Where in The World Is VNL?

Visible Network Labs is based in Denver, Colorado. While many of us reside in the Denver area, we are a fully remote company with a sizeable portion of our team working across the United States, including Hawaii and the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico.

We wanted to let a few of our team members share a little bit about where they live, and how they feel about working fully remote. Read on to get some insights into life at VNL from Boston, MA; New York, NY; San Juan, PR; and Denver, CO!

Dr. Amanda Beacom,

VP of Research and Data Science

Where do you live, and what’s it like living there?

I live in Boston, and more specifically I live in South Boston, or “Southie,” a traditionally Irish Catholic neighborhood. I love this neighborhood because it’s very close to the ocean and full of history – I live across the street from the site of an American Revolutionary War victory, for example! When it’s not snowing or in the single digits, I love to take advantage of the amazing walking and jogging paths by the ocean, or just walk around my immediate neighborhood looking at old Victorian architecture.

I’m not a native Bostonian – sort of the opposite, actually, I’m from rural California. So when we first moved to Boston it took me a while to adjust to lots of things — snow, snow in April, crazy sports fans, hyper-aggressive drivers, the lack of good Mexican food, etc. But it’s grown on me tremendously and now it feels like home. Like many Bostonians I appreciate the four distinct seasons, and also the pride Bostonians take in their city and culture, especially during times of adversity, like the Boston Marathon bombing.

Thoughts on working fully remote?
I miss seeing my VNL colleagues in person, but I appreciate the flexibility and time-saving aspects of working remotely. Despite my best efforts, I do get my time zones mixed up occasionally, and always have to have two calendars going, one on Mountain Time and one on Eastern Time. But I like working on Mountain Time because I’m more of a night owl than a morning person. I like having an extra hour or two of quiet, heads-down time in the morning and then focusing on my meetings in the afternoon.
 

Nawell Valerio,

Administrative Manager

Where do you live, and what’s it like living there?

I live in New York City, and I am an NYC native, born and raised! Living in here is usually very exciting. There is always something to do and somewhere to explore. I have been lucky enough to ride both a toboggan and a ferris wheel in the middle of Times Square. There are countless theaters and venues to see amazing performances in every genre you could possibly imagine. There is always something fun and seasonal to do. In the summer, I enjoy jumping on the ferry and going to Governor’s Island, enjoying the amazing views, hammocks, bike riding, the longest slide in NYC and the many activities held there.

I also enjoy hiking my local parks, The Cloisters and Inwood Hill. Both have great trails ranging in difficulty, featuring amazing views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, and the Palisades that are filled with history. Some of the trees in these parks are original to Manhattan Island and are over 400 years old. The site of the sale of Manhattan Island to the Dutch is in Inwood Hill Park where you can still find caves used by the Lenape Native American Tribe.  Many battles predating the revolutionary war were fought right in my neighborhood. I enjoy living in such a world of juxtapositions. The modernity and fast pace the whole world associates with NYC is very much true, but the city is also steeped in history.

Thoughts on working fully remote?
I am enjoying it. With some minor exceptions, there are less distractions and interruptions. Working on Mountain Time while on the East Coast allows me to start my day earlier, and get a jump on work things before our company workday starts. And without a commute that can easily extend into a couple hours of your day while taking public transportation, it feels like you get time back.
 

Alena Lidey,

Customer Success Manager

Where do you live, and what’s it like living there?

I am currently living in Puerto Rico, and great question!  As far as weather, it’s not a “what is it generally like”, it’s more at “what time” is it typically like. The warmer temperatures are about the only consistent aspect of the island’s weather. It can be sunny then pouring (to the point that if you are driving you cannot see the road), and then sunny again as if it there wasn’t just torrential downpour. However, this can be nice when I am planning a beach day and it’s raining. Instead of giving up on the beach, I just wait out the rain and then continue on with my beach day. The beaches are breathtaking and full of people from all parts of the world and all walks of life.

The food is something that cannot be described, rather experienced. The foods are often fried and dipped in a perfectly balanced mayo-ketchup combo. The rice and bean dishes are savory, plantains concocted in various forms, and the desserts are decadent.

Thoughts on working fully remote?

Working remotely has been an adjustment from my previous onsite work experiences. However, I am very grateful for the benefits. I enjoy my short commute from my bedroom to my home office space. I enjoy and I appreciate being able to eat when I am actually hungry instead of during designated breaks. I enjoy being able to use my time efficiently for work and my personal life. The difference in time zones has actually helped me as I have been able to enjoy my mornings for myself – getting my workouts in, studying for my nutrition course and spending some time in the sun before jumping online for work.

Will Jacobson,

Business Development Specialist

Where do you live, and what’s it like living there?

I live in Denver, CO, and I really enjoy living here! There are four beautiful, distinct seasons, and as a person who is fond of winter, I feel I am in the right place. I’m not the only one apparently, as even in the short couple of years I’ve lived here, the city has grown and changed substantially. But as Denver grows, it doesn’t seem to have lost its friendly and welcoming nature. Speaking of nature, I’m originally from New York City, a place not necessarily known for its friendliness (I beg to differ) or its rugged wilderness.

It’s difficult to compare the two, but to go hiking or to escape to green spaces when living in NYC can be a chore, whereas in Denver, it’s hard not to get outdoors! With so many beautiful, uncrowded, and accessible places close by, it’s easy to go to the mountains on weekends or even an after work hike during summer, when the sun sets later in the evening. It’s not hard to see why Colorado has an edge in this as the state (104,094 sq mi) is almost double the size of New York State (54,555 sq mi), while having a population (5,773,714 people) that far less than half  of New York State’s (20,201,249), and less than New York City by itself (8,820,000). 

Denver has been making great strides in their food offerings, which is a topic near and dear to my heart, and something that is much needed! Food is one of the only things I really miss about home (my family too, I guess). It has been really cool to see Denver’s culinary scene develop.The folks here possess an unrelenting entrepreneurial spirit, which I love. People from many different backgrounds come to Colorado and take risks to bring their ideas to life, and it is clear that the city and state encourage and support that. I check out new eateries, stores, and events as often as I can, and have even found some great food out in the mountains! 

Thoughts on working fully remote?

Working remotely has been going well! Like so many others, in the past I’ve been used to getting up and commuting to work, and coming home. While I do enjoy saving time and gas, I occasionally miss coming and going, and seeing my co-workers. Visible Network Labs works entirely remotely, and we make full use of communication, meeting and organizational tools. We’re always keeping each other up to speed with Slack messages, having company-wide, group, and one-on-one meetings on Zoom, scheduling meetings and tasks on Google Calendar, and staying organized in Notion. These tools enable us to work incredibly effectively and cultivate a community feeling when our team is working from locations all across the United States and Puerto Rico. I am looking forward to our company retreat coming in the spring/summer, where I and the rest of our Denver-based team can get the chance to host all of our out-of-state team members!

Be sure to stay tuned to our Visible Us Blog for more product updates and VNL Team content!

About the Author: Will Jacobson

Will Jacobson is the Business Development Specialist on VNL’s Marketing and Communications Team. Originally from New York City, Will loves living in Colorado and all the outdoor life it has to offer. He’s also a pretty big foodie!

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