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Office Optional Series: Chris Kelly

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People and Culture Team

Last fall, Cogito announced our plans for a truly Office Optional workplace, one where Cogicians are empowered to make choices about where they work – whether in a physical Cogito office or not. 

In this edition of ‘The Anywhere Office,’ we want to introduce Chris Kelly, Senior Client Director. He joined Cogito in July of 2018 and manages some of our largest Healthcare Industry clients.  Chris has worked remotely from his home office in Bozeman, Montana, his entire tenure at Cogito. 

Where is your ‘home office’? Anything fun about your setup? 
My home office is in Bozeman, MT. My office looks out onto a meadow with a trout stream running through it.

Tell us a bit about what you do for Cogito. 
I’m responsible for managing relationships with some of Cogito’s largest healthcare clients and generating connections with prospective healthcare clients. I’m energized by the opportunity to educate folks about real-time behavioral coaching and aligning with them on how Cogito can support their strategic objectives.

What are you most excited about as we move to an ‘office optional’ workforce?
I’ve worked remotely since I started with Cogito, but I believe the optional office approach at Cogito will lead to better connections with my colleagues. Although our individual lives have had their unique events, we now have a set of shared experiences and challenges that have drawn us closer together, even though we’re apart. I believe we’ll be a stronger company with this approach.

What is one thing that surprised you about working remotely when the COVID-19 pandemic began?
Cogito has always had a geographically distributed workforce, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well the transition to 100% work from home went in 2020. Our teams didn’t miss a beat. It was seamless but that has a lot to do with our IT, Security and Facilities teams’ tireless work THANK YOU!

From a personal perspective, what is the biggest perk to working remotely?
Before the pandemic, my client-facing role involved a significant amount of travel. I was always comfortable with the travel, but my time at home last year has been quite a blessing. My wife and I have three daughters, ages 12, 11 and 3. These are precious years and I’m grateful I haven’t missed a day with them.

From a professional perspective, what is the biggest perk to working remotely?
Just like I have a set of shared experiences with my colleagues to connect over, I share similar experiences with my clients. As strange as it sounds, working remotely has brought me closer to my clients and allowed me to generate stronger relationships.

What are you working on that excites you this year?
The pandemic has exacerbated challenges that contact center agents face, like burnout and emotional fatigue. These have certainly strained the customer experience. I’m excited because I believe we’re well positioned to help improve the experience of our clients’ most valuable resources the agents and the customers which ultimately means improved outcomes.

What old or new hobbies are you spending more time on lately?
Living in Montana, my family and I spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying our wide-open spaces. This winter has been filled with lots of skiing at our local resorts Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. With spring and summer around the corner, I’m excited for time on our rivers with our raft floating, fly fishing and camping – something we did more of last summer than ever before. I have recently become enthralled with Spey casting (a type of fly fishing using a two-handed rod) to chase Steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. It’s extremely challenging, but the experience is amazing.

What tips do you have for other people whose companies allow remote work for drawing the line between home and work?
Be compassionate and empathetic with your colleagues. While we’re likely all now working from home, each of us has our unique circumstances and it’s helpful to appreciate that. Encourage yourself and your colleagues the opportunity to disconnect from work at the appropriate time so that folks don’t feel like working from home means they always need to be on.  One thing I like to do is scheduling emails when I am working off-hours. While sometimes I choose to work late, I understand that it can distract or feel intrusive to others, so when I am working late, I like to set my emails to send during regular business hours. 

Interested in joining our anywhere office? See our open roles here.

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