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Remote Work Spotlight: A Natural Career Progression for Johan

For some people, working remotely just comes as a natural transition in their careers. This is the case for Johan Draaisma, Access Server Lead at OpenVPN. While living in the Netherlands, Johan owned an IT company where he would drive to customer sites to help with their computer infrastructure. But as the internet became faster, he was able to do a lot of the infrastructure management remotely, saving him time and headaches from sitting in traffic too long. Once he got a taste of the remote life, he knew he wanted to do that permanently — when OpenVPN offered him a job, it was an easy decision. He was passionate about the product and could work fully remotely.

How does remote work benefit Johan?

Johan with his team mates, Elfredy and David

“One of the biggest benefits, besides not sitting in traffic, is that my days are more flexible.” Johan goes on to say that he is still held accountable to meetings and being available often, but he has the autonomy to schedule his day the way he sees fit. He mentioned another benefit of being less distracted while he’s working, “there is peace and quiet so I can concentrate on what I’m doing but everyone I work with is just a chat or a call away. And of course, my cat is happy to have me around.”

It’s very common for people to mention flexibility as a benefit to remote work. In fact, it’s one of the top perks of working remotely. But working remotely can take some adjustment. Johan mentions it can be tough to turn off work mode if you aren’t careful. “You have to strike a balance between doing your job conscientiously and taking time for yourself. Some people have fallen into the trap of working too much because it’s so easy to do so when work is at home.” Despite this, Johan has found a great work-life balance, and is now much happier than working 9-5 in an office.

Remote Work Culture

“We’re an international company so we have to keep in touch and collaborate with colleagues in Europe, America, and Asia. Pretty much status quo for us.” Johan goes on to mention how COVID-19 specifically has affected the culture in a positive manner. “Coronavirus has caused a huge boost in interest in our solutions, so we had to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. Now that we’re on the other side, it’s created a camaraderie of sorts, and a sense of accomplishment within the team.”

How Access Server Makes It Possible

Remote work is only available to Johan because of network security solutions, specifically secure remote access. It’s a given that Johan uses OpenVPN’s business VPN, Access Server. As the Access Server lead, Johan often needs to tap into company resources and documents and must do so through a VPN. A VPN also allows Johan to work from anywhere, whether he is attending an OpenVPN Hackathon, or at an industry conference, he is securely connected.

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