Remote working isn’t the future any more… it’s the here and now! And there’s nothing like a good inspirational quote to get you motivated for the day. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite remote working quotes to help inspire you, whether you are an employee, freelancer or company owner.
In this collection you will find thoughts from business leaders, words from prominent people in science, arts and sports, and some profound work from home quotes on productivity. We’ve also thrown in a few travel quotes especially for the remote working digital nomads out there.
So, are you ready to be inspired?
Remote working quotes for employers and businesses
We kick off our compilation of remote working quotes with a few that are especially geared towards businesses. If you haven’t embraced remote working for your teams yet, then maybe these musings from industry leaders will give you some pause for thought…
1. “People are more productive working at home than people would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn’t.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but the all-powerful Facebook founder has a point here. For years, business leaders have been apprehensive about giving employees flexibility to work remotely, suspicious that they won’t get anything done when unsupervised.
The pandemic has put that to the test for many organisations, and guess what? The house hasn’t fallen down. Quite the opposite in fact – most companies have seen that their employees are more productive when working remotely.
2. “It is about workplace flexibility. It’s about giving our associates the opportunity to be who they are as an individual, whether that is a community member, a spouse or parent, or anything in between.” – Amy Freshman
As the senior director of global workforce enablement at human resources giant ADP, Amy Freshman has implemented flexible working arrangements for a worldwide team of over 60,000 people. Here she articulates why remote working has been such an important and effective aspect of the company’s strategy.
3. “Do you want to access talent everywhere, or just in specific markets? If the answer is everywhere, you need to be at least open to the possibility of remote work.” – Katie Burke
As chief people officer at Hubspot, Katie Burke has played a leading role in cultivating a remote working culture at the software firm. She wrote about how the company has switched to a hybrid remote-office model. In this quote which caught our eye, she articulates one of the biggest benefits of going remote – the ability to hire talent from anywhere.
4. “If you are not limited by a specific office location, you can look anywhere in the country or anywhere on the globe.” – Nicole McCabe
Same point, different words. Nicole McCabe is a vice president of the multinational software corporation SAP, which has been ahead of the curve when it comes to remote working. The freedom to hire globally is a common theme cited by companies that go remote. When we spoke to several remote working companies planning to keep flexible arrangements after the pandemic, it was one of the top reasons given.
5. “People today really value workplace flexibility and remote work because it allows them to focus their energies on work and life as opposed to commuting” – Ken Matos
Time is the most valuable commodity we have. For the many people who have recently been able to work from home for the first time, ditching the daily commute has been an absolute joy. Kan Matos, vice president of research at Life Meets Work, articulates here why this is such a valuable benefit for businesses to offer their employees.
6. “Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries and continents.” – Michael Dell
Dell has been at the forefront of companies investing heavily in remote technology. Here the founder and CEO Michael Dell reflects on how modern advancements in connectivity have made it easier than ever before for business to be conducted on a global scale.
7. “One of the secret benefits of using remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance.” – Jason Fried
In an office environment, much emphasis is placed on working hours when it comes to judging performance. You might have the best output in the company when it comes to results, but if you turn up half an hour late every day, eyebrows will be raised and you will probably soon be disciplined. As Jason Fried – the founder and CEO of project management tool Basecamp – outlines here, in a remote working setup it is results that become the most important measurement.
8. “Now that companies have built the framework – and experienced the cost and time savings associated with it – there’s no real reason to turn back.” – Mark Lobosco
Organisations and businesses have invested huge sums in remote working infrastructure, and now there is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. As LinkedIn’s vice president of talent solutions Mark Lobosco articulates here, remote working is likely here to stay.
Work from home quotes on productivity
Time management and productivity are often the biggest challenges for remote workers, especially people who are new to the situation. How do you break through all the distractions and set the right priorities? We picked out the following quotes to help you find some structure and motivation.
For more inspiration of this kind, read our collection of remote working tips on time management, tools and productivity.
9. “Trying to do it all and expecting it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.” – Sheryl Sandberg
We begin this section with some more inspiration from Facebook’s boardroom, this time via chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Managing your own expectations is one of the toughest gigs when you are responsible for your own time. There will be bad days among the good – don’t beat yourself up for it.
10. “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss
Author of The 4-Hour Work Week Tim Ferriss is all about getting maximum results from minimal time. This quote epitomises his philosophy – it’s all about prioritisation. You don’t need to ‘look busy’ when there is nobody peering over your shoulder.
11. “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey
Much in the same spirit, this quote by the late author and business leader Stephen Covey shines a light on a common flaw in time management. Does constant fire-fighting prevent you from looking at the bigger picture?
12. “Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” – Pablo Picasso
Nobody has put it better than the great Picasso in this quote. Just as art is so often about the things you don’t see, productivity at work is achieved through the things you don’t do.
13. “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” – Dale Carnegie
If perfection is the enemy, as Sheryl Sandberg opines above, then procrastination is perhaps a close second. This quote by legendary American writer Dale Carnegie outlines a simple but effective strategy for productivity – getting straight on with the toughest tasks. Easier said than done!
14. “What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50%.” – Susan Cain
Multitasking is often lauded as a valuable skill, but an abundance of research suggests otherwise. The assertion by author Susan Cain in this quote is well backed up by science. For example, Michigan State University is one of many institutions to find that multitasking is less productive than doing one task at a time.
15. “I find that I am much more creative when I’ve actually taken care of myself.” – Arianna Huffington
Self-care is integral to being productive. If you don’t look after yourself it is inevitable that your work will deteriorate and you will eventually burn out. Arianna Huffington, founder of HuffPost, puts it powerfully in this quote.
Remote work lifestyle quotes to inspire you
Working remotely can be a passport to independence, fulfilment and adventure. If you aren’t on board already, these next few quotes might nudge you to take the leap! Or, if you’re a well seasoned remote worker, maybe you’ll find them a source of reinforcement.
16. “You have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid.” – Arianna Huffington
We pick up in this section where we left off with another quote by Arianna Huffington. Fear is so often our nemesis. Don’t let it stop you pursuing the life you want.
17. “If we could be somewhere, experiencing the world in a beautiful setting while working, challenging ourselves, growing professionally, enjoying a community of like-minded people and connecting locally, what’s stopping us?” – Michael Youngblood
When you first begin to get a taste of remote working lifestyle, it can take some time to truly appreciate the possibilities that it brings. Where would you choose to work if your job can be done from anywhere? Why would you stay in the same old place?
Michael Youngblood, CEO of Unsettled, a company that empowers creatives to work beyond traditional boundaries, sets out that challenge in this remote working quote.
18. “When people are free to choose where in the world they want to work, they simply enjoy their day-to-day work more.” – Brian De Haaff
It’s definitely true that the place you live is crucial to your happiness at work. For you, that might be an exotic beach the other side of the world, or the local town where you’ve always lived. But at least remote working gives you the freedom to choose.
19. “So many people think the remote work community is made up of only spoiled, privileged millennials and Instagram influencers, and that’s not who we are. We’re people of all ages, from all countries and all socio-economic classes, and what brings us together is our shared mindset that we want to do something different and have adventures sooner, rather than later in life.” – Spencer Jentzsch
This one is a bit of a mouthful, but it really stood out to us! There are many misconceptions about remote workers, and they’re almost always untrue. Spend some time meeting people who work remotely and use the opportunity to travel, and you will soon see that they are a diverse and inspiring bunch of people from all walks of life.
20. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin
I had been looking for a quote to mount on the wall in my home office, and thanks to researching this article I’ve found it. This quote by the author Seth Godin (give Tribes a read) is my new favourite. It reminds me of hearing the blogger Nomadic Matt talk about building a “travel culture rather than a vacation culture”.
I’ve never liked the idea of vacations / holidays being an escape from life at home. The freedom and flexibility of remote working can bring an entirely different ethos to your life.
21. “Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” – Stephen Hawking
We spend more time working than on pretty much anything else in life. What a waste it would be, then, to devote all that time to something you don’t care about. Legendary scientist Stephen Hawking put it succinctly in this quote.
22. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem
Fear and self-doubt are the biggest barriers to making life-impacting career and lifestyle changes. Philosopher and poet Suzy Kassem hits the nail on the head here. We might give other excuses, like it’s too financially risky or we don’t have the time… but what’s really stopping us?
23. “Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” – Marian Wright Edelman
As one of the most prominent activists for children’s rights over the last few decades, Marian Wright Edelman knows a thing or two about doing work that is meaningful. When imagining your ideal working life, ask yourself what will bring you the greatest fulfilment.
24. “Work–life balance is not just a buzzy, self-help term that real business people laugh at. You need it.” – Stephanie Ruhle
On this blog we often talk about the importance work–life balance, so it’s great to find advocates in unlikely places. Few people will be as familiar with work pressures as leading broadcast journalist Stephanie Ruhle, who is senior business correspondent for NBC News and anchor for MSNBC Live. We agree, Stephanie!
25. “My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” – Francine Jay
Also known as Miss Minimalist, Francine Jay has built a life on having less. In this quote she also makes the case for doing less. Why do we aspire to have such busy lives? Remote working can enable you to cut out all of the unnecessary stress.
26. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
We’ve heard quotes from artists, scientists and activists, among many others. And here we have a simple insight from the highest echelons of sport, none other than ice hockey immortal legend Wayne Gretzky. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Remote working quotes for travellers and digital nomads
In this final section of remote working quotes we turn our attention to our favourite thing… travel! If you are an experienced or aspiring digital nomad, or looking to weave some workations into your remote working lifestyle, these last few quotes in our compilation are for you.
27. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
This by the late, great writer Susan Sontag is one of the all-time classic travel quotes. It captures the essence of wanderlust – the journey is never complete, because there is always somewhere else to explore.
28. “Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama
Global pandemics and lockdowns aside, this Dalai Lama quote is a good mantra to live by in normal times. We love to go back to our favourite places, but there is nothing quite like the curiosity-hit of seeing somewhere new.
29. “They told me to grow roots, instead I grew wings.” – Louis de Bernières
I love this quote because of the angle of subverting societal expectations. Louis de Bernières is most famous for writing Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
I’ve often been asked in the past, isn’t it time for you to settle down now? Putting down roots may bring safety and certainty, but it won’t make everybody completely happy. The way I see it is that roots and wings are both great things to have.
30. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Marc Twain
There are so many great Marc Twain quotes about travel, it was tough to choose one. This one sticks out because it conveys the unique power of travel to break down barriers between cultures and build understanding between people from different backgrounds.
31. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” – Nelson Mandela
This quote will resonate with anybody who has travelled long term before, whether for work or pure exploration. It reminds me of how we felt after returning home from our travel career break, and I have heard stories from so many other people with similar experiences. Returning to familiarity after a life-changing experience is jarring, and it can be difficult to readjust.
32. “Long-term travel is not an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society.” – Rolf Potts
This is an idealistic quote that describes a world I’d like to see. With the rise of sabbaticals, remote working and digital nomadism, long-term travel is increasingly common – but in some circles it is still considered a taboo. If everybody travelled long-term at least once in their life, the collective learning and understanding gained would make the world a better place.
33. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
We finish with the wise words of author and activist Helen Keller. We only get to live this life once – so we’d better make the most of it.
Want to read more? Check out our guide to remote working in Europe to find the best spots around the continent to take your laptop. On the subject of technology and equipment, check out our top recommended laptops for working remotely and best remote working essentials and accessories to get this year.
Do you have any favourite remote working quotes? Let us know in the comments below.