Our mission at AnswerConnect is to change the way the world works. One of the ways that we are fueling that change is by supporting the remote working model. All of our employees work from remote locations across the country. None of us have a commute or a cubicle, and we like it better that way!
Just ask John Ege, who has been with the company for 9 years now. When John started with AnswerConnect, a fully remote team wasn’t yet a reality. He, and everyone else, commuted to the office every morning and back home every afternoon. For John, that meant getting up at 5:30 AM to get to work on time. Although a distant memory these days, he doesn’t miss those early, rushed mornings.
John started with the company through a temp agency as a call center agent in 2008. He quickly worked his way up through promotions, and by the following year, he was the manager of his department.
A year after joining the AnswerConnect team, John got married in 2009. Since then, his family has grown with the addition of two daughters, born in 2012 and 2015, while John was still working at the office. His early mornings and lengthy commutes made it tough for him to spend a lot of time with his family during the week, and he got a taste of what it was like to feel like he was missing crucial moments in his daughter’s lives.
Fortunately, AnswerConnect had been experimenting with the idea of creating a fully remote workforce for a couple of years. The company decided that if they really wanted to make a great impact on the planet, and improve the quality of life for employees, that a fully remote working team was the right direction to head in. For John, that would mean having the freedom to work from home and spend more time with his family.
After much experimentation, employees at AnswerConnect began making their very last commutes to the office, as they were assigned to their official remote positions.
Being in a managerial role, John was one of the last to officially transition from the office to working remotely in 2016. He was heavily involved in the processes of digitizing everything and coming up with paperless solutions. Everything that an employee would normally hit “Print” for in the office needed a solution for the remote team. Walking over to the next department to hand them a piece of paper wasn’t going to be an option when they were all working from home.
“It was a process to transfer everyone to work remotely. I remember the struggles. It was stressful, but rewarding,” John says.
Having a fully remote team presented new opportunities to everyone. For John, it not only meant that he had more time with family, but it also made moving to the east coast a real possibility (an idea that he and his wife had been entertaining for some time.)
John grew up in a military family and lived in a variety of places earlier in his life, including a few years living in North Carolina, and his wife had grown up in Washington D.C. Their extended families still resided on the east coast, and trips to visit them had been sparse. Although they liked the idea of moving back, John’s job at the office had kept him and his family in Oregon.
However, once AnswerConnect started transitioning from an in-person office to remote employees, they began hiring in new places across the country, including in North Carolina. John jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the NC team, and was given the OK to make the move to Cary, NC.
After packing up their things and saying goodbye to the Beaver State, John took a week off of work for the drive across country with his family in July 2016. His family came out to Oregon to help with the cross-country move, too.
Once they were in North Carolina, getting back to work for John didn’t take much more than getting hooked up to the internet and logged on. His parents live in Pelham, NC, so John and his family were able to spend a short time with them as they were transitioning to life in North Carolina.
Working remotely meant that he didn’t have to learn a new commute, adjust to a new office, or try to settle into a new home while being away at work for most of the day. Overall, the move was a positive experience for them.
John now works from his office at home in Cary, NC. The remote work lifestyle has had numerous positive impacts on him and his entire family.
His family loves living in Cary, a town that reminds John and his wife of their childhood homes. Being back on the east coast also means that they’re a lot closer to family, so his daughters were finally able to spend the holidays with their grandparents this past year.
Now that he doesn’t have to rush out the door and start his commute at 5:30 AM, John gets to spend a lot more time with his daughters, too. That just wasn’t a possibility when he was at the office in Oregon. Now he spends time with them before they head off to school, and he’s there to hear about their days when they get home.
Since John is more available at home, his wife was also able to take a job at the Montessori school that his daughters attend, and they even get to have lunch together.
Being able to work remotely has been great for John, and he’s the perfect example of how Working Anywhere can make a positive difference and open up new opportunities.
Our mission – to change the way the world works – isn’t just about saving resources and lessening our impact on the planet. It isn’t just about making lives easier for our hardworking clients, and helping their businesses grow.
While those things are important to us, our mission is also about changing the way our employees work, so that they can have a better work/life balance. We want them to have the benefit of self-scheduling, to allow for more flexibility in their day. We want to unburden them from their miserable commutes and stuffy cubicles, and allow them to spend more time with the people that matter.
We don’t work the way other call centers do, and we think that’s a good thing.