are a lot of truths. When you work remotely, you’ve got to identify the problems to solve and then fix them yourself. You can’t wait for direction, you have to ask questions. What’s missing? Fill in the gaps.
In my industry, tech, everything changes quickly. Educate yourself or become out of date. As an employer, I’m artfully intrusive. How’s your Mum? Are you learning something new? What are you reading? These are the types of questions I tend to ask my staff.
Read more: Working parents are burnt out from working at home and taking care of their kids. A manager at LinkedIn shares 4 ways companies should support their changing needs and what’s working at LinkedIn.
5. Don’t worry, be happy
About 12 years ago, right before my daughter was born, I turned to my father for advice. “Hey, Dad, you raised two kids in your 30s, so….” He thought a long time and then replied: “Don’t freak out when they eat sand.”
When we moved to San Diego when I was a kid, the first thing we did was hit the beach where I proceeded to stuff myself with sand. After hotfooting it to the emergency room, the doctors reassured my parents that the sand would come out and to relax. It’s an important lesson: Most things turn out OK.
I’ve found that my key staff are the happy individuals. Not Pollyannas, but ones who make me feel better when I work with them.SEE ALSO: How to host a fun and thoughtful virtual company holiday party during the pandemic
READ MORE: Google’s simple ‘3-word plan’ is empowering employees to choose how and when they spend their time working from home
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