Life@Convelio - Chelsea, Operations Manager

Chelsea joined Convelio in 2018 as an Operations Analyst in the UK team. In this interview, she talks about her experience switching to full-remote and learning how to manage work & entertain team spirit in the middle of the pandemic.

Where do you come from?

I am half English and half Filipino. I moved to the UK when I was 12 years old where I grew up in Bath, Somerset. After graduation from Kingston University in 2017, I have lived in London since.

Chelsea picture

What do you do at Convelio?

I originally started out at Convelio as an Operations Analyst. In January 2020, I was then promoted to Operations Manager in the Last Mile Team which is about taking care of our exports. I now take care of the daily operations in the Last Mile Team, liaising with Customer services, and the First Mile Team to better improve our processes.

What were you afraid of when all Convelio team-members started overnight working fully remotely during the pandemic in March 2020?

The issue I was most concerned about was that the Operations team would not be working as closely and personally with another, as collaboration and being able to support one another face to face was part of our daily routine in an office setting. Of course, I miss working with them, we can’t sit next to each other but even on remote we make sure that everything is going well and we still communicate a lot! Working fully remote, I was also afraid that we'd lose our friendly atmosphere, as we used to grab lunch and share breaks at the office.

However, the UK team members still talk daily with one another, and have a once a week meeting to catch up with new business, meet the newcomers, share updates and talk about the week ahead. There are a lot of newcomers, so there’s a lot of catch up! We are really here for each other, we answer questions of newcomers, support them by sharing screens and training them with technical issues. It’s definitely not the same atmosphere compared to before Covid but it’s a nice one too!

How do you now support one another when you all work remotely?

Whether in remote or not, I’m able to train the newcomers and coordinate the shipments with the other teams: we talk a lot through the internal communications tools such as Slack for calls, Google Meet and Whereby for video calls. We also use Front emails’ tags and exchange a lot in the Slack team-dedicated channels. On the other hand, the team organizes events to cheer us up and bring us together despite the current Covid-19 situation making us work apart.

There is not a lot of opportunity to meet because of the health situation/country restrictions/weather. We seized every opportunity! For example, At the end of August, we had a team gathering in Central London. We brought food, wine and pizzas to have a picnic at the park!

What helped you make this switch to full-remote?

There are a lot of communication channels at Convelio i.e. slack, front, whereby etc. Convelio implemented a “Coffee Buddy” system: each week we are randomly paired with someone from Convelio and the idea is to make time during the week to connect. It helps build bridges between people from different teams working in different offices (London, Paris and New York). Besides, I already had an office set up at home, so it was good to have my ‘own’ working space that was not just the kitchen dining table or bedroom desk. It was nice to have it separated.

After a survey sent to all team members in june 2020, Convelio has decided to give full flexibility to all its team members to choose when and where they want to work, no matter their department, seniority or time spent at the company. What is the best part of being able to work on a flex-remote model according to you?

I live away from the city and the remote-first policy is the opportunity to have extra sleep in the morning! Because I live away from the office, being able to work remotely allows me to save time in commuting (and also money from transport cards!). I like to work in the comfort of my own home. I had an extra room I turned into my office with the lockdown in March. I like to have my own space. Working from home allows me to spend more time with my friends living next to me. Right after work, we can make plans to get together following a day of work without the time spent in commuting. The best location I worked remotely from is Kingston, I also worked from friends’ places! Working on a flex-remote model gives us more flexibility.

Chelsea’s experience at Convelio seems appealing? Come and have a look at our jobs & internship opportunities and join the Convelio adventure!

December 29, 2020