In this latest LEAN IN Equity & Sustainability instalment, we speak with Nadia Harris, Founder of remoteworkadvocate.com, on the importance of remote work.
Nadia, tells us about your background.
I am a third-culture child. I was born and raised in Germany, but my family also has Polish and American roots. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be like Pippi Longstocking. She was so strong and so fun to be around. Another inspiration for me was Mary Poppins. When I was six years old, I tried to use my umbrella to fly with the wind, but to my surprise – it didn’t work out.
What do you do today in a few words?
I help companies embrace the era of flexible working. I do this by designing processes, communication, and collaboration frameworks. I also provide guidance about remote hiring and employment solutions. My big mission is to make remote work accessible for anyone, anywhere and anytime.
Why did you decide to work remotely vs in the office?
Because remote work is borderless. Thanks to technology, you can get connected with the whole world and access global opportunities. Remote work has opened so many doors for me. I’ve ended up doing international projects that I would have never been able to explore locally.
How do you see working remotely could help women access different sectors or roles?
Remote work is all about skills and results. I strongly believe that thanks to remote work, women worldwide can monetize their knowledge and spread their wings. They don’t need to rely on local employment opportunities. Luckily, the number of remote job offers keeps increasing every day. We have entered a completely different working reality where everyone can find their happy place.
Do you see any changes or shift in your clients’ workforce or network in the past 12 to 18 months?
Absolutely. About two years ago, remote work was mainly associated with an emergency situation: pandemic work from home. Today, it is all about workplace flexibility, wellbeing, mental health, diversity and inclusion. The world of work is becoming people-centric. Companies are starting to understand that we must go the extra mile rather than stick with industrial working patterns.
How can we promote DEI in the workplace?
I think it is very important to keep stressing that people are different. Nobody has the right to dominate any environment these days. We have no right to judge others, make assumptions or stay narrow-minded due to unconscious bias. And yes, we can promote DEI in the workplace by being authentic rather than trying to fit in. It is important to speak about it openly. Obviously, every company’s leadership should create a safe space, so everyone feels welcome. It is not just about numbers but looking at DEI from an employee experience perspective.
Do you have a purpose in life and passions?
I am passionate about everything I do.
I am a bit of a dreamer and a non-conformist. I dare to question things that just don’t feel right. If you look at remote work from a holistic perspective, you will see that it can change people’s lives. It gives them a choice rather than having to accept things as they are. I have always been a fighter, and I will keep fighting for a bright future of work.
On a personal level, I love travelling and exploring new cultures. I call myself a part-time digital nomad.
Any message to early-career female professionals who want to work remotely?
Never stop fighting for your dreams. I know that life is not sugar-coated, and there are both happy and tough moments from a personal and professional perspective. Always observe, learn and look for opportunities. You don’t have to know what you want as long as you know what you don’t want.
Think about a goal in life. It can be small to start with. Then, write down steps that will bring you closer to it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.