Marcus Arnett, standing, with his family
By Tara Mandarano
Photograph by Jonah Markowitz
A creative work solution was just what Marcus Arnett and his family needed to make their dreams come true last year.
As a senior business support analyst, Arnett has worked for USAA for 12 years. When his husband was offered a job in New Jersey last summer, it was an unexpected and exciting opportunity. The chance to live in New York City was appealing, but Arnett hated to leave his job in San Antonio.
After speaking with his management about the work-from-home option for USAA employees, Arnett’s decision to relocate became easier. In September, they packed up their lives — and their three dogs — and headed for the Big Apple.
So far, the benefits of working from home definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
“There’s no commute, so that’s a timesaver,” he says. “We use video conferencing, and I also have a huddle with my team every morning, so I get to see them and they get to hear from me. It helps that we have other remote workers in our department, so it isn’t just me doing it.”
And the cons?
“I miss being able to run down to the cafeteria to get breakfast tacos,” Arnett says with a laugh.
If working from home hadn’t been an option, Arnett says he would’ve had to find a different job, but he preferred to stay with USAA. “To keep working for a company that’s so competitive from an employment perspective has been an awesome opportunity for me.”
USAA’s approach to meeting employee needs is constantly evolving, says Cynthia Combs, senior vice president of Enterprise Workplace Flexibility.
“Working from home is just one component. We have a lot of employees who are interested in career development, going from full time to part time or going back to school. It’s not just about where you work but when you work and what you work on.”
Combs says greater employee engagement and productivity are the main benefits of offering flexible work options.
“Employees are more committed to their job because they feel it’s a real partnership.”
It also can be a powerful recruitment tool. “Potential employees don’t just care about salary, job title and work challenges these days. They’re wondering: How well does this company support me in my needs?”
Julie Finlay, director of Enterprise Workplace Flexibility, agrees. “The place that we call work is not a building anymore. It’s different for each of us. We work really hard at USAA to make the member experience the absolute best it can be. But if we make the employee experience the best it can be, the member experience will naturally improve.”
Changing jobs? Make the transition easier.
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