May 19, 2010

Telecommuting at 32,000 feet

Kate and I are on the way home from the WorldatWork annual conference in Dallas where she delivered a speech titled “Telecommuting: The Bottom Line” along with Jim Ball co-founder of the all-virtual call-center company Alpine Access.

Alpine is an amazing company that’s living proof of the advantages of telework. They have 2800 people working in 35 states. They’re all recruited, trained, and managed virtually. And they have the lowest turnover of any call-center in the country.

Interestingly, I’m writing this on an iPad in seat 22E on American Airlines flight 465 somewhere over West Texas enroute to San Diego. Now, that wouldn’t be all that interesting except that I’m doing it online thanks to GoGo Inflight Internet.

The price is a little steep, at $9.95 for a three hour flight (less the “put your toys away until I tell you you can play” part), but they do have a $34.95 monthly plan if you fly a lot.*

The only two complaints I have-the service is fast and consistent-is 1) during the signup process my credit number, CCV code, and expiration date were displayed in plain text for my seatmates to peruse and possibly misuse, and 2) if I wasn’t actively doing something online for a short period I was disconnected and had to log back in.

Road warriors, um…sky warriors, rejoice. You can stay connected at FL320.

*Included in the $9.95 is a mobile hook up, too. Not entirely sure what the point to that might be, but I did just send myself an email, iPad to iPhone. Hmmm, can I chat with myself using Skype?  . . . Yup!

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4 Responses to Telecommuting at 32,000 feet

  1. Charles R. says:

    I have been on the phones about 6 years now, two of those working from home. I am proud to also say, I just finished my 3rd day of training with Alpine Access. I feel so blessed to be a part of the best virtual call center around !
    Be Blessed, C W R Jr

  2. Kate Lister says:

    Glad to hear it Charles. Alpine’s a great company. You’re lucky to have landed with them. Keep us posted about the training. It will be interesting to get your thoughts.


  3. Teresa says:

    I have just finished training with Alpine Access and now helping customers on the phone and still learning.. I love working from home. First time to work from home and glad I found Alpine Access and blessed to have found them!!! Great trainers..

  4. Karen F. says:

    Glad to hear they are making waves (or should I say airwaves? lol) up there in the sky. I know a few “skywarriors” who practically live on airplanes…making their way to unknown part of the world 5,000 to 10,000 miles each time. That could mean as much as 26 hours of air travel (if they’re lucky).

    I think they wouldn’t mind the $35 price tag on that…but it would be a lot better if that service was available on all the airlines they frequently take the long haul with…you know?

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments, or violent reactions)

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