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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bettini

The (not so) new way to work!

At el-j, remote working isn’t just a convenience or a perk, it’s an integral part of our business model.

“For us, there is a practical aspect of working remotely,” says Terri McTaggart, SVP of Strategic Accounts and an Executive Producer at el-j. “Our leadership team and clients are located all over the globe. Having talent located all over the world means that we can quickly and effectively support clients in any time zone. This also allows us to keep overhead costs low and pass that savings on to our clients.”

Torsten Raak, el-j’s SVP of Sales and Marketing, is based in Germany. He thoroughly understands what it means to be a remote worker. He explained, “Despite having worked in the world of big corporations since 2001, half of which have been in rather senior positions, there has not been an office with my name on it since 2010 anywhere in the world.” That’s because Raak quickly understood the benefits of being a remote worker and allowing his team to do the same all over the world. He said, “I’ve been part of globally dispersed teams for as long as I can remember. To collaborate using technology has been a very satisfying experience for me.”

Circuit is one collaboration tool that the el-j team uses. It’s an industry-leading remote collaboration software that combines relevant communication channels into a single intuitive browser, desktop and or mobile app, as well as Apple CarPlay and Apple Watch.  When Unify (the company that created Circuit, now owned by Atos) was ready to launch this powerful online tool in 2015, they turned to el-j to help with the launch because we understand the model.

”Remote work requires a lot of openness, autonomy, transparency, knowledge sharing, and trust on the part of coworkers and managers,” says Philipp Bohn, who created, launched and deployed Circuit in various senior roles at Unify. Bohn is currently the Portfolio and Innovation Lead at Atos, but he spent 10 years working at Unify, including to develop Circuit, so he knows a thing or two about what it takes for teams to work together effectively over distances. “In my experience,” Bohn continued, “it’s less and less about ‘allowing’ remote work rather than enabling new work environments where it makes sense for businesses and their employees.” To Bohn, and many other companies, the question about remote working is as much a question of culture as it is of cost.  So when Unify was ready to launch Circuit to the world, the fact that el-j is a business run by remote teams collaborating around the world created a natural partnership.

The openness, autonomy, and trust that Bohn refers to is ingrained into the fabric of the el-j culture. Need to go to an appointment in the middle of the day? Take a call from the cab on your way to the airport for the next show? Feel most productive from 4am until 7am and again from 8pm until midnight? No problem. The philosophy at el-j is to get the work done well and on time. The “when” and “how” are up to each member of the team.

“Personally,” says McTaggart, "I do most of my client facing work and conference calls between 7am and 11am in the morning. I do more in my pajamas every day before most people have had coffee and finished their commute."

“From what I see in the new work community,” says Bohn, “the concept of ‘working from home’ is evolving towards ‘working from anywhere.’” el-j has been “working from anywhere” for more than 18 years, bringing clients all the cost and operational efficiency that comes with it.

Enjoy this short video of the collaboration between Unify and el-j, taken on October, 15th 2013 - the day Siemens Enterprise Communications became Unify.

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