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Pay, Stock and Benefits: Freed by Flexibility

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I mentioned in my last post that I moved to Austin. I have had a few questions about it. I figured that I could use that story to explain another example of Intel’s flexibility.

I’ve talked about flexibility in the past (here on mobility and here about family) and it’s important to start with an explanation. There are many different kinds of jobs at Intel and they allow different kinds and amounts of flexibility. My particular situation allows me to work from nearly anywhere, unless there’s a requirement for me to actually be at another Intel site.

So, when we first moved, it took a while for the internet to get working at the house. Like, three weeks. I would work from the office a few days a week and then at a coffee place a few days per week (they had free internet). For my job, working means being on the phone with team mates discussing strategy and design, writing project plans, editing scripts for videos, and a whole lot of other communication about projects with global partners via email and instant message. And “global” usually means off-hours work, too.

So the first coffee place I tried was one of the popular national chains you’d recognize. But I found out the hard way that those well-known places are a bit too noisy to be in a phone meeting. I mean, seriously, the other day I happened to be working in one of those more well-known places and they were blasting out Christmas music so loud that someone on my phone meeting commented on it. I mean, I like Linda Ronstadt as much as anyone – although probably a lot less – but I don’t need her voice to enhance the egg nogginess of my latte. At least, not at that volume. Thankfully, I was able to escape her and was freed.

So popular national chain coffee shops were out. What now? I needed the internet to work…. And then I found a small, independent place, with free internet! I kept showing up and drinking coffee and working for those three weeks my internet was down at home. And you know what? They were the first people I got to know in my new city. All thanks to flexibility.

Intel Austin is where they invented the Atom processor. It’s a design site. My wife and I considered moving near several other Intel sites: Hillsboro, Oregon; Chandler, Arizona; and Rio Rancho, New Mexico. But ultimately, we felt Austin, Texas was the best fit for us. That’s the other aspect of flexibility I wanted to explain. Some employees hired into some jobs can pretty easily move between Intel sites.

Say you were hired into the Santa Clara, California office. Everything is cool there, but your family situation changes and it would be better for you to work out of the Dupont, Washing ton location. It’s pretty simple; if your manager agrees with the move, you can pretty much move. Every situation is different, but it’s nice to work for accompany that has that kind of flexibility and those kinds of options.