Oh, the Places You’ll Go…with Wi-fi and a Flexible Workplace!
Today, many companies claim to put employees first but fall short when it comes to “walking the walk”. However, Cheer Partners stands out as an organization that follows through on their mission to truly shift the way employees like me experience work. My experience on the Cheer Partners team has been an exciting adventure and entirely different than anything I’ve ever been a part of. One of my favorite aspects of the culture has turned out to be our decentralized office structure.
Having grown up in New York, I took what seemed to be the most logical step after graduation by applying for jobs at several PR and communications firms in New York City. I accepted an offer for a role in which I reported to the office every Monday through Friday, like most of today’s workforce. There was an occasional sick day or snow storm that allowed me to work from home, which was always a treat. A full-time remote position, however, was a completely different ball game.
At first I thought, “Of course I’d love to work from home. What could be better than getting to focus on a project in my pajamas?”. Truthfully, it is nice to exist professionally in a more casual environment. I have a corgi, Koda, that I take with me to as many places as possible, so getting to take him out during the day seemed like the biggest perk to me. And, while I do not see my colleagues in person regularly, I am never completely on my own. Our team is continuously brainstorming fun ways to connect like enjoying virtual coffee together or planning team bonding activities. What I consider to be one of the most overlooked benefits of our decentralized office is just that: the ability to work from anywhere, as long as you have cellphone service and Wi-Fi.
This month, I found myself making another move, this time from New York to California for the winter. It hadn’t really occurred to me before planning this trip how much more I could be doing with my time if I worked from a different place every once in a while. I wouldn’t have to wait until the weekend to explore a new city or take Koda to the dog park. If I stationed myself somewhere new to start the work day, then I would have a head start to start exploring as soon as I finished the day.
This became especially true with the three hour time difference in California. The majority of our clients—and employees, for that matter—are currently on the East Coast. So, when I made the move, I remained on an East Coast time zone for business hours.
My typical day starts at 6am here and ends around 3pm. A year ago if somebody told me I had to show up to the office every day at 6am, I probably would have grumbled a bit; but, given my current circumstances, what could be better? I get to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and my corgi, plus have a nice early start to the day. I stay completely connected with my team on their schedules and then have the whole rest of the day to get to know this new place.
There’s no more waiting for the weekend to do all the things I plan to do. I find myself at in rare place where not only have I become a part of this incredible group of people whom I’ve grown to rely on and enjoy supporting, but I also get to work on reaching my personal goals. So often I hear of people having to sacrifice their personal goals for professional growth, or vice versa. However, with this new wave of millennials being too burnt out to spend more than a year or so in an office, I think Cheer Partners is really on to something. Our employees appreciate the flexibility and opportunities that our company structure offers, so we feel that much more motivated to give back to our employer and put our best work forward.
I think our clients can benefit from us having this availability, as well. Changing up my environment has also changed up my perspective, which naturally flows into my work. I feel much less at risk of my work or what I produce becoming stale because I have so many opportunities to refresh or reset and bring new ideas to my projects. As with any job, there are long days and unforeseen obstacles that arise that test our patience with each other and ourselves, but I haven’t felt burnt out once since I started almost a year ago. On the contrary, I feel even more excited now than when I first started here. I look forward to all that is to come, for our team, our clients and, yes, for myself!