“You can’t approach it as a vacation. You have to approach working remotely with the same seriousness and intensity as you would with working in an office, if not more,” Jeremy Vore said. “I think it’s really easy to slip out from that and not do a good job. You really have to focus on delivering what’s expected.”
An avid sea kayaker and skier, Vore lives in Scandia, Michigan, just south of Marquette. “My wife and I met in college in Michigan and lived here for a number of years. I was a photographer and kayak instructor. My wife was a massage therapist and high school teacher. The logistics of making a living just didn’t work out,” he said.
Vore became a pilot and eventually landed at Cirrus Aviation, where he began developing training and communications. “I worked with our pilot owners to keep them safe. I was able to leverage that into a career customizing and developing training programs,” he said.
He found a job with an employer who let him work remotely, enabling him and his wife to move back to Scandia in 2002. In 2013, he decided to start his own company and brought Dashe & Thompson in to assume his role with his former employer.
Discovering their shared interests, Dashe & Thomson offered him the engagement manager position. “Working at Dashe would offer me the ability to do what I wanted to do, but without starting from scratch,” he said. As an engagement manager, Vore is responsible for, ”the project as a whole. I’m the coordinator between the contractors and the client. I make sure everyone is happy. It is project management, but I get to define deliverables and help make sure that the package we’re creating fits the client’s needs. I am a little selfish, and once in a while I’ll keep a piece of work if it’s fun. I get to do a little of everything.”
What tools enable you to work remotely?
We’re leveraging all kinds of technology. We use the Microsoft Lync video chat product. It integrates with our Outlook calendars. I can see if people are busy or in a meeting. They can click on the link and video chat with me. The hardest part about being remote is that people want to walk down the hall and talk to me. Lync enables us to have a face to face relationship. That’s a key tool. We’ve implemented SharePoint and Microsoft One Note so we can see each other’s notes and content very quickly and easily.
What’s the most important skill required for working remotely?
Communication is a hinge that makes working remotely successful or not. I’m an over-documenter and over-communicator. It becomes a very interesting interplay, not wanting to overburden people but wanting to be very clear and very precise and have a trail of breadcrumbs.
What are the personal challenges of working remotely?
It’s hard to turn off and be a husband and a dad and a homeowner. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Is telecommuting the wave of the future?
I certainly think technology makes it possible. I’d like to think it’s not the wave of the future. I’d like to think the majority of the world is going to want one-to-one interactions. □