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Office Optional Series: Lynn Kenning

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People and Culture Team

Cogito recently announced our plans for a workplace that is truly Office Optional, one where Cogicians are empowered to make choices about where they work. As a result, the workspace will no longer default to meaning a physical Cogito office.  

In this edition of ‘The Anywhere Office,’ we want to introduce Lynn Kenning our Senior Director of Program Management.  Lynn joined Cogito in March of 2020 and has worked remotely from her homes in IL and WI ever since. 

Where is your ‘home office’? Anything fun about your setup? 

I split my time between Winfield, IL & Eagle River, WI…and YES!  When in Winfield, I have a deck off my office where I can enjoy nature and in Eagle River, I look at a lake that is just peaceful! (And yes, sometimes I do show that off in my video calls!)

Tell us a bit about what you do for Cogito?

I lead an amazing group of client facing professionals who bring our real-time coaching to life for our clients! My team of Program Management and Enablement professionals become the face of the company for our clients. Our goal is to help our clients understand the business value that our product delivers and ensure an impactful experience.

What are you most excited about as we move to an ‘office optional’ workforce?

There are a few things to be excited about as we move to ‘office optional.’  As a leader, the opportunity to attract talent globally will afford us the ability to hire the top candidates that will deliver the best experience to our clients no matter where they are located. I live in the Chicagoland area, so from a personal perspective, I am getting at a minimum 3 hours back in my day to be with my family, support my son in school, and be present for meals, sports, and generally much more available for the random life events that you don’t want to miss!

What is one thing that surprised you about working remotely when the COVID-19 pandemic began?

The need for in person social interaction. I have experience with both ‘office optional’ and in-person office environments.  When the pandemic hit,  I was surprised by how much the in-person social interaction played a part in the office culture.

What tips do you have for other people whose companies allow remote work for drawing the line between home and work?

Be understanding! Remote working is an adjustment. Your co-workers have productive time and unproductive time, so learn to accommodate and don’t force time-sensitive productivity. Encourage a ‘shut down’ with your employees, remote working can make that ‘always connected’  feeling very stressful. Provide options to put that in check.

From a personal perspective, what is the biggest perk to working remotely?

Working remotely from a personal perspective definitely has the pros and cons. Personally, remote working allows me better control over my schedule. As a professional, I know what I need to accomplish each day, if I want to get up early to get it done and have a bit more time later I can do that.  I also can take time for myself in the day: a walk, change the laundry, sit outside and just relax without any pressure to get back to the office.  The con, however, is unless you establish rules, you can get caught not separating work from home life.  Some time of ‘shut down’ is needed to balance that out.

From a professional perspective, what is the biggest perk to working remotely?

The position that I hold is very demanding from the perspective of being acutely aware of existing client status as well as prospective clients with the drive toward delivering an amazing client experience While I find my job energizing, during business hours I participate in many meetings lending to “ZOOM” fatigue.  Working remotely, I get random visits from my son and my boyfriend: lunch delivered, a random hug, a request for a walk, this centers and refocuses me.  How is that a professional perspective, you might ask? Well it reminds me that the agents we coach real-time have the same fatigue that I am experiencing. 

What are you working on that excites you this year?

Oh goodness there are so many exciting things I am working on this year! Being able to lead a group of amazing professionals of course excites me. Being a part of an organization that has a unique position in the market by providing real-time coaching to organizations that didn’t think remote work was possible for agents. More specifically, my team’s delivery model has changed, we cannot visit our clients like we would like to, working with them on creative ways to make the same impact remotely has unleashed my team’s creativity.

What old or new hobbies are you spending more time on lately?

Family puzzles… being at home we are back to making puzzles! Good and bad, we have found that we are competitive in building puzzles. That said, we don’t like them lingering around for more than 3 days.

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

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