When it comes down to it, how many BPO and customer experience providers can offer flexible work schedules, secure positions in a growing company, and above-average living wages to people of all ages?
Now, how many of those companies are able to offer all of that in a work-at-home, virtual environment, without compromising on CX quality?
Here at Activus Connect, our core employment model provides Ambassadors all of the above as standard, offering competitive, sustainable roles at a fast-growing company. In our experience, the combination of flexibility, job security, and higher salaries has been the best way to empower people to enhance customer experiences while enhancing their own lives.
One great example of this is Jim Holding (52), who lives with his wife and dog in Orlando, Florida. Jim joined Activus in November 2019 after our collaboration began with A Closer Look (check out this client case study for more information). Here’s “a closer look” at Jim’s background and his first-hand experiences as an Activus Ambassador.
Working at Home as a Way of Life
During his educational years, Jim acquired a Master’s degree in Library Science, which enabled him to work as a prison librarian, though “not as an inmate,” he jokes.
After an unfortunate job cut, Jim worked briefly at a public library before starting his own non-profit organization, a decision that allowed him to work at home for almost two decades, setting the stage for his future at Activus Connect.
Continuing his role from A Closer Look, which he began in 2016, Jim is currently responsible for the process of editing mystery shopping reports, which involves fixing mistakes and ensuring the reports are coherent enough for the client to understand. “Writing is another passion of mine, so the work I’m performing as an editor is really a privilege,” says Jim.
“There’s a certain flexibility to the work schedule that I enjoy, and I really like the freedom to spread our work out over time,” says Jim. “We’re assigned eight hours a day over five days a week, but those hours are not locked to a specific time of day.”
Alongside his job at Activus, Jim still works closely with his non-profit and occasionally does farm surveys for the Department of Agriculture, so his day-in-the-life can sometimes become pretty dynamic, which is just how he likes it.
Daily Life at Activus Connect
After driving his wife to work first thing in the morning, Jim returns home, grabs some breakfast, takes the dog for a walk, and then settles into his home office to clock a couple of hours. After a short break, he’ll usually work for another hour or two, before picking his wife up, preparing some dinner, and finishing up his remaining hours in the evening.
“This flexible schedule works well for me as there are always errands to run or tasks related to my passion projects,” he explains. “I create educational videos in my spare time, and with Activus I have the freedom to work on them whenever I feel like it, as long as I complete my assigned hours for the day.”
From a cultural perspective, Jim is particularly fond of the personal video messages that Felix, our CEO, sends out to the teams.
“Having a CEO address you on camera is completely unique to Activus, especially because he’s always dressed as a regular ‘civilian’ and not like the Monopoly man,” laughs Jim. “You can immediately see that he’s deeply invested in the people who work for him, which is highly refreshing.”
Another thing that Jim appreciates is how much value Activus places on Ambassador feedback, particularly when it relates to improving workflow or enhancing certain processes. “We feel like we’re having a direct impact on the business, as opposed to just obeying managerial orders,” he says. “It was clear from the offset that they respect all of their employees very highly.”
Reflecting on the impacts of COVID-19, Jim recalls a time when editing work was scarce, so Activus found additional work for the editors to perform. “It was impressive to see a company that could keep people working during times of crisis, as it showed a real dedication to supporting their employees, which is extremely rare in this day and age.”
Advice for New Recruits
For any Ambassadors joining Activus, Jim has one piece of advice: give it everything you’ve got.
“When you join Activus, they will do everything possible to welcome you and make the job as great as possible, so I would advise you to do the same for them,” he suggests. “People who work at home need a high degree of discipline to succeed, especially when working with a flexible work schedule.”
During his career, Jim has worked with library databases and search engines like Google before they became mainstream. Nowadays, he tries to avoid high technology outside of work, choosing to read books instead, as, in his words, it helps develop a higher level of cognitive awareness and contemplative thinking that he can bring to the job.
“Even as a guy from Generation X with an aversion to technology, I love working at home with Activus, but with the right mindset and the right attitude to their work, people in younger generations can enjoy it just as much.”