Even before it was vogue, 18 years ago GLI plugged and played its first remote employee – The Office Manager, no less. Nancy Grimes, the President and Managing Partner of GLI is all about flexibility and finding new ways to do things which provide workable solutions to all sorts of situations. She had her hands full when her then invaluable Office Manager announced that her husband was dragging her to a small town, I mean small, over 350 miles away to Indiana where jobs were scarce and fulfilling jobs were even more scare – there just weren’t any challenging positions and where the pay really paid you to get out of the house. So, necessity once again became the Mother of Invention and for 8 years, while we loved the continuance of the relationship and she, the opportunity to have a baby and still enjoy the sweet balance between motherhood and work.
Since then, we’ve been a leader in “why not work from which ever location most suits you”. But we have found that it isn’t right for everyone. It takes high discipline but if you have it, it allows you to reap the fruits of your benefits. It was from that “why not work from which ever location most suits you” mentality that allowed us to find Jessie Pugh Weiss – and then SHE Happened! We really happened upon a real treasure when we discovered her! Jessie is the perfect blend of wit, brains, dedication, creativity and discipline. Perhaps because Jessie is a remote employee, she has developed an attention to detail, she has been able to grow, develop and has truly become a very important “go to” with-in our company. Nancy Grimes says that a huge contrib
utor to Jessie’s success was that all of the pros and cons of working from home were hashed out, right up front. We both were aware of the challenges and we also knew while working from home isn’t the perfect set up for everyone, it was for Jessie.
Three years ago it was GLI who worked to convince this would be Star Researcher and Staff Support person that “yes” it was possible for her to work from home; that she could be there when her children got off the school bus and she could also continue to be involved in the small town community as well as be directly involved and act as a support at her children’s school, their education as well as attend their sporting events. We didn’t think it was necessary to divorce the two – but rather that she could have a work life balance. Jessie exemplifies the best of the way remote employment is supposed to work. She has the flexibility of being almost anywhere and everywhere she is needed. She’s eliminated the time and cost of a daily commute, the internet is fast, cheap and reliable (most of the time) and I am sure she doesn’t really mind the perks of working in her pajamas and having a say as to her work hours. We actually believe that Jessie’s home-base employment contributes to her productivity and there are many occasions when Jessie leaves early but often times puts those hours back in after the traditional work day normally has already ended.
So what is the down side? If you ask Jessie, it’s harder to separate your private life from your business life. It’s about having to juggle the house phone ringing, or kids in the background if there is one out sick or on holiday and then there is the “not really being able to leave work” feeling or being able to leave the stresses of the office truly behind – unless you simply power the computer down and walk out and shut the door.
When it comes right down to it, working remotely and from home is largely a personal choice. It certainly requires being able to carve out a work space at home, which doesn’t have to look professional for the clients but which we have learned, certainly gives the brick and mortar office a huge boost to productivity. I know for OUR company, it has been a really GOOD thing and, I think in large measure, it is mostly a good thing for Jessie. We absolutely love it when we get to actually SEE her in the flesh! I think she enjoys the brief in-person stimulation and re-connection, and showing off of new shoes, but she is an anxious sort and works best from her GLI in-home office. We celebrate Jessie Weiss today and her example of being that top drawer, always dependable, dedicated and extremely goal-oriented person she is.