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Work Your Way with Sarah Pearson, Business Manager at Spark Change

Work Your Way is our new blog series in which individuals give their honest answers about how they like to work when working remotely. From how to create and maintain a work culture when working remotely, to how they best like to work remotely, they share their insights and top tips.

Sarah Pearson, Business Manager at Spark Change gives us an insight into what a company that was formed completely remotely looks like, and how to track progress over multiple projects and disciplines. Spark Change is a high growth Fintech startup founded by executives in clean energy and technology, with backing from some of the world’s leading financial institutions.

What is the biggest advantage to the company of working remotely?

As we have team members based in different parts of the world, it's easier when working from home to start early in order to have meetings across time zones when there's no commute involved. It has also allowed our team, most of whom are parents, to work flexibly around their family commitments and its really important to us to facilitate that.

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Remote-Friendly or Remote-First?

Remote First. All employees at Spark Change in the US and the UK were interviewed, hired, and onboarded remotely towards the end of the first UK lockdown! We hope to evolve into a remote-friendly employer when the circumstances allow, as we're all really keen to have some face to face collaboration and social interaction but continue to support flexible working.

How do you keep remote work visible?

We have a weekly stand-up on Monday afternoons to discuss priorities for the week and ensure we're aware of how each of us can contribute to others' achieving theirs and make sure we're aligned, and in Q3 of 2020 we rolled out use of Monday.com which has been a great visual way for us to track progress over multiple projects and disciplines.

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How do you maintain and create a company culture when working remotely?

Given that we formed as a team completely remotely, this has been a really interesting challenge. We have twice daily 15-min video coffee breaks in the team calendar which anyone can attend, use Slack to stay in touch (and encourage water-cooler conversation) and play some games/share music. We've held a couple of fully remote social events, and created a Google map with pins showing the approximate location of each team member, encouraging those near each other to take a socially distanced walking meeting together where they can do so safely and without needing to travel.

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A big thank you to Sarah for her honest answers and insights into Spark Change. Make sure you check out Spark Change.

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