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517 Magazine Presents: The 26th Annual Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards

A New Perspective on Remote Working

517 Magazine asked local executives if their opinions of telecommuting and remote working changed.

For over three months, much of the workforce telecommuted from home following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order due to COVID-19. The experience has been surprisingly successful for many companies and their teams. 517 Magazine asked local executives if their opinions of telecommuting and remote working changed.

Debbie Petersmark

Vice President and General Manager at WILX MEDIA

In the 24/7 broadcast news world, our processes made perfect sense. But in March, three weeks and 40 laptops later, we found ourselves working remotely — editing in the field, going live using iPhones, Microsoft Teams meetings, anchoring from home, producing shows and commercials from kitchen tables. Is it perfect? No. Some processes will go back to “normal,” but many will just continue to improve. Perhaps remote working wasn’t “trusted” and was considered less efficient. Our team has certainly proven that wrong, and we’ll be better for it moving forward.

Shelley Davis Boyd

Director of Communications for the Michigan Association of School Boards

I worked from home for more than 10 years and understood how productive it could be, so it solidified my view. Thanks to our IT department and the infrastructure in place, the transition to working fully remote was smooth.

The experience was positive and demonstrated our ability to be nimble and effectively manage time without compromising quality or the level of service our members expect and deserve. Before COVID-19, we didn’t have a WFH policy. Now one will be implemented as a result of how well it went.

Karen Schultz

Director of Member Services at Messa Lansing

I work at MESSA, an East Lansing-based nonprofit that believes the people who care for our kids, schools and communities deserve exceptional health benefits and unmatched personal service.

Before the pandemic, I thought delivering unmatched personal service remotely might be possible while also providing a safe work environment for our team. Now? Absolutely. Effective communication, tech support and a positive, flexible mindset to troubleshoot have been key to our success.



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