Having worked remotely for several years now, I have often wondered what perceptions people have of it from the outside. One conclusion I have come to is that the reality is much different than many people think.
I can include myself in this, because I remember back when I could not wrap my mind around how an entire remote talent acquisition team – like the one I found myself working on – could be productive and efficient. But those days seem long gone, as all I can see today are the positive aspects of working outside of a traditional office.
Here are the top five benefits I have found to being a remote recruiter:
The Washington Post has published some solid pieces on the time wasted and increasing length of commutes. The frenzy and fury of the morning and afternoon commutes are the woe of many Americans. Fighting your way on the roads or on the train can total anywhere from 5 to 15 hours every week! Audiobooks and podcasts help, but most workers will tell you that is just making the best of a bad situation. It certainly does not prepare any individual for a productive workday. For me, I get an average of 5-10 hours back in my week, more than a full day. Just the thought of commuting makes me cringe these days, and make me wonder what in my life I would have to give up in exchange. I also save money on gas, and more importantly I’m able to reduce my impact on the environment by walking to my workspace versus driving.
How many times has your sick co-worker showed up in the office because of their workload? How many times has the flu or any number of viruses circulated because of the close quarters? As someone who caught every single thing that was ever passed around the office, working from home has been such a blessing. I have had one cold in two years, and have only had to ever call in sick once. My previous bosses had positive things to say about my performance but they could never quite understand how I was sick so often. Now that is not a problem. From a healthy eating perspective, I have greater control over my daily choices and do not have to deal with the temptation of junk from the vending machine, or the potluck, etc. Nor will I fall victim to the doughnuts someone brought in out of “kindness.”
I may not be in the same physical space as my team, my boss or my company, but thanks to the flexibility and all the other perks that come with working remotely, I feel an increased sense of loyalty to all of them. Judging from all the articles I see when I log into LinkedIn about the so-called problems with the millennial workforce – lack of productivity, sense of entitlement, short attention span, job hopping – this makes me atypical for my generation. My sense of employee engagement is stronger than ever. Frankly, anytime I have considered looking elsewhere, I think of all I would be giving up. Here I am, and here I remain.
When I originally started with my team, I went on-site as needed. Those days were days filled with chatter, a revolving door of wonderful co-workers giving updates on their vacation, their dog, their grandma, their toddler’s new words. While I genuinely enjoyed each story and bonding with co-workers, it still takes hours out of a day that I should be spending on my work. Let us also not forget the abundance of meetings that can drain the day. When well-planned, meetings can be of great value. But we’ve all seen it when that is not the case, and it ends up just being a waste of everyone’s time.
As long as there is a decent Wi-Fi connection, I am able to do my job anywhere. I recruit positions all over the U.S., in places as scattered as San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, Miramar, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona. And – major perk – I did not have to relocate and uproot my entire life to take my position. I am truly grateful to not be a victim of career geography, where in order to get the jobs you want you have to change where you live. This is a conversation I have had with candidates more than once, and moving is sometimes just not an option for someone, or at least not a desirable one. Removing that part of the career progression conversation has greatly reduced my stress and gives me hope for my future endeavors.
OK, so I am obviously a big fan of being a remote recruiter, but surely there are advantages to working in an office that I have not talked about here. It all depends on what you want out of your career and work-life balance. Feel free to reach out so we can continue the discussion.
Post contributed by Genevieve Walters, Recruiter. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter. Also by Genevieve, "How Do We Make Job Interviews Better? Ask Better Questions."