Today, we’re sharing our interview with David Abraham, the co-founder of Outpost, a network of coliving coworking space in idyllic destinations in Southeast Asia.
Outpost is a home for an entrepreneurial, creative and internationally-minded people who truly want to live remotely for weeks, months or even years at a time.
Outpost Ubud officially opened its doors in April 2016. Co-founders David Abraham and Bryan Stewart realized there was a need for a place to cater to people like them: both ambitious entrepreneurs with unusual career paths, they wanted to pursue an alternative lifestyle to the one they had left back home in the United States, but one that still fostered creativity, collaboration and community.
In 2018 and 2019, Outpost Ubud, Canggu, and Cambodia were all awarded #1 coworking space in their city by Coworker.com, the leading coworking website for ranking spaces online.
How Does Your Remote Workday Look Like?
I travel a lot and though I control my schedule I don’t always control of when I have time to or where I work.
I’m a morning person and a night person, but life is such that I have to pick one. Usually night me wins out, as I often am at my best late in the evening when I can focus without distraction.
The day starts with a read of the news. I like to know what’s going on in the world.
What Tools Do You Use to Get Things Done?
I use the standard tools that people use like Slack, Office, etc. But I think what’s underused is to use the old ways of communicating like a quick phone call, or a tap on the shoulder.
Don’t underestimate the power of the personal connection. Despite our tremendous use of emojis, memes and GIFs, people can convey more in an intonation, a smile or scratch on the forehead than in the best email prose.
What’s the Biggest Challenge of Remote Work?
Depends on what remote work is for you. To some, it’s being away from others—hence remote.
For others, remote work is about controlling when and where you work.
The latter can get more problematic when a lot of teamwork is needed. I think as long as your colleagues are on the same page of what remote work is, and things get done well, all is good.
So the main challenge is actually defining expectations.
What Are the Advantages of Remote Work?
A sense of control over your life. There is nothing more empowering than having the power to decide where you physically can be—and when you can leave.
What’s the Future of Remote Work?
There will be growing tools equipped with AI that will make people appear like they’re next door and responsive.
So that will enable remote workers to have more control over where they are located and have less challenges communicating with people in different time zones.
I also think that there is a growing portion of the Millennial workforce that feels unfulfilled and unsatisfied with their work and life. As they approach more managerial position, companies will allow them to travel more and have more independence, so they can live more the life of their Instagram feed.
What Made You Consider Remote Work?
The first time I left North America was after I graduated from university. I taught English in Japan for a year then spent 7 months traveling South East Asia. I was hooked and since then always wanted/had an international lifestyle.
I’m not a typical remote worker in that my work has historically been tied to the places where I am. Now in Bali and Cambodia my work is a more traditional office.
What Are Your Favorite Destinations in the World?
Vilnius, Lithuania – I used to live in the country and it’s always wonderful to babble in a language I learned many years ago.
Kobe, Japan – Another favorite place that I once called home. So much great food and amazing little streets to turn down especially near the train stations. Same goes with Sapporo.
I also have amazing memories of Cesky Krumlov, amazing old town to explore and fascinating castle; Toraja Highlands in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, amazing scenery, fascinating traditions and houses; and St Petersburg, Russia stunning architecture.
What People Who Want to Work with You Need to Have?
They need a compelling imagination and a vision combined with methodical step by step analysis that drives their actions, and get things done.