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At Choice Bank, we recognized the importance of both remote and in-office work and created a unique work environment that blends the best of both worlds.

Creating Guardrails for a Collaborative and Effective Remote Work Environment

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By Jess Lupkes, Choice Bank SVP of Human Resources

Prior to 2020, Choice had no structured remote work program, with fewer than five team members working remotely. However, in response to the changing landscape of work brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized the need to adapt and create a work environment that accommodates both remote and in-office work seamlessly.

After years of experimentation, it’s clear remote work is here to stay. At Choice Bank, we recognized the importance of both remote and in-office work and created a unique work environment that blends the best of both worlds. As of today, we are proud to have 158 Virtual Team members spread across 25 states, constituting over 30% of our workforce. This ‘Virtual Team’ has become our largest ‘location,’ reflecting the shift we’ve made in embracing remote work.

This innovative approach allows us to foster collaboration, attract top talent and, most importantly, prioritize our customers. Choice Bank’s forward-thinking work model enables our employees to excel in their roles while maintaining our strong company culture.


Balancing Remote and In-Office Work

At Choice Bank, we understand not all tasks or roles require a physical presence in the office. Our work model carefully considers the needs of our customers and market demands when determining whether employees should work remotely or in the office.

By evaluating each case individually, we ensure that our employees have the flexibility to choose the most effective work environment for their specific responsibilities. For instance, certain tasks like processing electronic forms can be efficiently handled remotely, allowing our customers to access our services conveniently. By embracing this approach, we can streamline operations, optimize our workforce and make our employees’ lives easier.


Cultivating a Strong Company Culture

While remote work offers flexibility, we firmly believe that meaningful communication and relationships are critical to success. At Choice Bank, we emphasize building personal connections and encourage employees to pick up the phone instead of relying solely on digital text forms of communication. By engaging in direct conversations either in person or through video phone technology, we foster stronger relationships with our customers, instilling confidence that they will receive personalized attention rather than automated responses. Additionally, we prioritize hiring individuals who are passionate about their work and the organization, ensuring that our employees are motivated to deliver exceptional service, whether they are in the office or working remotely. Furthermore, we provide our team with the necessary tools and support to manage their work-life balance effectively, mitigating burnout and promoting overall well-being.


Embracing the Future

Remote work will undoubtedly be a significant component of how we do business in the future, and Choice Bank is leading the way by blending remote and in-office environments to create an optimal work experience for team members, while still prioritizing the customers. We understand that different roles and sectors within our organization thrive under varying work conditions. We have created a culture of trust and support by empowering our employees to make informed decisions and holding them accountable for their performance, regardless of their physical location. As the work landscape continues to evolve, Choice Bank remains committed to embracing technological advancements while prioritizing the needs of our customers and the well-being of our exceptional team.

Choice Bank’s innovative work model, combining remote and in-office environments, demonstrates our commitment to adaptability, productivity and exceptional customer service. By valuing the needs of our employees and customers alike, we have created a dynamic workplace that positions us for continued success.


Written by:

Jess Lupkes
SVP of Human Resources
Virtual Team – Illinois