Our answering service remote teams work from their home offices, answering calls for AnswerConnect’s thousands of clients. We believe remote work is better for people, planet, and profit.
Eliminating needless commutes means more time for friends and family, less carbon emissions, and more money in the pockets of our employees. With the money the company saves on real estate costs, we can afford to go connect with our employees where they are once in a while. We call these events “meetups.”
The snow-covered mountains, red rocks, and white salt deposits of the Great Salt Lake greeted Jewel, our Operations Director, and Jen, who leads a team of Customer Experience Associates, as their plane landed in Utah.
Utah is AnswerConnect’s newest state, so we don’t have too many employees there yet. Still, Jewel welcomed the chance to meet three of them. “Meetups are intrinsically valuable,” she says. “Those three wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise.”
Jewel and Jen checked into their hotel and then met up with Customer Experience Associates Kami, Katie, and Jennifer at a local restaurant, the Copper Onion. Even though our teams stay connected through chat and video calls every day, “being able to meet in person is different from Skype chat,” Jen says.
For Kami, who works from home in Ogden, the meetup was a chance to come face to face with coworkers for the first time. “I was excited when I heard about a meetup in Utah,” she says. “It helps to feel more connected and know there are ‘real’ people in your state doing what you’re doing.”
Katie drove down from Logan, where she just got into graduate school at Utah State University. “I’m kind of a social person,” she says, “but also independent. I love being able to work from home, but also crave that interaction.” She noticed the excitement in the work chat groups both before and after the meetup. “I think that connection is good,” she says.
Jewel says she particularly valued the opportunity to get some insights into AnswerConnect’s training process that she might otherwise have missed. “When you’re there with someone, you’re more likely to be fully engaged in the conversation,” she says.”
After dinner, Kami took Jen and Jewel to City Creek Center, a partly open-air mall with a retractable roof. “The thing that I like the most about remote working is the flexibility of schedule,” she says. “I also love that I don’t have a commute and don’t need to buy nice clothes for work, which saves me time and money. The hardest part for me is to make sure that I get some ‘outside of the home’ time.”
Jewel says she and Jen enjoyed exploring the city, visiting the Salt Lake Temple and the Utah State Capitol. They noted the wide streets (originally built to accommodate ox-cart U-turns, they learned) and orderly numbered street system. They also appreciated Salt Lake City’s bike rental network, GREENbike. More non-polluting transportation in action!
A great benefit of remote team meetups, we’ve found, is that the connections forged there last beyond the event itself. “I love working for this company,” Kami says. “It has such a positive feel and even though it is remote I feel like I have people there at all times to help and encourage me. I love being part of a team that is so awesome with a great lead!”