Kris Srajer of rural Tampa has been working an online job for 20 years.
She quit her job doing billing for a company in Omaha when she married Jim Srajer and joined him at Tampa, where he was farming.
A year later, her former boss called and asked her if she would like to come back to her job and do it remotely by computer.
She accepted, and now, 20 years later, she is still on the job. She tests software, checks billings for accuracy, and makes sure programming is correct before it goes to customers.
When her two sons were little, Srajer took them to day care so she could concentrate on her job. Cole, 16, now is a junior at Centre High School. Grant, 20, is a junior at Kansas State University.
Srajer said little has changed since she started working from home. She takes her job seriously and does everything required to make it work. Sometimes, this means getting up in the middle of the night to fulfill a timely task for the company.
She is at her desk by 7 a.m. and often works 11-hour days, so she has a lot of overtime. She always is available to take phone calls.
She said she is paid well and has good benefits. The company provides family insurance, and she has a 401k account. She gets four weeks of paid vacation every year.
Once or twice a year, she goes to Omaha to spend a day or more at the company’s headquarters. That arrangement works well because it provides a convenient time for the family to visit parents and grandparents.
She enjoys having no commute and being able to eat lunch with her husband, either at home or at a nearby restaurant. Her bosses work with her to allow her, most of the time, to take in her sons’ extracurricular activities.
“I’ve had to miss events because of my job,” she said, “but keeping the job is worth it.”
She is hoping to be able to work for the company until retirement but can’t be sure if that will happen.
“I would love to retire from this job, but you never know,” she said. “Sometimes companies change or have layoffs.”
She said not everyone could do what she does.
“It takes a special person to work from home,” she said. “You have to keep focused on your job. But when you appreciate it, you don’t want to lose it or take advantage.”