By JILL SANFORD | Moonshine Ink
Rachel Levin is a Tahoe-based telecommuter and brand engagement manager for Rustic Pathways, a global travel company for students. For her, telecommuting has been a dream job — with a paradox of flexibility.
“We got to do sort of a ‘summer Friday’ this summer, where our manager allowed us to take off whenever on Friday as long as our work is done,” says Levin. “But then of course, it seems like on Fridays we have all been on deadlines, so everyone has been working until 6 or 7 on the one day we’re allowed to finish up early.”
Levin is one of the many telecommuters choosing to make the Truckee-Tahoe area her workplace and playground, not just for its mountains but for its major airports and interstates as well.
“I chose Tahoe for friends, access to the mountains, to sunshine, biking, skiing,” Levin explains. “And also, I travel quite a bit, and believe it or not flying in and out of Jackson, Wyoming was not cheap. Being closer to Reno makes a lot of sense. It’s one of the few ski towns with this kind of accessibility.”
Flexibility is a huge perk of the job for Levin, who has lived in mountain towns across the West and plans to relocate again after the winter season. But the nature of remote work dictates that she is just as accommodating to her employers as they are to her.
“There’s a lot of flexibility needed on my end as well,” Levin says. “Working in California now I have a lot of 8 o’clock meetings, but if I am visiting my parents in Boston, it means that I might have meetings at 8 p.m. that night because it’s a 5 p.m. meeting on the West Coast.”
For this reason it’s imperative that she is organized. She checks her schedule the night before her workday to plan accordingly, wakes each day at 6 a.m. to exercise, and sticks to the same routine whenever possible. As relaxed and laid back as the remote work seems from the outside, Levin approaches both her job and her personal life in Tahoe with a work-hard, play-hard mentality.
“I feel really fortunate to work for a company and then also on a team where work-life balance is absolutely prioritized,” she says. “The expectation is that you get all your work done and you do it well. But beyond that, there’s definitely an expectation that we have our own passions and we’re working on our own projects outside of work.”
Levin has worked for Rustic Pathways in a variety of roles and around the world since 2013. She has held her current position as a full-time member of the marketing team for the past three years. She lives in Tahoe City and works out of the Tahoe Mill Collective, a co-working space located at the base of Alpine Meadows.
For Levin and other Tahoe telecommuters who seem to have mastered the balance between a steady career and mountain life, there’s a fair amount of hustle and grit that goes on behind the scenes. Her day is full, as seen below.
Rise and shine to walk to a workout class.
Bike or drive from Tahoe City to the Mill.
Begin working, depending on what is in store for the day.
Throughout the day
Get coffee and take breaks with other telecommuters posted up at the Mill.
Depending on her workload, meeting schedules, and deadlines, Levin leaves work for the day.
Again, depending on how much time is left in the day, Levin might go for a bike ride or head home.
Levin checks her schedule for the following day and notes any early meetings or schedule changes.