‘Tis The Season to Land a Remote Role at These 3 Companies

Remote work is on the rise, and Chicago companies are embracing it.

Written by Cathleen Draper
Published on Dec. 08, 2022
‘Tis The Season to Land a Remote Role at These 3 Companies
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‘Tis the season for remote work — the gift that keeps on giving.

For parents, working from home means more time spent with family and the flexibility to be there for small moments. For people with disabilities, remote work increases accessibility and allows for a needs-based environment. For travel-lovers, it means work from anywhere. And for others, working from home simply means donning business-casual sweatpants day in and day out and taking mid-day walks with the dog.

As of this year, 26 percent of U.S. employees work fully remote — that’s compared to just six percent of workers before the pandemic. Currently, 16 percent of companies boast remote work models. That number will only continue to rise. By 2025, more than 36 million people are expected to work remotely.

At Moov Financial, remote work makes Evelyn Cervantes, HR and employee experience manager, feel trusted. And she loves the ability to adapt her work schedule. 

“I’ve gained a level of flexibility I never knew was possible,” Cervantes said. “I have the freedom to balance my obligations and life’s surprises.” 

Moov is truly remote. It forgoes a physical office space and hires across the country: Cervantes is based in California. And while Chicago-based organizations might hire from anywhere and everywhere, some maintain office roots in the city. Buildout has a hub along the iconic riverfront for employees who prefer to work in the office. Bounteous’s digs are tucked in the charming Ravenswood area. 

Buildout, Bounteous and Moov Financial are hiring remote talent just in time for another Windy City winter. That means you never have to embark on a zero-degree trudge to the L again. You can even escape Chicago’s most blistering season entirely. 

 

Katie Lucas
Director, People Operations • Buildout, Inc.

What they do: Buildout is an all-in-one commercial real estate marketing automation platform. The company uses tech to create valuable customer experiences for brokers and enterprise organizations. It recently launched integrated back-office workflow and customer relationship management solutions, too. Buildout has a “some-nonsense” culture that values nerdiness and a sense of humor.

 

Be weird: Lucas describes Buildout as vibrant. “We are a place that embraces the whole self, warts and all,” she said. That whole self has range, from growth and clarity to weird and wacky. Buildout’s leadership team models transparency and failing forward. On the other end, the team mascot is modeled after a taxidermied otter that sits in the company’s Chicago office. “When you are given permission to be your weird, wacky self and are encouraged to learn and grow, you can’t help but notice the vibrant energy that radiates from our team.”

 

Building out connection: To ensure an inclusive environment in a remote workplace, Buildout prioritizes team infrastructure that supports strong connections. “These are the people you’re working with the most, and if you don’t feel part of a team at that core level, it will be hard to continue to build inclusion on that foundation,” Lucas said. For the company at large, Lucas and her team focus on cultivating connection through communication and events. The organization’s #small-kitchen Slack channel mimics the experience of chatting in the office kitchen. “We often see new connections created from the random conversations that show up there,” Lucas said. “When things seem quiet, we ask a question to increase engagement.”

Connections aren’t all virtual at Buildout. Team members are encouraged to travel and meet up. When they do, they typically work on a big project and make time to have fun, laugh and enjoy one another’s company. “We’ve found these events create lasting energy that drives motivation and engagement,” Lucas said.

 

Buildout vs. burnout: Lucas lives for Buildout’s flexibility. It allows her to work at a pace that’s both productive and fulfilling. She’s a self-described introvert, but her people-focused role requires her to build social connections and take part in plenty of video calls. The remote model means she can space out her interactions and manage her social bandwidth to prevent burnout. “If I were in an office, I’d probably reach my social peak every day and come home drained,” Lucas said. “Working remotely, I end my day energized and get more work done as a result.”

 

 

Gina Sorrels
Vice President of Talent Acquisition • Bounteous

What they do: Bounteous is a digital experience consultancy that uses its co-innovation approach to help brands build transformative digital experiences. Bounteous’ unique approach requires it to form partnerships and work arm-in-arm with companies on the branding journey. 

 

United: We're united. United by co-innovation and in the commitment to elevate human potential, Sorrels said. They’re not constrained by geography, and team members connect from all over the world. “Conversations are rich with perspective, which expands our ability to work with varied learning styles and acquire new skills and functions that generate high-impact outcomes for clients and internal programs while broadening our team’s skill set,” Sorrels said.

 

Intentionally intertwined: Bounteous has always operated under a hybrid, virtual model, and the resources to support that are baked into its culture. The company has hosted learning webinars, offers mentorship services and provides global platforms for families, parents and individual employees. Those resources are Bounteous’ way of supporting its employees. That investment encourages team members to grow no matter where they are.

“Although we encourage individual autonomy, which I have always appreciated, we recognize that a shared culture of belonging is a key motivator for co-innovation,” Sorrels said. To build community and reinforce camaraderie, teams connect through one-on-ones and virtual water coolers. “Intentional touchpoints create a social cohesion within Bounteous, strengthening how we communicate and work together,” she continued.

 

 

Members of the Moov team hold a Moov flag at the top of a mountain
Moov Financial

 

Evelyn Cervantes
HR and Employee Experience Manager • Moov Financial

What they do: Moov Financial is a payments platform that allows businesses, merchants and users to accept, store, send and spend money from a single API. Software companies can add Moov to their products to bring payment technology, user onboarding, licensing and compliance into one space.

 

Moov motivation: Of all the ways Cervantes could describe Moov Financial’s culture, she chose motivational. That’s because she feels driven and motivated by her team every single day. That sense of impetus stems from how Moov is built and its values. Moov’s leaders trust team members to own their work, encourage them to experiment and provide opportunities to grow. “When my efforts are recognized and tie into the company’s goals, I’m motivated by the impact I make,” Cervantes said. “I collaborate with passionate, kind and generous team members, and I’m inspired when they offer help, celebrate my wins and make me feel valued.

 

Get to know you: Moov’s remote-first culture rests on its values and processes. Team members are encouraged to practice radical transparency. They share their workload, successes, challenges and questions, and when they do, they are met with positivity and encouragement. There are Slack channels dedicated to interests and hobbies, and the team comes together over a shared love for cooking, video games or sharing pet pictures. “I know more about my coworkers now than in an in-person office,” Cervantes said. On top of opportunities to build connections, Moov has monthly company-wide meetings that provide project updates. Those meetings are fun, too. Team members conduct personal presentations, and when the virtual conference room is cleared, employees can be randomly paired for coffee chats.

 

Flexibility = freedom: There’s a lot to love about flexible work for Cervantes. She uses the time she would have spent commuting to connect with her family and attend school events. Not to mention the money she saves on gas and wear and tear on her car. She avoids colds and other illnesses that go around the office, and Moov’s unlimited PTO means she can take time off to prioritize her health when she needs to. One of her favorite remote perks is the community she’s built. “I have friends across the country, and I wouldn’t have met them if not for Moov,” Cervantes said.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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