By Keiter CPAs
Becoming a fully remote employee
COVID-19 introduced the Keiter team to virtual working arrangements. Connie Lesko, tax senior executive assistant, recalls when Keiter made the transition from in-person to virtual, “It happened very suddenly and without warning. Thankfully, our IT department provided team members with the tools they needed to be successful while working remote. I discovered that all of the work I did in the office could be performed at home by leveraging our Firm’s technology.”
Connie’s personal situation changed considerably during the pandemic. Her daughter graduated from Christopher Newport University and Connie was now an empty nester. She found that she was ready to make some life changes. She lived in Arizona once before and always wanted to move back and build a house. Connie spoke with her Keiter Performance Coach about her plan to relocate and the possibility of staying with Keiter as a fully remote employee. Connie’s Performance Coach was supportive of the idea especially since Connie was so successful working remote during the pandemic. They were both confident it would be a smooth transition to go remote permanently. “I have a great performance coach and all the partners that I work for are incredibly supportive in helping me achieve my career and personal goals. Everyone at Keiter wants to see you succeed and help you succeed,” Connie states.
Within a month, she sold her house in Mechanicsville and relocated to the home of the Grand Canyon. In 2021, Connie became Keiter’s first full-time remote employee.
The hardest part of her transition from Virginia to Arizona is the time difference. Living in Arizona, she is three hours behind Virginia. Connie starts work at 5:00 a.m. to be available for the partners when they begin at 8:00 a.m. “Eating lunch at 9:00 a.m. has been an adjustment!” Connie says. One benefit of the time difference is that most days, with the exception of busy season and other time sensitive projects, she is finished working by 2:00 p.m.
Keiter provides all team members with remote work technology as well as a one-time alternative workstation reimbursement benefit to assist with the cost of individual workspace needs like ergonomic equipment. Connie has a fully remote workstation that includes a laptop, docking station, two additional monitors, webcam, mouse, and keypad. Her mobile phone also helps her stay connected regardless of location as she can access Firm email, Microsoft Teams, and other applications. Connie leverages Keiter’s monthly cell phone reimbursement benefit that supports our work-life integration approach.
Although she is in Arizona, Connie takes every opportunity to stay connected with her fellow team members. Mandy Nevius, Keiter human resources director, visited Connie recently when she was in Arizona for the Boomer Talent Symposium. The two went hiking near Connie’s house at Skyline Regional Park in the White Tank mountains. According to Mandy, “Connie was very welcoming; she showed me her house, and after we went hiking, we went to dinner.”
Connie spends a lot of time on Microsoft Teams during her day. She prefers to use video calling to interact with her team members rather than just email. Connie also flies back to Richmond once a year to work in person, spend time with her colleagues, and attend Firm events like the annual Keiter Promotions Luncheon.
Learn more about a career at Keiter
Keiter continues to focus on providing opportunities for team members to have remote working arrangements. Currently, we have over ten fully remote employees. Additionally, many of our team members enjoy flexible scheduling to meet their unique career and personal needs. Explore a career path that fits your professional and personal goals.
About the Author
The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.