Achieving Balance: Working from Home at Express Scripts
April 29, 2013 | Allison Dietz
Many of the positions I recruit for at Express Scripts are virtual or work from home. This is a fantastic benefit that Express Scripts and many companies offer. Job seekers may be surprised to find out that we offer opportunities to work from home for a variety of positions, including nurses and pharmacists. At Express Scripts, we see our ability to offer work from home options for a variety of positions as a competitive advantage when seeking talent.
It is important to point out that working from home presents its challenges and is not for everyone. It requires you to find a balance between work and home life. You feel the same pressures as someone who gets up and goes into the office every morning. Employers put a lot of trust in their employees’ work ethic and sense of responsibility when they offer this option. It is important that you understand and live up to the expectations of your job. Make the most of the opportunity – for yourself and your employer.
So, when looking for a virtual job or considering a move to work-from-home, take your personal situation into account and assess if you have the right environment to make this work for you and your employer. Here are some things to keep in mind about working from home:
- It really is work. The biggest myth is that virtual employees do less work. My internal clients that work from home tell me that they put in extra time because they value this benefit so much. Our employees are held to the same productivity measures whether they are in the typical work setting or at home. Many companies that offer a virtual work environment have a policy in place; you should make sure you are familiar with your company’s policy.
- Be available. Make sure you utilize communications tools – such as instant messaging – and are available to colleagues who may be trying to reach you. It is the equivalent of someone being able to walk up to your desk at work. Express Scripts, like many other companies moves at a fast pace and you do not want to be out-of-mind because you are out-of-sight.
- Be professional. You would not have your dog barking in the background or your child clamoring for attention when you are at the office, and it is equally inappropriate at home. You home office is an extension of your office at work. Plain and simple.
- Be focused. E-mails and phone calls when you are at the office can be distracting. But truthfully, there are probably many more distractions at home. Be “present.” One way to do this is to follow the same routine you would if you were going into your work setting. This will help you develop a “work” mindset and make sure you are performing at your best.
- Be realistic. The at home setting may not be the best fit for you. Often when I recruit for virtual jobs, I ask candidates about prior experiences working from home to understand how this has worked out for them in the past.
In summary, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when assessing a work from home opportunity. It’s a good idea to think about these things the next time you embark on a job search.
As Jenny Foss, a recruiter, career coach and founder of the career blog JobJenny.com, points out, successfully working from home depends almost entirely on the individual. If you are one of those people and are looking for career options that allow you to work from home, check out our current openings.« Bust a Move| Welcome »
Bust a Move
April 23, 2013 | Hazel Cormier
Ten years ago, Shawn, then my boyfriend of four years – now husband – asked me to move from sunny Los Angeles, California to St. Louis, Missouri. I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic in my response if he had asked me to marry him, which he later did.
I knew a thing or two about moving. I had moved myself from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and from there, to Los Angeles with all my worldly belongings packed in my trusty Honda Civic coupe. I had conquered 400 miles so 1,800 miles is like making five trips, right?
Not quite. A move across the country is a lot more complicated – and expensive – than city hopping. I did not qualify for the spousal benefits Shawn’s company offered. And I was too excited and naive to ask my new employer if they provided moving assistance. In retrospect, I should have at least inquired about relocation benefits; they could have referred me to local resources for transplants.
Express Scripts, for instance, offers a range of relocation benefits determined by the level of the role. For eligible positions, the company provides what relocation consultants dub as a “buck and a truck” – miscellaneous allowance to cover expenses and a household goods move. This alone, can be a stress reliever as the average cost of shipping household goods for domestic transfers is $12,652 according to Worldwide ERC.
As manager of domestic relocation for Express Scripts, I realize what a difference these benefits make to new hires, employee transfers and their families. The process of relocating can include selling a home or transporting large amounts of belongings and goods – which surveys show can be a major challenge for most home owners. You may need to break a lease, find news schools for your children, figure out how to transport a pet…the list is seemingly endless. Being organized can help.
Here are a few other things to consider when planning a move:
- Do your research: The internet serves up a goldmine of free lists covering logistics such as conversations to have with children, placing a home on the market and scheduling movers
- Comparison shop: As with everything else, you get the best deal this way. Get quotes from a couple different companies and remember to check their ratings
- Make lists and take inventory: This applies both to things that you need to do and things that you own and need to move. One missed detail could derail the whole plan
- Things take time: Remember to give yourself ample time to plan and execute your move and some wiggle room in case things don’t go exactly as planned.
And remember that for a cross-country move like mine, good friends and a soundtrack to accompany your travels are indispensible.
As for me, I upgraded my tiny car to a small SUV, and with two of my best friends in tow, followed Route 66 to my new life in St. Louis. We even made a detour to Memphis to visit the King.
In case you are curious, here is the soundtrack that best captures my relocation experience:
- The Long and Winding Road; The Beatles
- Under Pressure; Queen & David Bowie
- Where the Streets Have No Name; U2
- Life is a Highway;Tom Cochrane
- Route 66; Chuck Berry