By LeBarbara Stinson
Edited by Intisar Seraaj
* This piece is a compilation of thoughts written by Stinson in 2017 and 2019. She is a remote case manager for the Mobile, Alabama region of Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. (SFH).
Technology has helped to do more in less time, with less money, and with half the effort. I have been able “to kill two birds with one stone” and save gas money. Being mobile takes away some of the stress in a job. I’m free. I can go sit at the park and complete my work and relax at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to go virtual with all the freedom it comes with? It’s less stressful. I have fewer outgoing monies and more freedom. It’s a beautiful experience.
As for people who are taking care of a parent, it’s not easy taking them to a doctor’s appointment and missing out on paid hours. Working remotely allows me to work while waiting for my mother to finish her many appointments. I don’t have to inform my job about everything happening with her like emergency-room visits because I can still get my work done outside of the office with the help of technology. While waiting for her in the ER, I can complete my case manager notes and even attend a meeting via Skype.
I’m not only a caretaker, but I’m also a single mom of two boys. I’ve had the opportunity to make every football game and basketball game, recitals, and so on. The Play Station isn’t my babysitter because I’m right there. Also, my children haven’t felt like they don’t know me because I wasn’t around. Being there for my children is priceless. Safety is also a major benefit. Today’s world is dangerous, especially for young men. This way, I can mostly ensure my boys’ safety. I’m privileged to be able to pick my son up from football practice myself. I don’t have to pay someone to pick him up and I don’t have to worry about him having to wait in the dark for me.
Now that I have grown sons, I am not needed as much. So, guess what? Being mobile allows me to feel as if I’m on vacation when I am really still working. All I must do is make sure my mortgage is paid and then hit the road! I have a son who is a student-athlete at Tuskegee University and being a remote employee allows me to check on him during my travel. Last week, I was en route to Phoenix City, Alabama to train. My son told me that his meal plan had not been activated, so he could not eat lunch. Working virtually allowed me to detour to Tuskegee, Alabama and bless my son with a meal until the issue was rectified later that day
With my virtual position, I can develop my own schedule, pay bills on the way to see a client, and stop at the grocery store on the way home after a stress-free day. Being mobile has allowed me to quickly submit important information immediately after conducting home visits, eliminating some physical paperwork and a longer waiting period for processing. My passion and drive for my job are maintained because of the technology that allows me to work remotely.
Last week, another virtual employee, Akmal Saleem, who is the Chief Operations Officer for SFH, was able to assist me with taking my son back to college. Our virtual positions saved me from having to complete a task that could have taken 7 hours.
The freedom of this work is addictive! When I take a vacation, I don’t feel like I’m on vacation. The freedom of this work is equivalent to vacation because of the lack of stress. I don’t deal with the sometimes-depressing walls of a physical office and don’t have to look at the same stuff or people in the office every day. It’s that simple: I have freedom from missing pay, freedom from being written-up for being late or anything else, and freedom from various risks that could cause me to lose this job that is much needed. As long as I have Internet access, my cellphone, and my laptop, I’m all set. I can honestly tell you that remote employment is a strong component for making my life easier.