ML is a pioneer in remote work. Our team has been 100% remote-based for over twenty years. In that time, we have become really good at it. So good that we were a step ahead in dealing with the push out of the office that came with COVID. Our team had all the processes and equipment needed to keep doing what we were doing, and we didn't miss a step in supporting our clients. Plus, we had the bonus of coaching our clients on how to set their teams up as quickly and efficiently as possible during very uncertain times. That was a "give back" we never saw coming, and we are grateful for it.
Back in 2001, when ML was starting out, we knew there was an opportunity in the market to elevate B2B outbound sales from more than just a cold-calling exercise. But in order to differentiate ourselves, we needed to hire very seasoned sales and marketing professionals who were highly skilled in engaging with senior executives. We believed at that time (and this has been confirmed over and over) that our people would be the main reason for our success.
Our search led to a number of perfect candidates looking for a less rigid workplace. Some had started families and wanted more flexibility in their schedules. Others were looking to wind down the time spent on their established careers and focus more on other passions. So, to bring these leaders to ML, we built our flexible and 100% remote work environment, and it worked!
Since then, our setup has continued to attract (and retain) the best and the brightest. Our team members have worked from courtyards in Morocco, a hillside in Tuscany, ski slopes, beaches, hotel rooms, and cafes around the world. In addition, our flexible environment has permitted team members and their families to accept opportunities a more rigid work environment wouldn't accommodate and indulge passions like travel and seasonal changes in geographical location. In our early days, it even helped us establish our international experience as Dyan Klein, our VP of Business Development, worked from an office in Germany.
Here are a few tales from the remote workforce frontier.
When Peter joined ML as a Data Manager, our ability to support him in a move from New York to Chicago was a big selling feature. But as so often happens, life threw him a curveball. The Chicago move got sidetracked by an opportunity to move to Florence, Italy, instead.
“My partner, Lydia, and I wanted to seize this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Because of ML's flexible "work from anywhere" culture, I knew this wouldn't be an issue. As a musician, I'm comfortable working evenings, so the time change isn't a problem for the clients I support or me.”
Peter DeBartolo Data Manager. Joined ML in May 2022
Peter's professionalism and our communication tools keep him connected. As a result, the team knows when he is available and can reach him as needed, despite the time difference. In fact, Peter is so effective working from Italy that he was a major contributor to recent improvements to ML's data and reporting processes.
Opportunities to support family members to fulfill their career goals were important reasons why Tori van der Geest, Senior Sales Development Specialist, and Debbie Thiry, Senior Market Research Specialist joined ML.
“I have five grown kids, and both my husband (who is Dutch) and I have aging parents. We divide our time between Alabama, Arkansas, and the Netherlands to stay close to everyone. My role requires that I call people all over the world, and with ML, I can do that from any location. Being remote hasn't hindered me in any way. I have actually been more successful because I can tailor my work schedule around my life schedule, and I think that makes for happier and more fulfilled employees.” Tori van der Geest Sales Development Specialist / Market Research Specialist. Joined ML in February 2021
“My family and I were living in Illinois when my husband's employer offered him a promotion. It required we move to Southern California so he could go into the office every day. We decided to keep our Illinois home and commute back and forth. I was fortunate to find a role with ML that fit my expertise and provided the flexibility for me to commute. I set up offices in our home in each location. I could complete my work week on a Friday afternoon in one state and start my next week in the second state on Monday morning. My commute was seamless, and I didn't skip a beat.” Debbie Thiry Senior Market Research Specialist. Joined ML in April 2011.
Melissa was living in a major center, and when COVID hit, she and her family bought a huge farm in a remote location.
“We are foster parents and have a big adventurous family that loves nature, homeschooling, and travel. We've always had dreams of homesteading and were really starting to crave more space and a slower pace. COVID gave us the perfect opportunity to escape to the country. We bought a 20-acre farm in rural Alabama, and it has been such an adventure! Working remotely has given me the flexibility to sustain and enjoy our homesteading lifestyle and large family. We have chickens, goats, dogs, bunnies, horses, and lots of space for gardening and for the kids to run around.”
Melissa Howard Marketing Sales Coordinator. Joined ML in August 2022
Anna is a Client Services Manager and a Road Warrior. In just two years, she moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Portland, Oregon, and then headed back to the southeast to Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina. During that time, she also joined ML. You can read the full story of Anna and Joe's adventures on her LinkedIn page, but here's a quick summary.
“My husband was offered a great position in Portland, so we packed up and moved from the southeast to the northwest. Less than two years later, he was then offered a position back in the southeast that was just too good to pass up. Because of ML's flexible and remote-based work environment that lets team members work from anywhere at any time of the day and night, we were able to accept! Not only did that flexibility help me handle the stress of a 2800-mile move (again!), but thanks to tools like Outlook, MS TEAMS, and Zoom meetings, I was also able to ensure my clients were properly supported on every step of our journey.”
Anna Wilferth Client Services Manager. Joined ML in February 2022
And support them, she does. Anna consistently receives laurels from her clients and colleagues, and we are grateful our work environment has supported her success.
I always tell people that part of my vision when starting ML was to surround myself with smart and interesting people, so I built a company where smart and interesting people would want to work. Creating a 100% remote workforce has paid off better than I could ever have imagined from that perspective. Plus, it has impacted our corporate success as these seasoned professionals provide outstanding service to our clients. They truly make remote work.
Until next time,
PS: If you would like to know more about ML's international experience that I mentioned earlier, reach out to Dyan.
REMOTE WORK BENEFITS