Ali and Tamara would have never met if it weren't for remote work. Unexpected, right?
Ali had left the frantic start-up world of LivingSocial and Undertone, and after some traveling and consulting, she found herself leading people operations at the privacy-first, all-remote company, DuckDuckGo.
Tamara had left her world of strategy, operations, and partnerships with a different search engine, Google, for a different all-remote company, Automattic (WordPress.com).
Both had forgone a permanent home for the adventure of life on the road. Blurring the lines between work and play, thanks to the powers of Airbnb, coworking spaces, and 3G networks.
Then, one day, before both touched down in Cape Town for Hacker Paradise, a digital nomad meetup, they each received messages from their colleagues based in Uruguay, encouraging them to meet.
A few days later, they grabbed flat whites and went for a walk down the beach, Tabletop mountain shining back at them from a distance. The two chatted, exchanging travel stories and their passion for the future of work.
Today, the two text and Zoom regularly, but their friendship is more than just a montage of travel memories and catch-up calls. They’re thought partners and co-conspirators—first, organizing remote working salons in Belgrade and Mexico City—and now, co-writing Remote Works, a guide for managers.
How we work and where we work may never look entirely the same, but we believe the remote work principles we share are foundational to building strong teams, no matter where you’re based—whether that’s at your kitchen table, in a coffee shop in Cape Town, or even in an office building.
We hope that our experiences will shed light on this new way of working, as the world of work continues to evolve.
meet ali & tamara
After four years of full-time travel, and almost 40 countries visited, Ali decided to retire from full-time traveling (for now) and from DuckDuckGo where she was the Director of People Operations.
Tamara has lived as an expat for nearly nine years and visited 70 countries and seven continents, all while working in high profile roles at Google, Automattic and Oliver Wyman.
It’s with that explorer mentality that she’s approached her career, shapeshifting to new roles, from management consulting to private equity to product partnerships and now design—and 12 years were in a distributed context.
She is currently located in Boston, where she is a Design Lead for IDEO. She teaches design part-time at Jolt.io and Emeritus' Northwestern Kellogg's product management course.