Dianna kissed the Austin traffic goodbye and replaced it with a firepit overlooking the lake. Now her steps are few to commute to her home office. Known simply as Nana to the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren underfoot, this energetic former programmer juggles a busy family life and a fulfilling career from a gorgeous lakefront perch.
Life wasn’t always this good, however. Up until about six years ago, Dianna spent endless hours working and commuting. The stress took its toll, and after years of burning the candle at both ends, she knew it was time make a drastic change. Dianna discovered the flexibility of working from home with TeleReach Corporate and never looked back.
Dianna, what first brought you to TeleReach Corporate?
“I found TeleReach through word-of-mouth, really. I heard they were interviewing for an administrative position, and I was awarded the role. That was in March of 2015, almost six years ago, and it changed my life. I mainly work on payroll and accounts payable. I’ve also been the ShareFile and email administrator and assisted with the Jive phone system setup. I do quite a bit of instructional documentation and serve as HR support. Plus, I’m involved in training, particularly as it pertains to anything technical.”
Can you tell us what you did before joining TeleReach?
“After many years of various jobs when I was younger – anywhere from waitressing to welding, trying to raise my family – I decided that I would go back to school. I earned my computer science degree in 1991 and immediately went to work in Austin as a programmer and business analyst. My last project as a programmer was a global project that took 10 years to complete and roll out worldwide, and at that point I decided I was too tired to do it anymore. After an extended illness I retired from programming and found TeleReach.”
What has the flexibility of working from home meant to you in terms of solutions for your family?
“It’s been a godsend for me and my family. A tremendous help to all of us. I have a daughter who has an autistic son and working from home has allowed me to support her. She also has a young daughter, and since she hasn’t had to go out to work, she has been able to devote more time to her children.
“Altogether, I have eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. They all know I’m at home, so if they need something or just want to call and say, “Hey, Nana, I love you,” they know that nine times out of 10 I’m available to answer. Working from home has really improved the relationships between me and my children, their children, and their children.”
“While my kids were growing up, I missed an awful lot because I was at work. Working from home now, I can be involved in the lives of my grandchildren. I’m not too tired to be involved. We can have conversations, and we can have visits. It makes a huge impact on your life, and it’s a totally new way of thinking about work.”
How has working from home affected your own work-life balance?
“Working at TeleReach made an enormous difference in my work-life balance. I’m getting older, which means more doctor visits. Being able to adjust my work schedule so I can make and keep appointments has been extremely beneficial. My health has also greatly improved since I’m no longer getting up at 4 in the morning and spending six hours a day commuting to and from Austin. That really extends your workday. I used to be on the road or working from 5:30 in the morning until 8 o’clock at night. That, in and of itself, has been a huge blessing, even so far as to improve my health and my state of mind. Working from home has literally added seven hours to my life, every day.”
All who work at TeleReach work from home, although in your case you do have to go the office occasionally. What does a typical day look like for you?
“One of the things I love so much about working from home is that I can make my own schedule. Depending on what time of month it is, I may have to work 12-hour days, two or three times a week. This is especially true at the beginning of the month when both payroll and accounts payable are due at the same time. But then I can make up those longer days by not having to work so hard for the rest of the week. There are days when I may only work for two hours.”
“About one day a week I go into town to do accounting, backups, mail and other tasks. But it’s only a 20-minute commute each way. That’s a less-than-an-hour drive, once a week.”
I know you like to cook. Do you still do any of your hobbies?
“Even more so now than ever before. I can take a break from work anytime I want or need to. I can go throw something in the crockpot. I can put a roast in the oven. I can go out and water the flower bed. I just simply have more time.”
“When I take a break, I can do something for myself. I’m not just going downstairs and sitting in the breakroom. I’m actually relieving stress and participating in the activities that give me joy. Cooking and gardening are the big ones. I also make candles, bath salts, and other aromatherapy products. Because I’m not leaving my house before daylight and coming home after dark, I have time to go out in my workshop and pour a few candles or make some bath bombs. And when my workday ends, it’s over. I don’t have to go anywhere except to my workshop, my kitchen, or my garden.”
You don’t live around city traffic anymore. Can you tell us where you live now?
“I am so fortunate! This is another perk of working from home. I live at Richland-Chambers Reservoir, in a wonderful little community called St. Elmo. We live in a subdivision on the lake. It’s very quiet there, and extremely beautiful. I can be on a conference call in my sunroom, overlooking the lake. As we all know, conference calls can be stressful, but having that view makes it all worth it.”
What would you like to say to someone who may be considering a career change or working from home?
“If you’re even remotely considering working from home, I’d like to say that the advantages are incredible. The benefits in terms of your time, your finances, your physical and mental health, and your ability to be near your family can’t be beat.”
“Work is not necessarily work if you’re in your personal environment, where you can make your area pleasant and don’t have tons of interruptions from coworkers. You can get your work done and have the rest of your day to yourself. You don’t have to change clothes, you don’t have to commute. You don’t have to worry about the upkeep of your vehicle, the miles you’re putting on it, or the money you’re putting into it. Just the fact that I can get up and make myself a sandwich and not have to spend money to have lunch – that’s huge. Over the course of a year, the money I save really adds up.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add about TeleReach our readers may want to know?
“I would say if you’re at all interested in changing your life for the better, you should seriously consider working from home, and especially for TeleReach. We have a great staff here that is always willing to pitch in, to guide, to mentor, to coach – whether it be admin, appointment setting, or whatever aspect of the business you may be working in. You have a family of people who are ready and willing to help you make money.”
“Just go to our website and read what we’re about. This is who we are. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the TeleReach family. As in any family, we’re all expected to carry our weight, but the rewards are so great. It’s just a wonderful place to work.”