Reflecting on Our Working Lives: Why, What, and Remotely?

February 16, 2024



Reflecting on Our Working Lives: Why, What, and Remotely?

Reflecting on Our Working Lives: Why, What, and Remotely?

Michelle Coulson is Founder and Chief Remote Rebel at Remote Rebellion whose mission is to enable people to live the life that they choose. Michelle shares her journey working around the world finding opportunities in response to economic, pandemic, and workplace changes. She explains how the COVID19 crisis gave everyone time to reflect about their life, work, and happiness. Michelle discusses reactions to being told to go back to the office--and finds meaning in launching her own venture. She questions what people settle with but could ask for and explains how to explore and navigate new remote working possibilities.


[03:02] Michelle early love of travel guides her studies.

[04:06] 2009 is a bad year to graduate, so Michelle makes her way to Thailand via Australia.

[05:50] Michelle finds comfort and a better version of herself in Southeast Asia.

[07:15] Working as a tour guide takes its toll on Michelle’s health and she turns to digital marketing.

[08:27] Planning to cycle the globe motivates Michelle to find more lucrative opportunities, she stumbles into recruitment, and a relationship.

[11:27] Catalyzed by a breakup and the pandemic, Michelle leaves London for Bali.

[12:22] A forced return to the office prompts Michelle to quit and explore what career will let her work from anywhere.

[14:14] Michelle explains the birth of Remote Rebellion.

[17:19] Recognizing “there is more to life than work,” Michelle explores what makes her happy and builds a remote community.

[20:43] After reflecting during the pandemic, many people still feel guilty to ask for more for their lives.

[21:49] Michelle dives into Remote Rebellion’s mission vision and purpose.

[23:56] Remote Rebellion’s clients are diverse and yet all enjoy choosing where they work.

[26:09] Jack is one client who went from fitting kitchens to SEO work!

[28:53] Building confidence is a significant part of the journey.

[30:45] What Michelle misses and hopes for the future of Remote Rebellion.

[32:46] Remote work is here to stay while growth has slowed, for now.

[34:15] Michelle is wary of some companies’ reasons and parameters for their hybrid model.

[36:21] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: If you want a remote job, first check why you want it. If you aren’t happy with your life, what would enrich your life and how can you achieve that? Remote working may not be the solution, but if you think it is, also investigate the downsides. Then experiment to see if you like it.


“I changed and I became quite materialistic, which I hadn’t been before. I bought a designer handbag, and I don't even like this stuff. What am I doing?”

“And when the call back to the office came, I was literally holding onto the post… I don’t want to do this. I said, if you won’t let me work remotely from here like I have been for the past year and a half, then I quit.”

“I felt like it was a rebellion because I was angry that we were being forced back into the office when we didn’t need to be. We were working great. A lot of people work better when they’re able to have the freedom to choose where they work from.”

“I’m not anti-hybrid. I'm anti being told and being forced when you go into the office. And a lot of hybrid companies do do that. I just think there’s a lack of trust.”

“Do you not get lonely if you work remotely? If your only source of social interaction is in the office or the people you work with, maybe you need to be questioning that.”