Blog & News 3 min read

Annapurna introduces: Working remotely

Recently we had a chat with Elise Vachot and Florian Felsenreich.

Elise works as our Marketing and Design Lead and Flo as Manager for our ERUPT Customer Success Team. With Elise in France and Flo in Austria, it was interesting to hear their side of the story on how they are finding working fully remote.

Elise’s Annapurna story:

Elise started working at Annapurna in 2018 as an intern in the Marketing team. Elise studied international business and languages (English and German) in France and part of her master’s studies were dedicated to getting international work experience. Elise got in touch with a recruiter based in France who specialised in helping students to find internships.

“Little did I know that I’d be starting my career in central London, where life is busy from mornings to evenings, in a fast-paced work environment, filled with inspiring people from all over the world.”

In March 2020, when covid hit, it became difficult. Elise wanted to be with her family during these uncertain times. “I thought it may be a couple of months, but did not predict the changes that were going to happen”.

Elise out for breakfast with Marke-team

Elise said that when she eventually came back to London, where her flat and all her belongings were left, it was a matter of time before she felt exposed to covid again. “Another lockdown was in the rumours, so I asked Dan my manager and the Directors if I could properly work from home back in France”.

“Dan’s words were: ‘We’ll find a solution’. It seems right for me to continue working at Annapurna, especially as we had already built a very trusting relationship and I knew the business so well.”

“I was so grateful for the opportunity to work where I felt safe.”

Elise works using a company set up called Remote which is a global HR solution for distributed teams based in France. This setup has made it easy for her to carry on as normal.

We asked Elise if she ever feels lonely…

Elise said that the whole team works hybrid (at least twice a week from home), and are just a ring away. Elise explained her multiple catch-ups during the week, where her team avoid talking about work to entertain each other with the latest food recipes and fun weekend stories.

“I believe it is important to keep these interactions with my team, and also to make sure everyone is in a good mental space.”

Elise said that working remotely can sometimes increase the sense of loneliness or demotivation when all social aspects of being in an office are non-existent. But, with these calls and social events such as the QSM’s and Christmas celebrations that we host, she can get the balance just right for her.

“I have managed to create my own comfortable workspace, but also make sure that I change my environment regularly. I go for walks at lunch time and meet my friends after work, just like I’d have gone into London with my colleagues”.

Elise visiting in Summer for the QSM

“I also recently discovered a co-working space where I enjoy going to meet new faces, and discuss with fellow professionals working remotely or independently.”

Elise’s advice:
  • Build a good trusting relationship between your manager and your team
  • It may not be for everyone – so it’s a case of trial and error, adapting and what works for you.
  • Learn the company culture well and try to involve yourself as much as you can.

Flo’s Annapurna story:

Flo moved to London in 2015 with the idea of having a marketing role, but after his interview with Annapurna, Flo said that he absolutely loved the vibe and clicked with the managers.

At the time that Flo joined Annapurna, there were only 30 employees. Flo quickly became a team lead and then a manager for the ERUPT success team a year later.. as the business grew, so did Flo’s role in ERUPT. Flo was lucky to have been there from the start so naturally advanced progression.

After the first year of covid, Flo and his partner decided that it was the best decision for them to move back home due to missing their lives back in Vienna. The managers at Annapurna had no issue with Flo doing so, as they trusted his work ethic would remain no matter where he was located.

“Everyone was already working remotely, so for me it was an easy transition to work remotely back in my home country.”

Flo got to start an hour before his UK colleagues, which even made it easier to align with German clients in the evening.

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The compromise for Flo working back at home was that he would still come to London to catch up with his team every 4-8 weeks.

We asked Flo if he ever feels he lacks control whilst working remotely as a manager…

We changed the way we interact and the way we track our goals.

“Nothing can replace face-to-face conversations, going for a coffee and having more informal chats with people.”

“You can’t replace these conversations with teams calls as you get a certain level of fatigue, and it’s not the same feeling.”

Since covid, Flo has said that it is easier to set clear KPIs for employees working from home, without having to micromanage them. “It has given managers and their employees much stronger self-confidence.”

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Flo’s Advice:
  • Get yourself a good structure in your day – at home, you get very easily distracted and being sidetracked on YouTube is something that happens really quickly.
  • Incentivise yourself with little tasks, get them done and give yourself a break.
  • Set yourself time apart to split up your day.
  • Go outside – a run or a walk at lunch completely changes the way how you can handle the rest of your day.

Please click here to check out the roles that we have on offer at Annapurna.

Feel free to connect with Elise Vachot and Florian Felsenreich on LinkedIn.

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