Telecommuting

Telecommuting from Paradise: Lara Birkes

Lara Birkes decided it was finally time to put a roof over her head.

After coming to Missoula from Missouri to attend college at the University of Montana, then working for former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus in Washington D.C., working overseas in Morocco and Switzerland, and then finally coming to the U.S. and California, Birkes was done moving. She found her little piece of paradise in the Paradise Valley and began telecommuting.

Lara Birkes - Telecommuting from Paradise

“I love it because I’ve spent many years on airplanes and in offices,” she said. “This is a very refreshing change for me to be able to have a rewarding position and live in a place I love.”

Now as a telecommuter, Birkes wouldn’t trade her piece of heaven for an office.

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Telecommuting Tuesday: Wayne and Nancy Robinson

Happy Telecommuting Tuesday!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

Wayne and Nancy - Telecommuting Tuesday

Wayne and Nancy take in the sights as telecommuters in Montana

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Read what Wayne and Nancy Robinson have to say about telecommuting from Eureka!

Wayne and Nancy sold their home in the Boston area and moved to Northwest Montana. In 2008 they built their dream log cabin in the foothills of the Whitefish Mountains, just outside of Eureka, Montana.

Wayne had taken early corporate retirement and brought his new consulting services and clients with him to Montana. Nancy’s Boston Company assisted corporations from US, Canada, and Puerto Rico in relocating and performing housing buyouts to assist new and existing employees in their moves.

Soon after moving into their mountain cabin, Nancy had a request from her back-east employer; “can you help us from Montana, we need you, we miss you”. Thanks to our local rural broadband fiber service provider, Nancy has telecommuted from her mountain cabin now for the past 10 years. Nancy consults and moves massive amounts of data from her home in Eureka, Montana to and from her clients’ across North America.

Thanks again to our outstanding broadband service provider, Wayne continues to Skype-consult with his business partners in Israel and Boston. International meetings are “like being in the same room”. Wayne has also started an Internet Marketing Service from his mountain cabin and offers pro-bono and for-fee assistance to economic development efforts in Northwest Montana.

Wayne has also served on the Board of Directors for the Eureka Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tobacco Valley Industrial District.

Telecommute from Northwest Montana. It doesn’t get better than this.

To submit your own 300 to 500-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com

Telecommuting Tuesday: Lisa Haas

Lisa Haas

Lisa Haas

Happy Telecommuting Tuesday!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Read what Lisa Haas had to say about telecommuting in Montana:

My husband grew up in Choteau, Montana and had always wanted to leave his high-pressure technology career in Denver to return to his roots and family’s outfitting business, A Lazy H Outfitters. We moved to Choteau in 2015 when our sons were 10 and 8 years old.

One of the best things about living here, is that we are raising our children in a small, tight-knit community. My son once told us his favorite things about living here are, “The freedom…and no traffic.” What he meant about freedom, was that we spend a lot of time outdoors, whether it’s hiking or camping, swimming in rivers and ponds, or taking care of our many animals.

When we first moved here, I was a healthcare consultant, and could work anywhere. Recently, I began working remotely with the healthcare division of a large professional services company based in New Jersey. With today’s global economy, I will often work with teams of people from all over the world.

At first it surprised me that people in places like India had heard of Montana, but nearly all the world knows about Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. I like to tell people, “I see elk every day!” (My neighbors run an elk farm.)

The biggest challenge of working remotely is the isolation, but I find that having frequent calls or Skype chats with coworkers helps. I can get a lot done because I don’t have many interruptions or distractions.

In this economy where companies are having difficulty finding people with the right skills or experience, remote work is a good solution. I hope more organizations begin adopting a remote workforce because it benefits everyone.

To submit your own 300 to 500-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com.

Telecommuting Tuesday: Dave Goodman

picture of Dave Goodman, telecommuter from Frenchtown, MT

Dave Goodman, telecommuter near Frenchtown, MT

Happy Telecommuting Tuesday!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Read what Dave Goodman, a software engineer working remotely for a non-profit in Kansas, had to say about telecommuting from near Frenchtown:

Hi, my name is Dave Goodman

I am a software engineer and I currently work for The IDEA Center, a non-profit in Manhattan, Kansas.  More than half of my coworkers are remote.  I’ve worked remotely from my ranch near Frenchtown for most of the last 10 years. 

My wife and I have an off-grid horse ranch, and it is quite literally the best place I have ever lived.  For me, the biggest benefit of working remotely is free time.  Since I don’t have to drive into Missoula (an hour each way) or travel to other cities anymore, I have much more time to spend with family and friends. 

And speaking of family, we have guests at our ranch from late May until September, often back-to-back-to-back.  You may be wondering how I can work from home when we have a full house?  It is easy, the first rule of visiting us is “You cannot have fun before 4PM“.

To submit your own 300 to 500-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com.

Telecommuting Tuesday: Brad Comer

Brad Comer, a telecommuter in Cameron, takes a break to go fly fishing on the Madison river near his home. (Photo courtesy of Brad Comer)

Welcome to our Telecommuting Tuesday series!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Read what Brad Comer, the chief technology officer for Texbase, said about telecommuting from Cameron:

My name is Brad Comer I am currently the Chief Technology Officer for Texbase, a SaaS company based in Bozeman.

I am a  four day a week telecommuter that resides in Cameron, Mont., about 70 miles southwest of Bozeman. I go into the office one day a week. I am able to successfully manage my development team, interact with the CEO, and achieve the goals set forth by the company all while residing “in the middle of nowhere”. Cameron is classified as everything south of Ennis between the Madison and Gravelly ranges; all the way to Hegben lake due south, and the Idaho border west of that.

I moved to Cameron in 2004 while telecommuting as a senior developer for a company in Rochester, New York. My wife and I came to West Yellowstone in 2002 for our honeymoon and immediately fell in love with what Montana had to offer — wide open spaces, outdoor recreation, and a different way of life than the big cities we had resided in before. We knew before our honeymoon was over that we wanted to be in southwest Montana somewhere, and thus began our journey of finding a Montana home.

We initially looked around Ennis, West Yellowstone, Bozeman, Whitehall, and finally found the perfect home for us on 21 acres in Cameron. We made an offer that was accepted, and we moved to Cameron on June 14th, 2004.

To submit your own 300-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com.

Telecommuting Tuesday: Ken Dawes

Welcome to our Telecommuting Tuesday series!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Ken Dawes negotiates a contact from his western Montana backyard

Ken Dawes negotiates a contract with a client from his backyard in western Montana.

Read what Ken Dawes, a telecommuter from Missoula, had to say about the life as a telecommuter:

My wife and I got caught up in the housing debacle in California and knew we needed to find greener pastures. My wife had taught junior high in Browning back in the 70s and we had vacationed here a number of times. Moving to Missoula in 2011 was the way to go for us.

By the very nature of my business as a WordPress web developer, my “office” is portable. If I have an internet connection, I’m at the office! Since moving to Montana my clients have come from around the world… Great Britain, Denmark, South Africa and South Korea to name a few.

My clients are amazed and envious of where I work and call home. Especially when I show them the pictures!

To submit your own 300-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com.

Montanans Turn to Telecommuting for Flexibility, Work Balance

Lizzy Duffy telecommuting from home in Helena for a company based in Portland, Ore.

Lizzy Duffy works from home in Helena for a company based in Portland, Ore.

Lizzy Duffy moved back to Montana for love.

After her then-boyfriend (and now fiancé) expressed an interest in moving to Helena to be closer to his family, Duffy knew she wanted to make the move as well. As the duo prepared to move from Portland, Ore., Duffy didn’t have a job waiting in Montana. When she told her company, Sparkloft Media, that she was moving to Montana, Duffy didn’t ask if she could telecommute for work.

“I thought there was no reason for me to work out of Helena, Mont. as far as the office expanding,” Duffy said. “But my company prioritizes people’s personal lives as much as their work. A happy employee makes for better work.”

When Duffy moved to Montana in May, she found herself as part of the new, growing workforce of telecommuters in Big Sky Country.

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