Remote Work at Appian: Staying connected, fulfilled, and empowered
Hey everyone! My name is Braeden Heltzel, and I’m a Principal Consultant that began my journey with Appian 5 years ago. I’m fortunate to work with customers, my Appian colleagues, and partner teams every day to create powerful yet simple and intuitive business applications. Outside of work you can find me hiking or snowboarding in the Rockies, or here at my desk producing electronic music. Today I’m sharing about a big transition in my career and how it has worked out for me.
Like a sign from above, I saw the Appian internal posting about position openings in Denver. Living in Colorado had been a goal of mine since early high school. However, there was always a good reason to stay in my home state of Virginia - closer to family, in-state tuition, professional network and career opportunity after graduating from a Virginia school. I hadn’t given up on Colorado, but I didn’t imagine I’d have the chance to make it happen so soon and get to keep my awesome job at Appian.
While I decided to relocate to Denver, it was a tough decision to make for many reasons. Appian didn’t yet have a Denver office, so this move would mean working remotely for the foreseeable future. I thought to myself, how will this impact my connections and relationships with those on the East Coast? Am I ready to be working from home whenever I’m not traveling? Am I putting professional growth and advancement at risk? Can I be as effective of a leader? What about free sandwiches at the office after an all-hands?
It didn’t take long to decide that the pros far outweighed the cons, and I was ready for this change. I am self motivated. I will enjoy the flexibility and form healthy work-life habits. I am confident in my ability to make and maintain connections outside of the office. My work speaks for itself, and I will earn opportunities by putting in the effort and producing results. I can buy all the sandwiches I want with the time and money I’ll save without a commute.
I’m happy to report that my decision to join our remote workforce four years ago has been one of the best of my lifetime. I can be as productive, fulfilled, connected, recognized, and empowered while away from HQ. I have access to the same opportunities for professional growth and personal achievement.
As I now work remotely with people across the country every day, I find I can still be a leader to my teams by opening communication channels, emphasizing constant collaboration, and using the multitude of online tools available to me. This is true now more than ever. My colleagues and clients are accustomed to having remote contributors, and make an active effort to accommodate schedules and virtual connection. Whether it’s using an online whiteboard, turning on the conference room camera, copying me for awareness - nobody stops at the fact that I’m not physically present when we need to work together to achieve something.
While most of my work is done from home these days, there is plenty of opportunity for in person connection. Appian opened its first Denver office in April 2019, which provided a comfortable space to collaborate while still offering the flexibility of remote work based on individual schedules and project needs. When safe to travel, I look forward to visiting customer sites with my teams, where we’ll often celebrate our latest achievements at nearby restaurants, museums, sporting events, and other fun places to explore in a new city. While the Denver office is currently closed due to the pandemic, our community in the local area is still active and always looking forward to our next happy hour, group hike, trivia night, and more.
Appian also plans inclusively for events and activities outside of day-to-day work. Our annual Customer Success Hackathon has competing teams from all over the world. Our employee led affinity groups create many opportunities for connection through social, education, and outreach activities. For example,The Denver team raised hundreds of dollars (along with 60+ other teams globally for a total of over $10k) as part of the AppianWellness Get Active, Give Back Challenge, supporting United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery efforts.
I am grateful to be part of a community that recognizes the value of remote contribution and takes steps to enable it from those physically distant. Working remotely may not be for everyone or every organization, but if there’s a place to give it a shot, Appian is that place. If you're interested in remote work, check out our open remote opportunities and apply today!