Going remote: How has the GoCardless team adapted to a new way of working?
By Chloe DormandApr 20203 min read
We spoke to some of the GoCardless team to find out how they’ve adapted to working from home and to take a sneak peak into their home office set up.
The GoCardless team has been fully remote since Monday 16 March, when offices closed as part of precautions to keep employees safe and ensure the continuation of our service during these uncertain times.
At GoCardless, we’re lucky enough to be able to work from home as and when we need to but having the whole team working remotely has meant adapting quickly and finding new ways to working,
We spoke to some of the team to find out how they’ve adapted to working from home and see what their new office set up looks like.
What has been the biggest challenge since moving to remote working?
Chris Sinjakli, Senior Site Reliability Engineer:
“Not losing that feeling of working in a team has been tough. We’re all used to sitting together round the same bank of desks, getting lunch together, and hanging out on Friday afternoons when our work is done.
You want to keep that sense of being a team when you’re working remotely, but instead of getting it almost for free it’s something you have to make an active effort towards.”
Sian Sidaway, Talent Partner:
“The biggest challenge is feeling isolated. I am at home by myself during the day as my housemate works for the NHS. I have ensured that each day I have lunch over zoom with a different friend or family member.”
What has been the biggest lesson while adapting to working remotely?
Abdulmusawwir Sanni, Software Engineer:
“The fact that working from home means that I can't readily engage in spontaneous brainstorming sessions has me realise and appreciate how much of a part it plays in my role as a software engineer.”
“The biggest lesson so far has been that trying to perfectly replicate how we work together in-person isn’t that effective.
For example, in the first couple of weeks, we tried having long-running Zoom calls just as we did in the office. As we’ve got further in, we’ve found it’s often more useful to share ideas in writing, have people read them and leave comments, then get together in a call when we think we’re ready to make a decision.
I’m sure my friends who’ve worked at remote companies for a long time have their heads in their hands at how obvious this stuff is but you don’t really think about it until you try it yourself!”
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without while working from home?
“I need to have my windows open and fresh air coming in. Even if it is cold I just put more layers on. Fresh air and light is so important for me.”
Rupert Brenninkmeijer, Growth Marketing:
Jess Summerfield, Banking & Scheme Development Lead:
“I bought a gaming chair for £1 a couple of years ago on Amazon after a pricing error. I've never gamed but liked the idea of a fully reclining comfy chair with footrest...it’s the best £1 I've ever spent.”
How do you keep focused?
“I make sure I take small breaks and spend them building tunnels, forts and sofa slides!”
“Getting into a routine and making sure I stick to it. Without the distractions of being in the office, you can get a lot done in a short space of time. I've found it most productive to work with no distractions for solid blocks of 30-60 mins, and then have regular short breaks, rather than only stopping for lunch.”
What are your top tips for keeping a work life balance whilst working from home?
"Having a regular time when you start and finish working every day. It is very easy to just keep on working since you don't really have to get up and catch a train to get home. I deliberately unplug my laptop from the screen, to signal me switching off for the day.”
“1. Packing away all my work things each night so that I'm not tempted to log back on, and it also signals that I've 'left' work to go home (= there's now space on the kitchen table for dinner).
2. Making sure my day includes regular chats with others during breaks, whether it's friends, family, or work.
3. Regular exercise to get some fresh air and break up the time spent indoors.”
What do you miss most about the office?
“Being able to spontaneously "jump" in front of a whiteboard to brainstorm ideas with my team.”
“The people! And Waitrose’ daily sushi sample.”
“Being in the office means I only visit the fridge once daily. At home, it's constant. Other than that, not much to be honest!”
“I miss the human connection. Body language plays a big role and it is definitely harder to emote digitally. I would love a hug!
“It’s a huge cliche, but I miss the people. No amount of Zoom calls replaces bumping into someone in the kitchen and having a chat over coffee or lunch.”