Remote Workers Unite!
In addition to our population of freelancers, Workantile also provides refuge for people working remotely for companies all over the world—some with headquarters as far away as Europe or Australia, and others literally right next door. As remote employees often do, these members have discovered that the enviable freedom of working from home comes at a price: social isolation. Omar Abdala, a Workantiler and chief data scientist for the Lotame data management platform of Columbia, Maryland, doesn’t mince words when it comes to the benefit of seeing people on a daily basis: “Otherwise I would be sitting at home and very frequently interacting in person only with my own children”—a situation, he notes with a laugh, that is not great for his sanity.
Like many of our members, Omar also came to Ann Arbor to be with a spouse pursuing a new job or a degree at the University. Moving like this to an entirely new place can be exciting, but it can also exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Fortunately, Workantile is also more than just a collection of random faces to look at: we are a real human community. This is certainly a draw for Dana Kublin, a graphic designer in technology research, who moved to Ann Arbor in 2018 and, like Omar, embraced the adventure of moving to a new town for her partner, who studies at the U of M. “I love Workantile,” Dana says, “because the community is amazing and the space is really inviting. It’s been a great way to meet people and explore town, rather than working from home by myself.”
Echoing those sentiments is Laura Slider, who describes Workantile as having been “very warm and friendly, right from the beginning.” Laura lists her titles as office manager, bookkeeper and “general do-it person” for The Modern Firm, a website developer for small law firms. With its home office just one door down from us, employees of The Modern Firm have been a staple of Workantile life. “I thought perhaps as an older person that I would feel out of place,” says Laura, “but I’ve felt very welcome, I enjoy the social activities, and there’s a level of professionalism—only with tasty baked goods and lots of good conversation and laughter.”
Tom Brandt agrees: “We have a fantastic community here that is very supportive and warm and friendly—you just feel good when you walk into the place.” Tom serves as director of software engineering for Trice Imaging, a medical imaging software company with offices on multiple continents. A Workantile member for about ten years—“actually since the day it opened,” he points out—his story also nicely illustrates the community spirit of Workantile, where all members are encouraged to contribute in ways going beyond just paying member dues. While Tom started out as a regular member, he and two other members took over from the original owner in 2011, when Workantile was “in serious financial trouble,” as Tom recalls. He ended up as essentially a managing partner of Workantile until 2019, when another ownership group—likewise members themselves—took on the leadership of the organization.
So if you’re a remote employee sitting at home trying to work while tending to children, dogs, the laundry, the lawn… come check us out! At Workantile you’ll find a welcoming community where you can get your work done, socialize, make friends and get involved.