In 2021, our Marketing team detailed how working from home had permanently altered how they conduct their lives—it had become liberating to know they weren’t mandated to sit down at a desk for eight hours, driving 45 minutes back and forth from an office.
If Marketing handles all the branding and paper doll creations, Operations are doing the opposite; we are responsible for communicating with advisors throughout the day and doing it promptly.
When Manish proposed the idea of closing the corporate headquarters, I resisted it. As Chief Operations Officer, I like clear boundaries, the structure of coming to the office, getting my work done, and heading home.
We had three employees in the home office at that time, and he told us to vote. In a 2-to-1 vote, I lost.
“When the transition happened, I was looking forward to working from home but unsure how exactly it would all play out. It was months of preparation, clearing out the home office, selling on FB marketplace or donating, converting all the boxes of files in storage to digital, scanning in the few remaining loose documents in the office,” said Kaitlyn Humphries, Director of Operations.
By the time it was done, all that remained was a bare office with two laptops that were meant to be taken home. “And a goodbye hug between the last two staff members in the physical office. Jen is not very touchy-feely, but she obliged.”
We began working from home in January 2020. It was a big adjustment, but once I found my rhythm, I really saw the benefits.
The market dictates our workday, and we can’t be away during the last couple of hours of market activity, which means our position is less flexible than most. However, with no commute it gave this busy mother more time back into my day.
I’m there waving my kids goodbye on the school bus and seeing their faces as soon as they get off. And I’m no longer battling Kaitlyn over the tunes that are playing.
However, I had to refrain from overworking. Especially with the pandemic, when we had nowhere to go and were experiencing tremendous growth as a firm, I know our whole team was putting in extra hours.
Kaitlyn has a unique perspective as moving from Operations Associate to becoming Director of Operations and overseeing a team, all while working from home.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly, but the transition was seamless. Already being a digital firm with all documents and tools online made it feel like I was still in the office. The only thing that was missing was Friday lunches at the conference table (I still miss those and the amazing Hills Reubens we would always get).”
She continued, “Not having to drive almost an hour each way was definitely a plus, especially with the gas prices these days.”
As the sole Operations Associate at that time, Kaitlyn had a lot of things to accomplish, so having her own space that she felt comfortable in to spend those long workdays did make up for the lack of Rueben’s Friday.
“As we grew and added more members to our team, I was promoted to Director of Operations. Managing others while remote does have challenges, but good communication is key; with Zoom, whether you’re chatting or videoing, it super easy to stay on top of everything,” Humphries said.
Our Operations Associate Evan Schreiner has worked with plenty of advisory firms during his time in the financial services industry. All were great in their own way, but each one required a physical presence in the office. “As different software and communication tools evolved, I began to think in-office attendance was pointless at times,” he said.
“Driving to an office in the Northeast Ohio winters is a miserable experience. Especially when you know a lot of the work can be done from a home office. It is great to see co-workers in person, but with the right company culture, you can still build that comradery while working remote,” he continued.
He chats with his colleagues daily, still having funny banter and, most importantly, getting work done. Also, if he needs to run somewhere quick or someone stops by, he doesn’t have to worry about racing back and forth to the office.
Everybody loves to have flexibility during their day—everyone.
Going fully remote was the best decision for our company. As a tech-savvy firm, and being 100% digital, it pushes us to use and create the best technology innovations there are, not only for us but for the advisors and investors we service as well.
Disclosure: This information is prepared for general information only and should not be considered as individual investment advice nor as a solicitation to buy or offer to sell any securities. This material does not constitute any representation as to the suitability or appropriateness of any investment advisory program or security. Please visit our FULL DISCLOSURE page.