Working from home is becoming increasingly common among working individuals. For these Owensboro residents, the days of clocking in at 8 a.m., sharing a break room with co-workers and adhering to company dress codes are days of the past. Meet four local individuals who have found success in working from home.
Jeff Crisp is a Software Engineering Leader at Computer Services, Inc. (CSI). Crisp originally began working at the main headquarters in Paducah, KY and then transitioned to a remote position in 2015. He has been with the company for twelve years.
“With my job position and job duties, day-to-day is always different. Each day can present a new set of challenges, issues, or change requests,” Crisp said. “While I work the normal 8 to 5 shift, I am also on call 24/7. I can be contacted for assistance should anything go awry with the projects/applications for which I’m responsible. Having a full computer set up at home helps if I need to log in and troubleshoot an issue during off hours.”
Angie DeWitt is the Assistant Director at Volunteer Owensboro, a non-profit organization that inspires volunteerism by promoting the visibility and creating awareness of local non-profits. Everyone involved with Volunteer Owensboro works from home as it cuts down on operational costs.
“I’m more productive working from home. When I sit down to work there’s nobody to disturb me. I have a checklist I’m able to work through quickly due to fewer distractions that you would find in an office setting,” DeWitt said. “I find my mind is focused and not interpreted by the phone ringing or a co-worker popping in my office to talk. If I need a break I can take a walk around the block, go outside to enjoy the warm weather or throw in a load laundry.”
While DeWitt has managed to balance focus and organization, she has experienced both challenges and successes transitioning from a traditional office setting to working from home.
“I found that I missed being around people. I’m relational and helping people has always been a part of my life,” DeWitt said. “But I knew it was time for a change and that’s when Volunteer Owensboro came into my life. I still get to help people, but it’s from my home now.”
Trent Thomas has been the Customer Success Manager for ten years with the company Oracle. Oracle develops and markets database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products.
“My position has always been a remote position. I was hired as part of a decentralized team that supported clients around the globe,” Thomas said. “Some people on our team chose to work from an office, but no two people worked in the same office, said Thomas.”
When asked what his day to day looks like at home, Thomas described a timeline that was strikingly similar to that of an office job.
“My work day usually consists of several conference calls with various customers and teammates, coordinating and monitoring issues, and recording incidents and status of my accounts,” Thomas said. “Working from home allows me to be more present and engaged with my kids than I otherwise would be, so that is a big part of my day. I can pick them up from school or help out more with household chores. The flexible schedule also allows me to exercise.”
Chris Holt is a Corporate Educator, also for Computer Services, Inc. (CSI). He has been with the company for sixteen years in a remote position. Holt instructs online classes on how to manage the deposit side (as opposed to the loan side) of the company’s operation such as checking accounts, savings, CDs, IRAs, safe deposit boxes and building reports.
“I never have to worry about traffic or getting ready in the mornings. If I’m not going to be on camera, I can stay in my pajamas all day if I want to,” Holt said. “I turn on my laptop as soon as I wake up. If I have an important assignment, I’ll start before 8:00, but I almost always shut down at 5:00 p.m. Depending on the type of work I’m doing, I can listen to music I like and do the occasional chore around the house.”
When asked if there are differences or similarities between working from home and a traditional office, Holt said it is all about balance.
“Deadlines are more important when working from home. It may involve working at night or on the weekends, but the extra time during the day makes up for that,” he said. “If I’m teaching a class and there are other people in the house, they have to be quiet. It’s helpful if you can have a separate room to work in, so you can close the door to cut down on distractions.”
All of the individuals mentioned said they communicate through the use of different forms of technology such as Slack, email, Skype, Jabber, WebEx and the basic cell phone.
This group is thankful for the opportunity to work from home and all agreed returning to the traditional office setting would be a difficult transition. There are things they each miss such as face-to-face time with co-workers; however, they each agreed the perks of working from home outweigh the lack of social interaction, any day.