Meet current remote Chrissy Barnum, who like most applicants, felt an initial doubt about the reality of coming on Remote Year with her current job. We know that prospect of working remotely and actually getting your employer's approval are two entirely different things. It can seem like a daunting task, so we thought it might help to hear how Chrissy navigated the process of getting approval to work remotely!
"I work for Accenture, which is a global company with over 350,000 employees. When I was first accepted into the program, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to work remotely for Accenture while traveling with Remote Year. While working for a large company has numerous benefits, I thought the bureaucracy common in large companies paired with the novelty of a program like Remote Year would make it impossible for me.
When approaching Accenture about Remote Year, I learned that I needed to gain approval and buy-in from two different perspectives. The first was my immediate supervisor and the rest of my team—basically, the people who I worked with day-to-day. We had to determine if I could still do my work from afar, or if I’d need to find another role within the company. My advice in that arena is to be straightforward with your supervisor so they understand that Remote Year is a professional priority for you. Also be very precise about what Remote Year is—it’s not a gap year, not a leave of absence, and not dual-employment. At the same time, be prepared to compromise. Not everything I’m working on this year is aligned with my dream set of work activities, but it is totally worth it to be part of Remote Year.
The second area where I needed to gain approvals was more administrative. Large companies will often require that various corporate functions—including HR, security, legal, IT, taxation and immigration, etc.—approve remote work. In my experience, this all tends to work out as long as you have buy-in from your day-to-day leadership and communicate clearly about what Remote Year entails. It can be bureaucratic, but as long as you’re patient, it is by no means an impossible hurdle.
Ultimately, doing Remote Year while working for a large corporation is very do-able and also rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to be a trailblazer at your company, and for companies with a global presence, you may even be able to meet and network with colleagues from other countries during Remote Year."