Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 66

“All the hiking, an hour to the coast. It’s a lifestyle choice,” he said. “I’ve been pretty fortunate that Cisco has had the technology to be able to have distributed workforces for a long time. We’ve always talked about the idea that work is an activity, not a place. What Covid did was just accelerate the change.”

Andrew Kalloch made two moves in pursuit of his ideal Oregon remote work life. The Senior Manager of Global Public Policy at Airbnb graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009 and started his career in New York City. But Kalloch is a small-towner at heart, as is his spouse, Jenna, born and raised in Pleasant Hill, about 10 miles southeast of Eugene.

In 2016, the couple moved from NYC to Portland, a city that allowed them to continue their high-profile policy work while starting a family and performing public service in a community that felt like home. The onset of the pandemic then spurred them to make the move that they had always intended: They headed down Interstate 5 to Eugene.

“We no longer had an open office as a grounding reason to be in Portland, and that was certainly a consideration when we moved down here,” Kalloch said.

Now his spouse has a job at the University of Oregon, they have a third child on the way, and Kalloch has no trouble communicating with his Airbnb colleagues around the world. His family is grateful to be back in the Willamette Valley, where their children are 5th generation southwest Oregonians.

“So many people are using this work from anywhere, anytime shift to go to places where they want to live,” Kalloch said. “Eugene is a fantastic place to raise kids, so if you can figure out a way to do your job and live here or a place like it, my feeling is that all those factors just contribute to not needing to worry about what’s next after that.”

Stevenson, the Salesforce executive assistant, feels the same way.

“Honestly, a year and a half ago I did not see this coming, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me,” she said. “Sometimes it’s okay just to let things happen and take that leap of faith.”