BrightonSEO October 2020 – Go Remote in 2020

These are my slides in Google Drive from BrightonSEO in October 2020 when I presented “Go Remote in 2020”

Hello everyone and thank you for coming to my talk all about Going Remote in 2020.

A big round of applause to Kelvin and his team for organising this fantastic event.

I love BrightonSEO. I do hope that we can all see each soon in person.

So today, I am going to talk to you all about going remote in 2020

I am going to give you a brief introduction, then the current working situation followed by the survey, remote working tips and how to upskill.

Then we will end with some takeaways and I will provide further readings.


My name is Jo Juliana Turnbull. I am a Growth Marketer at Authoritas and also freelance SEO consultant.

  • I have been working in SEO since 2008. I moved agency side in 2009 then I have worked client side and agency side in London, Australia and now in Barcelona.
  • I am also the organiser of Search London, we turned 9 earlier this year.
  • I am a travel blogger, although not so much travelling for now.
  • I am a Chartered Marketer.
  • And I was Global Freelance finalist of the year for the Global Digital Excellence Awards 2020.
  • I am also the founder of Turn Digi which is an online event, supporting entrepreneurs, rising talent with a diverse range of speakers

So I just wanted to say, that this topic that I am talking about, it is something I was thinking about for a while before covid.

I want to emphasise the fact that I appreciate we are in this situation, we do not know what is going to happen, but it is still important for you to look out for new jobs if you want a career change.  For you to do really want you want.

Life is really too short.

I have been working remote since 2010

  • It has been a journey.
  • I started working in London then I moved to Sydney back to Europe, then I moved to London then a few plane rides later, then I am in Barcelona.
  • It has been great but yes it has been a struggle to work remotely. When I had wanted to work remotely before I was told that was fine but that I had to have a 20% pay cut.
  • I think that wherever you are in the world, you should be able to work remotely and you should be paid fairly as well.

I am going to talk about the situation at the moment before I go into the survey results.

Current State of Play

The Office of National Statistics, they produce statistics produce these results every month.

In August, they showed that 39% of the workforce is working remote in the UK.

In a separate study (a survey by CASS, IESE Business School and HR Service Provider), they were looking at different countries of the UK outside, so 5. They found that 47% of the new remote workers never worked remotely before, which could be quite surprising.

The Office for National Statistics releases the study every month. This is very interesting, they said that out of the workforce, there is still 13% that are on furlough.

  • So we, who are working, are lucky to have a job.
  • 42% who are working are back at their normal place of work.
  • There is also 39% working remotely.
  • Unfortunately,  the arts and entertainment as well as the accommodation and food sector, they still have a high percentage on furlough.


There are businesses that are booming

  • IKEA was actually voted the most successful ecommerce retailer during the lock down.
  • Netflix, they had 16 million new subscribers in the first 3 months of the year which was double nearly what they had in Q4 of last year.
  • So their Q1 was very good indeed
  • Nintendo in May, said they had an annual profit surge of 41%, which they had not seen for 9 years.

And I really like this other company, called Stitch and Story, they made the news on the BBC. They are a couple of entrepreneurs that wanted to revise and get people back to knitting and doing those crafts.They saw a 800% surge in sales in March compared to the same time the previous year.

Remote Job Boards

If you are looking for a job, these are some of the remote companies, the remote job boards to look at.

Be careful with some of them.  Be specific on location, so many some American companies cannot always take non US tax residents but these are some good sites to look at. is Aleyda Solis’ site. Also don’t forget Linkedin and use your networking groups too


Now I would like us to talk about the survey.

I love this statement.

“Without data you are just another person with an opinion” and this is so true.

It is not my expression, It is Mr W. Edwards Deming’s.

This is a graph I took from Net Eye blog.

It is about building on the data. You have your data your info, get knowledge and your wisdom

So really the data is the foundation.

I really wanted to find out if we can achieve a work life balance now that we are remote working. Are we enjoying remote working or not?

I was lucky to have over 200 completed the survey but it is still open so please do answer it. I will be sharing that on SEO Jo Blogs and at the end of the presentation.

Survey Results

  1.   Do you enjoy working from home?
  • Not surprising 73% did enjoy working from home.
  • Very small number did not.
  1.     Did you work from home before covid 19?
  • This is surprising, this survey was aimed and answered by those who work online.
  • So 29% did work from home before covid which was quite low.
  • But there was 38.8% that worked sometimes.
  • 11% or 12% wanted to work from home but they were not allowed.
  • Hmmmmmm
  1.     So are you more productive working from home?
  • Yes 54% and 14.4% staying the same.
  • So this means that work can get done just as well at home as in the office
  1. What activities are you doing more of now?
  • No surprise really, 63% are spending time with family and friends.
  • Followed by exercising and cooking.
  • So people are taking more time to look after themselves and their family. And it is nice to see people are doing some self learning as well as home improvements
  1. Will they continue these activities when the restrictions end?
  • 62% yes and 31% maybe
  • I do hope those maybes turn into Yeses
  1. And if you are working from home, how much time do you save by not commuting?
  • A staggering 44% save 1- 2 hours.
  • If we take the top end, 2 hours, so that is 40 hours per month.
  • So you are doing 40 hours on top of your working week of 40 hours.
  • So you are actually working quite a lot.
  1. And then money – how much money are you spending?
  • 100 to 200 Euros, 31% of you are spending this,  quite a lot.
  • 200 to 300 Euros we have nearly 12% spending that a month..
  • When you add that up with what you are spending on lunch and coffees, quite a  lot. 30% are spending 20 – 30 Euros a week, so that is up to 120 Euros a week so 100 Pounds a month on top of your travel card. Quite a lot really, plus your 40 hours.
  1. Would you like to go back to your office?
  • So we had 29% saying no, but quite a high percentage do want to go back – 66.8%, but they want flexibility.
  • Very interesting indeed.

Remote Working Tips

I appreciate a lot of people are remote working but I also wanted to give you some advice for those where it is the first time to remote work.

There are some tips for that as well.

  1. Proper set up

The first one is a really proper set up, whether that is part of the kitchen table or dining table or part of the lounge with no household distractions, no doing the laundry when you are supposed to be working.

  • Does your office look like this? Or maybe this? Well that is a very nice view indeed, the tranquility and the calm, the snow, Definitely not my view.  (Photo by Jura Greyling on Unsplash  and Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash)
  • BUT I do have a good chair.
  • This is the Markus chair from IKEA £159. Not a bad deal.
  • You only have one back.

Footstool as well, very important.

£20 and you can also get this from IKEA. It really helps.

  • Now the desk, mine is a bit boring. You can see my footstool there with my chair.
  • I want to get one of these, it goes up and down. It is about £250 in IKEA but you need to have a paper free desk.
  • So mine was a bit cluttered, cleared it a bit, now I have a  screen, still a bit of paper there, really trying to get that down.

2. Plan your week

The second thing I recommend is to plan your week, both professional and personal. What 5 things do you want to get done that week professionally and in your free time.

Review that at the end of the week. If you have found you are not meeting that,then you need to cut down what you are doing, don’t be afraid to do so.

3. Plan your day

  • I would also recommend people to plan your day.
  • Plan in your breaks, you need to use a timer if you are a remote worker or a freelancer so you do not over service your clients.
  • But also if you are working agency side, do not over service your clients because you are doing time sheets as well.
  • If you do have a co-working office then I recommend going there.
  1. Speak to your team

It is important to connect with your team. Do this regularly, whether this is one to one or everyday for some members of the team.

For others check in every week.

Try not to always use email, use slack or another software is Mattermost.

5. Take your lunch

  • Lunch hour – really important to block this out. Do something with the lunch hour. It could just be watching tv but do something with this lunch hour. Do some exercises maybe.
  • I was doing some Shaun T ab exercises, try and get that washboard stomanch.
  • Taking a while to get the abs, still working on this.

This is interesting, found this from T sheets.

  • In Greece, so many people do not have a lunch break. 74% of people get 15 mins or  no lunch break
  • But in Portugal 50% have an hour or more.
  • 60% of employees in Japan have an hour or more.
  • Looking at  India,  47% have 15 minutes or no lunch break.
  1.  Be Transparent

The 6th thing I recommend is be transparent with the work you are doing. Use different tools, Asana, Trello, JIRA, whatever as long as you are using the software to show the progress of your tasks. Then you can show results on a monthly or weekly basis,

Block out your calendar for different appointments you have. We are all flexible working. So if you are going to see someone or do take your hour lunch.

Block out your hour lunch so people do not book meetings in that time.

7. Plan the evening

  • I like to plan the evening a little bit to make sure I am not stuck in front of the computer all the time.
  • You can go to a friend’s house if you are allowed, go the park, do something away from your computer.
  1. Be Spontaneous

At the same time it is important to be spontaneous. If people are inviting you out, do different activities.

I myself am doing a lot more after the lock down, all socially distance  Try new activities

9. Switch Off

  • It is also really important to switch off.
  • I took 2 weeks off recently. It was great.  I should have done that earlier. I went to see my parents.
  • There they are Mr and Mrs T. (photos of parents on the slides)
  • Then I went away with my fiancé to a place on the coast.

10. Exercise Regularly

It is also important now that we are not commuting to do exercise regularly so schedule that in.

This is an interesting study from the Irish Heart Foundation, they found that 53% of workers are sitting down for 3 hours or more now than before the lock down (as they are no longer commuting)

I used to do a lot of running and I definitely have not recently.

I need to get back into the swing of things.

That photo is when I completed the half marathon, there is my mom. I need to complete that again, maybe not the half marathon it is quite a lot of work, but do more jogging or walking.

Where to Upskill

  • So we have gone through quite a few areas of going remote. Now I would like to share how you can upskill.
  • Really you have the time now to do this.
  • I calculated 40 hours a month that people are spending on average commuting, use this and put this into you.

I recommend this one, the CliftonStrengths. This is the DNA. It identifies 34 different strengths and if you focus on them it turns into your talents. This is great because it ignores what you are not good at so you do not to focus on when your manager says you are not very good at this so you need to get better. No. Focus on your strengths and turn them into your talents.

These are my strengths.

  • Responsibility
  • Maximizer
  • Developer
  • Learner
  • Empathy

It is really important that you spend time on you.


I would recommend as well that you find a mentor.

  • Areej has set up a Women in Tech SEO group, it is fantastic, lots of support there.
  • Areej and Naomi set up the Women in  Tech SEO  mentor programme. I am a mentor and a mentee and it has been very rewarding.

Before I joined the Women in Tech SEO group, I did have a mentor Kevin Thiele, he has his own coaching business.

He helps you to discover your strength working with CliftonStrengths, empowers you and if you want to know more information that is his Linkedin profile or you can contact me on SEO Jo Blogs.

The important thing is that we have to recognise that there will be more and more demand for mentors.

In four years or maybe less, millennials will make up 75% of the US workforce and they really want to have mentorship, training and personal development.

They want feedback. This is from Harvard Business Review (showing the tables)

They want their boss to help them navigate career path. They want straight feedback.

They want their boss to mentor and coach them.

If you are looking to go freelance, you need to find out what you are good at. So analyse yourself, take the Clifton Strengths.

And see how this applies to your work. What do you enjoy, what you can sell to others and help others.

You need to also make sure you have one client at least before you drop everything and go and work alone.

Actually try and get three, that would be a good thing to do.

Learn from others

Really important to also learn from others.

  • Go to events. Faye Watt does the BristolSEO Meetup, Women in Tech SEO is a great one.
  • Corona pub is too, you are meeting different people. It was set up by Chris Simmance.
  • I have been running Turn Digi and Search London.

I took this quote from Nik Ranger because it is very true. She said:

“I do not know about you but Twitter has become my safe space to forgot about the world and explore. Test and share Tech SEO things I like. “ And that is very true. I have become more involved with Twitter over these past few months.

I would also look at Mozcast, Blue Array, they launched their in house seo book this year and which is Aleyda Solis’ site.

Keep true to your values

Another tip I would say is to make sure that you keep true to your values. You need to know your strengths and  use them, promote yourself.

It is really important to know how you can develop them further. It is really important that you are strong within yourself. Especially if you are remote working and working for yourself.

Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself.

You need to stand up for yourself.

I love this expression “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

And that is so true

If you are starting out and you are a freelancer, you need make sure you have everything confirmed in email. Make sure your contract is signed before any work is done.

Make sure you have your payment terms correct. Don’t end up doing lots of work and then have thousands of pounds or euros owed to you. If you think something is off, then do not work for them.


I really recommend you take this workshop, #IamRemarkable. I took the workshop in May.

I am now a facilitator and I will be leading workshops going forwards.

It is a great initiative because it empowers women and underrepresented groups to basically celebrate their achievements and what they have done, both in the workplace and also in their private life.

So it is really great for building people’s confidence.


So we went through quite a lot today. If you have any questions, please do reach out to me. I am at SEOJoBlogs.

  • I want everyone to take a few things away from them.
  • The fact that you need to make sure you are kind to yourself but also invest in yourself too. This is the time to do it.
  • I do hope remote working is here to stay.
  • I hope that companies will pay towards remote costs as well.
  • I hope people will be taking some of these on board and really implementing it.

We need to have a good work life balance.

The road is open for you to do what you want and please do connect with me if you have any further questions.

Here is some further reading. The slides will be available.

There is a lot of information here.

I could not put everything in the presentation but thank you very much everyone for listening.

I am at SEOJoBlogs or at Turn Digi the Twitter handle.

Please take part in the Remote Survey – share the link here.

Below is the form, I will also post it in the chat in the Q and A.



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