Explorers of Beauty, Business and Sustainability issues from the inside.

S2EP4 How To Look After Your Team

We are sharing our tips and tricks on how we maintain a relatively normal 'working from home' environment.

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Dominika: It’s been an interesting period of time, we’re right in the throws of COVID-19 and self isolation. A lot of things are changing and as business owners, this affects us in so many different ways. We just wanted to dive into what we’re doing. I know we have a lot of small business owners, but also people that are just interested in different coping mechanisms during periods of staying at home. We just wanted to share what we’re doing, it’s not 100% correct, but we’re just trying to find our way through and figure out how we can best engage with our team and keep driving the business forward when a lot of our stores are shut and we can’t go into the office

Elsie: When we’ve been engaging with the community on Clean Beauty Insiders and BYBI, we’ve had an overwhelming response from people asking to see positivity and things like: tips on how to keep yourself healthy and happy in already uncertain times. We’re putting together a mini self care series. We’ll be interviewing tons of different people, there’ll be bite size snippets that you can either watch or listen to, to help you through. 

Dominika: As a small business owner or anyone managing a team, there’s a huge responsibility to ensure the wellbeing and mental health of your team. It’s a big responsibility because not only do you need to think about yourself and your family, but then you’ve got your team. It is important to provide a structure for your team, to continue to uplift them and give them positive news that will make sure that they don’t feel lost.

We have a few tips that we’re just going to talk through that will include, how we’re structuring the days, how the team is structured at the moment and  then we will finish with a couple of tips regarding staying sane from a personal point of view. 

1. We started working from home last Monday, so this is the end of our second week of working from home; which involves everybody working remotely. We are very lucky that our team is set up and able to work remotely, this allows us to carry on the business as normal. We are also lucky that our operational production side of things is still able to work in the north of England so our products can still be produced and sent out as well. Our warehouse is still functioning so at the moment we count ourselves very lucky. There are 12 of us in the team and what we decided to do from day one was daily check-ins. This is because it can feel pretty lonely when you suddenly switch from an  office in central London, which is small and very collaborative. Also from a business owner’s perspective to be completely transparent, one of the things that we’re mindful of is maintaining productivity. What we decided to do was put into place a morning and an evening call. We’ve been doing this now every single day for the past two weeks. Each week we have a different structure of the way that that call is managed and the purpose of that call, rather than us all just falling into the habit of having the call. We mix things up every week so that the team has a different stimulus and something different to be thinking about.

Dominika: I think one of the things that the team has been really enjoying, is the sharing environment that we’re trying to create. They get so much more visibility about the whole business. We have our finance team come on, we have our NPD and Chemists talk about what they’re doing and engaging with people. So I think the whole team is just really enjoying understanding the other parts of the business. 

2. The second thing that we’ve been doing as well as keeping that team structure in place and making sure that as founders we’re still driving output, is being mindful of the fact that a lot of people know working from home results in things feeling quite different. Everyone is probably not in touch with as many people as they would be on a day to day basis. All of our team are based in London as well, most of us have stayed here either in shared houses or living with partners. So dropping the amount of human contact time that you have in a day can be a bit of a shock to some people. It can lead to people feeling a little bit lonely and a little bit out of touch with the community. To combat that, the second thing that we’ve been doing is, arranging non-work communication. We have a ‘Tea at 3’ that goes on a few times a week and then we’re also doing house party drinks on a Friday. 

Dominika: Building that support network around the team is just so important because we usually have that in the office and what we’re trying to recreate is a situation where people feel like they’ve still got that community, that support and structure. We also encourage our team to speak to each other via calls and video calls.

Elsie: I think that the key to this that I’ve found is to simulate normality! Providing people with things that feel like a set up of a remote office is really key. 

3. For us, we want to be in constant conversations with as many people as we can, to get a sense of what’s happening in the business market, what’s happening in the US and what’s happening in China. This helps us understand what is happening with the movement of goods. We are also using this time to keep in touch with our investors and potentially find new investors. It is important to give investors the impression that you are a strong leader; that you’re calm and that you make rational decisions in times that are more challenging. Also from a new investment perspective, really understanding what the funding cycle looks like now is incredibly important. Our understanding of how different local authorities are dealing with things around the world is vital. We’ve been checking in with our retailers and with consultants. We are finding that people are being more open and helpful as we all try to navigate this situation.

4. Maximise your 1 hour of allotted exercise! What has really struck us is the lack of movement. Because you’re not walking or cycling suddenly you have the whole day and you haven’t really moved. Our best tip is to take full advantage of your 1 hour outside. Going for walks with your dog or by yourself is vital to keeping healthy, both physically and mentally. We have found that starting the day with video exercises like yoga, can also be extremely beneficial. We have been following Lulu Lemon’s online yoga sessions.

Dominika: I think it’s really difficult to spend loads of time at home. We’re all used to being on the go so much. We’re never in the same place for that long, so it’s quite a shock to the system and it can feel a bit draining. I’m just giving myself a bit of a break from like all of the intellectual stimulation as well. Having a bit of a dance in the kitchen with my dog, just getting a bit silly helps too. 

To wrap up all of our tips, we would like everyone to look after themselves, take this time to rest and avoid pressure.

Final tip: Skincare, body care and self care; are amazing ways of using this time at home to become more in touch with yourself.

Remember to use the code ‘CBI15’ at Bybi.com for 15% off your order!