This week, we sat down with AdRoll remote employees, Brian Ecker, Anthony Mayer, and Oscar Arbelaez to discuss how their experience has been.

Brian Ecker works from Annapolis, Maryland. He has been rollin’ with us for over a year and a half and is a Senior Software Engineer on our SendRoll team.image01

Anthony Mayer is based out of Long Beach, California. He has been at AdRoll for 11 months and is a Senior Software Engineer for our Data Integration team.image02

Oscar Arbelaez is based in Colombia and has been on the AdRoll Engineering team for 7 months.image00

AdRoll: Why did you decide to work remotely?

Brian Ecker: Good question. The main reason I decided to work remotely is because I felt there was a good opportunity for work-life balance through remote opportunities—something I value very much. I originally decided to move back to the East Coast from Seattle to be closer to family. But, I didn’t want to give up the opportunities I was getting to solve fun and interesting technical challenges from companies like AdRoll.

Anthony Mayer: I really wanted a change. I was going to move to LA but I still wanted to work for a Bay Area company. I had previous experience working as a part-time, remote employee during the week. I wanted to continue this, but in a full-time capacity.

Oscar Arbelaez: I was just finishing my masters and figuring out my life. I was ending my term at the university and I was finishing research projects. Someone from another company reached out to me and said, “I found your GitHub profile, we want to have a chat and see if you would like to work with us.” I was looking for something part time, but they had only reached out about full-time opportunities. After I finished this process, I interviewed at AdRoll and thought that they had a very strong team approach regarding development.

Also, being a remote employee gives me the ability to work with companies that allow me to review people’s code. This is something that I enjoy doing, but is unavailable in Colombia.

AdRoll: How does being a remote employee impact your interaction with our company culture?

BE: I can still participate in certain events. The company helps make it inclusive for remote employees to participate in larger events through internal video tools, which help me continue to be engaged with the company and the culture. I can also engage with AdRoll Gives Back in my community and log hours to help reach our global goal of 3,333 hours.

AM: For engineering culture, specifically, it hasn’t impacted my interaction. I don’t get to go to certain events, but it doesn’t bother me much. With the company culture as a whole, it has impacted my interaction. There are plenty of people that I don’t get to meet in person. However, there are many meetings that are broadcast on videoconference, which keep me engaged. We record big events (like the annual dog show) so, although I’m not there, I can still watch it at a later time.

OA: Im finding that the culture in the company, especially in engineering, is welcoming for remote employees. Things like Slack and video meetings are great at keeping you feeling like you’re not missing out on a lot. I have access to everything remotely, so I don’t feel left out in terms of information or interaction.

AdRoll: What kind of environment are you looking for when you’re looking for remote job opportunities?

BE: When I’m looking for a job, I’m looking a fair degree of autonomy and flexibility in working hours. It’s not that I think I should work more or less. I like to shift my schedule a little bit in case I want to take a break in the middle of the day to complete a task or errand because I know that I will make up that time. It’s also important to me that the companies I’m looking at have communication and remote presentation tools that I need to interact with other employees. Lastly, I look at the company’s attitude towards remote employees—is it tolerating and welcoming?

AM: I’m looking for a company that is willing to work with and for remote engineers. They will have more than just a couple of remote engineers and management support for them as needed. I also want to work with onsite employees that are willing to work with remote ones. When I think of the people in my working environment, I think of working alongside people that are communicative and willing to overcome issues. I simply look for the same things that I looked for when considering onsite positions. Here at AdRoll, I didn’t have to lower the bar or expectations; I was able to find a remote job at an amazing company that checked off all the boxes.

OA: This is my first time working remotely. I wasn’t looking for a remote opportunity, but I was fortunate enough to have AdRoll find me. When looking for remote opportunities now, I would look for meetings to be over video or Skype and for a messaging tool like Slack.

AdRoll: How has it been to work remotely at AdRoll?

BE: Great. My team has been very inclusive of remote employees. Our agile development process lends itself really well to remote, independent, and self-motivated engineers.  I think the video recorded meetings let me attend more trainings, Q&A’s, and general info sessions than I had been able to at other companies. Even if I weren’t remote, it would still be helpful to catch up on past training sessions or meetings I missed because of scheduling conflicts.

AM: AdRoll works really, really hard to make it possible to be a remote employee here. It’s not always perfect, but whenever there’s an issue there’s a large willingness to work on it. It’s a culture where the remote employees are treated 100% equally to office employees, which means it works.

OA: It has been great! The company has a nice culture that is great for remote working. The VP is making a lot of effort for people to work effectively in a remote setting. Sometimes, as a remote employee, people feel left behind. At AdRoll, the information flow is very smooth through the tools that we use internally. If you have any questions, it’s very easy to speak to people and work with the team. You can make your own schedule as long as you work your hours and contribute to your team.

AdRoll: What’s your advice to someone that’s thinking of being a remote employee?

BE: Ask yourself: Can you handle the (physical) separation of not being in the office? Does it work for you personally? Some people’s personalities need that physical connection to the office. If you have a high level of engagement, you won’t notice the difference. If you don’t feel as engaged, you may need that physical connection.

AM: Try it out a little bit at first—a week or a month. I previously worked partially remote so it helped make the job transition very easy. If you are a remote employee, you have to put in the effort to communicate with your team so that they will be communicative with you as well. But you have to put in the effort. Do it!

OA:  I would say go for it! Its really nice because you get a lot of stuff done. Don’t be afraid of not being in the office. Fears about remote working, like being isolated, can be overcome. You can still make friends at the office through communications that we have today such as Slack. Remote working is great because you can work from anywhere!

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