A little over a year ago, life took a turn as Coronavirus swept the nation.
At Tisski, we tried to keep things as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible for our employees and our customers. We adapted to deliver projects 100 per cent remotely, and even continued to bring new talent on board, with 38 people joining us between March and December 2020.
Fiona Harvey, our Head of Marketing and Communications, stepped into her role last March, just days before the whole of the UK was plunged into a nationwide lockdown. Over the last year-and-a-bit, she’s been met with unforeseen challenges, and had to settle into a company where she’s had little opportunity to meet people face-to-face – yet she’s still achieved plenty along the way.
Talking of how she came to join Tisski, Fiona said: “I initially came on board as a consultant in the November of 2019, so I actually had a few months to get to know people around the organisation before stepping into the role I have now.”
However, with lots of the Tisski team predominantly working from home even before Covid – not to mention the fact that Fiona lives up in Scotland – this chance to get to know her new colleagues relied heavily on virtual meetings and get-togethers.
“A lot of time is spent building relationships when you start a new job, especially with a role that touches all areas of the business, to this day, I’ve still only met a handful of people in person, and I managed to visit the office just twice before all the restrictions came in. I had to work to build these relationships online – something I’d never had to do before. Thankfully, Tisski had everything in place to help me do this.”
As the world was forced to adapt to a life working from home, many struggled to stay motivated; yet, while Fiona has missed face-to-face interaction with colleagues, it certainly hasn’t stopped her from making an impact in her first year with us.
“When I joined Tisski as Head of Marketing and Comms, that brought the grand total of people in the marketing team to two – I’m proud to have built a brilliant team of six in the short time I’ve been here, and together we’ve delivered a brand refresh, launched our new-look website, increased our social media presence, sparked interest from some great new customers and so much more.
“We’ve been incredibly focused in the last year and remain so. I’m lucky to be able to say that I don’t think the pandemic has had a negative impact on how we work… in fact, I would say that it’s encouraged us to do even better for our existing customers and fight harder for new ones!”
Looking back over the last 16 months, employees haven’t just had to adapt to working from home; many have had to navigate the world of home-schooling and overcome various other care-giving challenges along the way, while also sparing a thought for their own mental health.
On the other side of the coin, employers have had to step up and offer flexibility and support when their team has needed it most.
“Tisski has really demonstrated the importance that it places on employee wellbeing since the pandemic began,” Fiona said. “Free counselling is offered to those who need it, and they’ve organised some fantastic social activities online to help lift our spirits and make sure we stay connected.
“As a mum-of-two, I’ve also experienced the battle that is trying to make sure your kids are staying on top of their schoolwork while managing your own workload – Tisski have been fantastic at accommodating this and I’ve never once felt that I didn’t have the company’s support when doing what I needed to do.”
Asked whether she sees life at Tisski being any different when life returns to the way it once was, Fiona seems to think it won’t be hugely different after all.
“The plan was always for me to be home-based, so that side of things will very much stay the same when we do get that normality back. I can’t wait to meet my team, though. I never would’ve thought I’d be working with some of these people for close to a year having still not met them.
“I’m also looking forward to getting out and about to industry events and visiting the office every now and again – it’s things like this we really took for granted before Covid hit.”
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