Dell Team Members Share Their Remote Work Journeys
Starting to Embrace Remote Work
Jennifer Jones Newbill, Austin, Texas, United States
Dell Director, Employment Brand
I joined Dell as a recruiting team leader in the fall of 2003. At that time, no one worked from home in HR or recruiting. I found it a bit surprising, as everyone knows that recruiting was the profession after sales to enter the virtual workforce. I later moved to another part of the HR organization within Dell—the entire time going into the office five days a week.
What happened next was a huge shift within and across the Dell organization in 2008-2009.
A big part of this shift and change management was led by our very own HR executives who started working from home and openly communicated the benefits they were realizing.
A formal program was designed to make it actionable to move from a cube to home or to work from home one to four days a week, and in some cases it was strongly encouraged!
Soon after, in 2010, I moved back into recruiting, and we had a newly appointed global leader who was fully on board with the program. Nearly all recruiters were at home full-time, or at least two to three days a week, and the majority of our new recruiting hires were 100% remote/virtual. This enabled our team to find the top recruiting talent that could support our business and customer needs without being tied to a particular office or location. I personally found the adjustment a little challenging at first—separating work from personal in one physical place (your home!) takes practice.
The best thing that happened to me in my journey was that I got a puppy in the spring of 2013. I had been at home a couple of years, working tirelessly and not taking enough breaks. A puppy really forced me to take breaks that I knew I needed in order to recharge throughout the day.
Now I am in the habit of moving from one activity to another seamlessly. I find that I work best in “bursts” with 20-30 minutes of focus on one item, a short break, and then maybe a call with a colleague or longer project meeting afterward.
I find it very rewarding that I get to accomplish more but within my own work style and habits.
Embracing the Flexibility of Remote Work
Daren Cumberbatch, Panama City, Panama
Talent Acquisition Manager, North America
I’ve been with Dell for 15 years now in roles ranging from technical support phone agent to metrics and reporting senior analyst. After spending my fair share of time in roles that required me to be in the office, I am beyond grateful to have the flexibility my current role affords me to work remotely.
I now have a young son and a baby on the way. Working from my home office, I am able to wake early, answer a few emails, maybe head to the gym, and then make breakfast for my family once they wake up. Throughout the day, I can take breaks to play with my son and even join my family for lunch.
I currently manage a team of nine full-time employees and two interns within the North America Talent Acquisition team. We are all based in Panama and are all grateful to be able to avoid a daily office commute in the craziness that is traffic in Panama City. As a team we rely on email and Skype for Business to maintain open communication and collaboration. We just completed a significant software upgrade that required quite a bit of training and coordination from my team. We were able to accomplish everything we needed working with our virtual tools, sharing screens, and through video calls.
Having experienced what it is like to have the flexibility to work when and how I want, I am not sure I could have accomplished what I have accomplished both professionally and personally without it.
I have the tools to collaborate with my team, I have the ability to go into the office when needed, and I don’t miss out on precious time with my family.
The best part of working remotely is that when I am having an extremely busy day with calls and meetings, I can go give my family a big hug, get recharged, and get back to work. Of course, there is a downside to it: I end up changing a few diapers in between breaks as well.
Realizing That Remote Work Can Really Work
Georgia Hybner, Vancouver, British Columbia
Dell Senior Manager, North America Talent Acquisition
I spent four years working in the Dell Sydney office on Sydney’s northern beaches (one of the best places on earth to live) as a talent acquisition manager. I then moved into the role of Asia Pacific and Japan talent acquisition (TA) programs manager, where I supported our recruitment team on TA strategy, reporting and analytics, diversity, tools and vendor management, process, policy, candidate experience, employment brand, and social media.
Being a ski fanatic, I would head off to North America for my annual international ski trip early in the start of the year. While on a trip to Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada, I took a couple of hours to log in and catch up on some work items. Within a couple of minutes I was being pinged on Skype for Business from my colleagues in Asia asking, “How is the weather in Sydney?”
It was at that very moment my mind went into overdrive, as the idea of being able to work anywhere in the world became a reality.
Our technology meant that people in Asia could communicate with me, just like I was sitting in our Sydney office—and they were none the wiser.
Upon returning to Sydney, I set up a discussion with my leader, who had been a pioneer for remote working and a strong advocate for work-life balance. I put forward a detailed plan on how support for Asia could be managed from the west coast of Canada—by utilizing our mobile technology and aligning my work schedule with Australian hours. Successfully embraced and supported by our leadership, I went on to support APJ remotely from the mountains of British Columbia for four years. Five and half years later, I now lead a fully remote recruiting team across North America and Mexico from my office in the mountains. My remote work journey has really been such a gift!
Experiencing a Productivity Boost
Jane Ellis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dell Regional Program Lead, Europe, Middle East, Africa
My typical day starts with getting my two children up and ready for school in the morning. In between making school lunches and letting the dogs out, I start up my laptop to check what the day ahead looks like. This quick check makes sure I don’t miss any important new meeting requests that came in overnight.
As a remote worker, I mainly work from home but aim to get into the office one day per week dependent upon any on-site meetings. On the office days, I take the car, and the commute is approximately 30 minutes.
I enjoy my work-from-home days, as this gives me the opportunity to cycle with my girls to school and get back home to start work within 10 minutes, including a visit to the bakery to pick up fresh bread for lunch! On home-office days, I head out to my recently created home office. Previously, I worked in a dedicated spot in our lounge, and I now have a “real” office at home that is a converted, rather large shed! It’s overlooking our garden, and the dog joins me, lying in her very own office chair! This detachment from the house ensures I have a real business setting and don’t get distracted by the dishwasher needing filling or the washing machine beeping at me. These things I do when I take a break and need to get up and stretch for a while. It also means if the children are home sick or home from school and I have late meetings, I’m available, but not too available.
With two to three hours of meetings each day, using the technology Dell provides for remote workers, I can simply utilize my softphone (VoIP) for meeting or video conferencing, plus instant messaging to catch up with my colleagues for a chat or to ask a quick question.
At the end of the day, I’m lucky enough to be able put my laptop to sleep and close the office door and walk 20 steps into my kitchen to make dinner without a stressful commute sitting in a traffic jam.
Learn more about what life is like for remote workers at Dell below…[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_youtube id=”S3boW2XzOTs” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”4_5″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””]
By Brie Reynolds | November 17, 2015 | Categories: Why Go Remote