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Remote access and flexible schedules: how my holiday travel became less hectic

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Twenty-six hours. That’s the amount of time it took me to travel from home sweet home in Toronto, Ontario back to my new home in Portland, Oregon. Dilemma: I missed my connection due to a mechanical issue, had to spend the night in my layover city, no longer had a ride home from the airport and wasn’t going to make it to work the next day. It should have taken under 11 hours for my trip. I should have been frustrated, upset, near tears and concerned about what this delay would do. I should never want to travel by plane anytime soon. Key word: should.

Thanks to Intel’s flexible work options , I was able to logon to my work laptop and fill my team in about my travel situation. I rescheduled meetings, answered urgent emails, set up my out-of-office message and focused on getting back home as safely and quickly as possible. Also, thanks to technology (like Facebook and text messaging and Twitter ), my friends, family and team members were up-to-date on what was happening. (My team members were supportive and sympathetic as they sent me positive vibes and wishes to get home. My friends helped make the situation more comfortable with the delivery of food, cold medication, and a cell phone charger during my overnight stay and arrangements for an airport pick up for my new arrival date and time at my destination. Do I know some awesome people or what?! )

Most people (including myself) don’t think about flexible work arrangements or remote access as an important benefit when looking for a job, but it really is an incredible benefit that I personally think all companies should offer. Since my family lives so far away from where I live (read between the lines: really expensive and long flights to go home), being able to work remotely for a day or two allows me to spend more time with them on the rare instances I do make it home. It’s also great for those days where I start to feel sick—not sick enough to take the day off, but sick enough to not want to risk infecting the office. And if you ever need to be home during normal working hours for whatever reason (like signing for an important package or having a plumber come by and do some work on your house), it's nice knowing that you can work from home and be available.

So here I am, back in the office, eleven days into 2010. As a result of my extended travel plans, do I have more work waiting for me than I would have if my travel went according to plan? Yes. Am I less stressed because I was able to rearrange my schedule and keep my team in the loop, all from the “comfort” of my layover in the Midwest? Absolutely. Am I grateful to be working for a company that accommodates for the unexpected? You bet.

Hope you all had a great holiday, a happy new year and a better traveling experience than I did!

Intel’s flexible work arrangements vary across sites and jobs, depending on your needs and Intel’s needs.