Community Feature Working At Home Has Its Perks
High-Speed Internet Creates New Work Opportunities for Rural Kansans
After 18 years of driving more than 15 miles each way to and from work, Amy Schmidt is working from home thanks to SKT High-Speed Internet – and she’s loving it. She just made it through her first winter without having to worry about poor road conditions and that has been a huge relief.
“It’s days like this that are just joyous!” Amy said, and you could actually hear the joy in her voice. That’s because it was 14 degrees outside, with a wind chill of negative seven – and area schools had been closed for two days due to dangerous road conditions. And Amy was home.
Amy is part of a growing workforce trend. A recent study found that the number of Americans telecommuting at least half of the time more than doubled from 2005 to 2017. SKT High-Speed Internet makes it possible for Amy and other rural Kansans to take advantage of these new remote work opportunities.
It hasn’t always been this way for Amy, who specializes in hotel convention sales. For nearly two decades, she trekked to the DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport and then back home, south of Garden Plain each workday – 22 minutes door-to-door. She remembers well her feelings of angst and trepidation at having to get out and drive on ice to what would be a quiet day at the office anyway.
Things changed for Amy in April of 2018 when she accepted an entirely new job at an entirely new location – HER HOME! Now she works for the DoubleTree by Hilton Kansas City – Overland Park, still plying her craft of hotel convention sales. SKT makes it all possible with their High-Speed Internet service, allowing Amy to reliably connect to her required VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the database in Overland Park. Without fail, this network connection must always be live and real-time in order for Amy to do her job.
In addition to the fast speed and reliability of her SKT Internet, Amy truly appreciates the fact that any necessary maintenance that could impact her Internet connection is taken into careful consideration by SKT. While she receives advance notification just in case, she’s thankful for the SKT employees who do the work overnight so that she doesn’t have any interruptions during her workday.
Amy’s typical work week is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a half-hour lunch break in the “cafeteria.” Fridays are usually shorter – from 9 a.m. to noon. The benefits of working from home are numerous, she says.
“Home-cooked meals are one, along with the ability to concentrate on a harmonious home/family life with my husband and son. In fact, my son recently remarked, (after I was offered a higher-paying job with a commute) … working from home really suits you, Mom – you’re always in a good mood.”
Amy appreciates having a local Internet provider, rather than a larger business. She doesn’t have to sacrifice modern technology for hometown customer service.
“Just the fact that I am being asked to give a testimony is the epitome of how much SKT cares about what their customers care about … it all comes down to doing business with people rather than a recording,” she said.
Are you considering a job that allows you to work remotely? Check out Amy’s top three tips for those considering a home office:
- Make sure you’re ready for it; have your home workspace in an area where you can GO to work and where you can also LEAVE work (converting a bedroom into an office works well).
- Treat work just the same except for leaving out the commute – in other words, shower, get dressed, and prepare for the day.
- Don’t forget to seek ways to socialize and reasons to leave the house … or at least pick up the phone and call someone with your great, reliable SKT service.