Career advancement for remote employees

How a virutal employee grew his career

3 min read

March 2022

Ten white ladders and one red ladder against blue wall

All around the world more and more job seekers are looking for increased flexibility in their work schedules, leading to an uptick in remote work options. Job seekers aren’t content simply working from home, they want to feel as though they’re part of the company’s culture and eligible for advancement opportunities. Many companies—including Progressive—are embracing the change to remote roles, offering fully remote positions and some in-office hybrid roles. And Progressive continues to encourage work advancement opportunities for all employees, including those who have only known what it’s like to work for Progressive remotely.

Before coming to Progressive, Dre commuted 45 minutes to work each day, managing an insurance agency as a financial advisor. His daily commute wasn’t a problem until his wife required surgery and needed him to be closer to home to assist in her recovery. Dre began looking for remote work and found a role with Progressive in the Customer Relationship Management business group. The role, Dre decided, would only be temporary. But shortly after becoming acclimated in his role, Dre fell in love with Progressive’s culture and the career growth opportunities he found here.

Working from home

When Dre began his role at Progressive, the first and only time he set foot on the Detroit, Michigan, campus was to turn in paperwork. All of his onboarding, training, and role-related work were done online. While he was excited to begin working from home, he didn’t think he’d continue to do so once his wife recovered. During the first six months of working from home, Dre began to struggle.

Working in the office afforded him a team environment and lunch buddies. Working from home meant he needed to create a self-starter routine and find a way to feel connected to others around him even though he was no longer physically surrounded by coworkers. Once Dre mastered his self-starter routine, he began using his lunch breaks to take day dates with his wife to break up the monotony in his day. He joined Employee Resource Groups to expand his network, and what he once thought was going to be a temporary job began to feel like the start of a career. Dre began looking for ways to advance.

A culture designed for success

In the time between helping customers on the phone, Dre would use Progressive’s professional development website Own It to improve the skills he needed in his current role and to prepare for future roles. He spent time networking with colleagues across business units, creating opportunities to build relationships, and his efforts paid off.

Dre was promoted from his customer relationship management role to a customer preservation role, with his sights set on a leadership role. It wasn’t long before his hard work paid off again as Dre was promoted into a supervisory position within the Multi-Product Operations business group. In this role, Dre supervises 11 direct reports. According to him, “There isn’t a job you can’t do at Progressive. Everyone is super helpful and welcoming. The culture here is designed for everyone to succeed.”

The sky’s the limit

Dre’s career path at Progressive demonstrates how advancements for virtual employees aren’t just possible but encouraged here. As more and more employees are working virtually, the need to open roles within companies that weren’t previously considered virtual is increasing the avenues in which virtual employees are able to advance.

Things have come full circle for Dre during his time at Progressive. He took on his first role here so that he could be near his wife as she went through her recovery. Now they're work-from-home coworkers as they both work for Progressive. The future is bright for Dre. He’d like to shift from a supervisory role to one within the Human Resources team, a path that wasn’t always available as a virtual role. For now, Dre is happy to grow in his role and expand his Progressive network.

Andre Harris began his Progressive journey in 2018 as a Customer Service Representative. In 2021, he accepted a role as a supervisor. Prior to Progressive he managed a local independent agency. He is a Detroit Tigers fan, enjoys good books, great conversations, movies, and spending time with his wife, two children, and two dogs.

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