Get to know Anja Koltes, our Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs.
Anja joined the Velocity Global team earlier this year, and within the first month, she unexpectedly needed to fly home to Germany to be with her sick parents.
Anja's a Denver local, and when she first joined the team, she was excited to continue working from home—something she'd already been doing for many years. With our headquarters based in the same city, she liked that she could choose to go to the office when it suited her as well.
"I appreciate being able to go to an office every now and then," she says. "I don't think I'd ever go back full time, but I do think there's still something to be said for direct in-person contact."
Beyond that, she hadn't thought much about our work-from-anywhere policy when accepting the new position.
But around the same time she signed her contract with Velocity Global, Anja, who is originally from Germany, heard the unfortunate news that both her parents had fallen ill.
"Both my parents were having unexpected major health issues at the same time," she says. "I needed to be in Germany to support them in their recovery."
Because of the timing, Anja was worried there might be an issue using the policy.
She says, "The first thing I had to ask my new boss was about this work-from-anywhere policy—'How serious are you about that?'"
Even though she had previously worked for other remote companies, she was worried the flexibility would only extend so far.
"I thought I might have to postpone my start date or something," she admits. "But the response from my manager was so positive. He didn't even blink an eye and said, 'Yep, that's what we do. So, go for it!'"
Logging on From a Different Country
Because of the work-from-anywhere policy, it was easy for Anja to jump on a plane and be with her parents as soon as she needed.
She simply brought her work equipment with her and logged on from her parent's home in Erfurt.
Being flexible with scheduling meant Anja could be there to support her parents whenever they needed, and she says the time difference actually worked in her favor.
"Because I was still new and getting to know the team, I often chose to start work later in the day and work into the evening to catch the most crossover time," she says. "This also meant I could easily make hospital visits and pharmacy runs whenever I needed to, so it worked out both ways."
Despite the circumstances, Anja says she was grateful to spend so long back home.
"It was a fantastic experience," she says.
"This was my first trip back after the pandemic, and while it wasn't quite the reason I'd have hoped for, it was still great to be in Germany."
Anja’s extended stay in Germany meant she was able to spend time exploring the city her parents live in and go on trail runs in the nearby hilly forests. She was also able to spend time with other family members.
"I spent a weekend with my aunt and uncle and my cousin, his wife, and their two little twin girls whom I hadn't met before."
The extra time also meant she was able to spend time with a close college friend.
“She lives in a city several hours away, which usually makes coordination challenging when I'm back for only a short amount of time,” she says.
"So this time, we met up for a weekend in a city that was more or less halfway between us."
As a bonus, Anja’s last night in Germany was her friend’s birthday, so they were able to celebrate together.
“It was something we hadn't been able to do in so long."
Flexible Working Closer to Home
Now that Anja is back in Denver, she says she still enjoys the flexibility of the work-from-anywhere policy—just a little closer to home.
"What seems easier to fit in with a more flexible work schedule is a random walk and fresh air here or there," she says. "Even if it's just working from the patio, it's nice to have the option to get outside."
She also hopes to spend some time in the mountains, "ranch sitting" for friends.
"I've done it before, and hopefully, I will be able to do it again soon," she says. "There's something grounding and refreshing about doing your morning chores out there before getting to work. And as a bonus, it comes with amazing views."
Working From Anywhere
When we hear “work from anywhere,” we often think of digital nomads logging in poolside or at a new Airbnb every week. But, the beauty of a flexible approach is that it allows us to create schedules that work around life—and all that entails.
"I was able to do a job I find really interesting while having the luxury of being there for my parents when they needed me," Anja says.
"It's been a really fantastic scenario for me."