Share Tweet Welcome to the first of the weekly interview series where I will speak a wide range of people who have embraced the work from home opportunity. We will speak to entrepreneurs, business owners, large organisation workers and freelancers about their trials and tribulations from working remotely. Our first interviewee is Henri Junttila one of the industry’s leading bloggers within the lifestyle design niche. Henri runs the hugely popular and acclaimed blog Wake Up Cloud which is for those who want to discover their passion and learn how to turn it into a profitable and ethical online business. Henri has a wealth of experience and knowledge within the sector and has built sustainable businesses online while embracing life and his passions. I caught up with Henri early today to ask him a few questions on his experience in working from home and to find out how he’s become so successful working in this way. Q: Hi Henri, tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where do you live now? I was born and raised in Sweden by Finnish parents. I currently live in Finland. It’s complicated, because I live right on the border (literally).My apartment is about 100 meters (330 ft) from the Swedish/Finnish border. And on the other side of that border is the Swedish town where I grew up. I’ve never worked a “real” job in my life, except a few summer jobs in my late teens, which I didn’t enjoy at all. That initial aversion to working for someone else is what got me searching for others ways to make a living, and others ways to live. Q: What company do you work for and what is your role within the organisation? I work for myself, and always have. Q: How do you deal with stereotypes from friends in regards to productivity when working from home? i.e.: Sleep until midday, 2 hour lunch breaks etc. I was a professional online poker player from about 18 to 23, so I’ve grown up with these stereotypes. My friends still ask me when I’m going to get a job. I don’t really take these questions seriously, and I’m not too worried about them, because I have nothing to prove. They can see that what I’m doing is allowing me to live the way I live, and that’s enough for me. I’m not here to convince anyone. In the end, real friends will take the time to understand what I do and why I do what I do. People will always have their own opinions of what is right and what is not, and I’m fine with that, as long as they don’t try to impose their world-view on mine. Q: What is the most challenging part about working remotely and how do you overcome this? For me it has more to do with entrepreneurship in general rather than working remotely, and the most challening part for me is staying on track. To solve that problem, I work with a coach/mentor who helps me brainstorm and focus on tasks that produce results. I can do this myself, but it’s so much more effective when I work with someone. Q: What are the main positives around working from home? The main benefits are what you’d think: more control of your time and freedom in general. I can design my work schedule around my life and not the other way around. I can live anywhere I want, and I just had baby boy with my girlfriend in December ’12, so I get to see him grow up. Q: Do you have a dedicated office space and what is the importance of having this? Right now I live in a pretty simple, small apartment, so I share space with my girlfriend and my son.I don’t have trouble working in a shared space like this, although I enjoy the quietude of a separate space. However, you work with what you’ve got. I brew some tea, put on my headphones, and I’m ready to roll. Q: Any pictures of your office space? You wouldn’t want to see it right now as we have a newborn baby in the house 😉 Just picture a pile of clothes in the middle of a room. And now picture that pile of clothes exploding all over the room, then put a baby somewhere in there. Q: Do you have any productivity tools you use to keep yourself efficient which may help our readers? My productivity tools are tea, pen and paper. I write a to-do list most evenings before I go to bed, so my brain can prepare to work on the tasks in the morning. I don’t write a whole list of things. Usually my to-do list will consist of between 1 and 3 tasks.I focus on what gives me the most results, and if I have time left over, I’ll focus on smaller tasks. Q: If you could give any advice to our readers before deciding whether remote working is for them then what would it be? The only advice I have is to try it. You can’t know whether it’ll work for you if you don’t try. It’s like trying to know the taste of chocolate before you try it. Life just doesn’t work that way. Stop planning so much and just go. Q: Do you believe more organisations should allow those with web based roles to work remotely? If so..how come? It depends on so many factors, so I can’t really answer this one. But in most cases, if it makes sense and works, then I don’t see why not. Companies seem to constantly become more and more flexible, so we’re heading in the right direction, which means happier people, and that leads to happier customers. Thanks again Henri for the hugely insightful interview. Remember to visit Wake Up Cloud and read some excellent advice from one of the best within the industry.