Meet Edie Cockrell. Novoda’s first Business Support and Community Coordinator, dedicated to making each employee's remote working environment and experience the very best it can be. Valuing the happiness of every single Novodan, Edie’s shepherdess outlook and approach to remote support are creative, practical, personal and bold.
What does your role entail?
When I try to tell people who are outside of a remote or tech environment about what I do each day, they often vocalise some sense of disbelief and positive curiosity.
My role is to positively influence the lives of Novodans during their time at Novoda. To make a work environment so unbelievably supportive and engaging that they can’t stop telling everyone how great it is to work here.
Now that we’re a remote-first business, this not only means taking care of the practical things: equipment support, access to information, and improving policies and ways of working, it also means thinking up increasingly creative ways to facilitate socialising, collaborative work and a strong, welcoming culture. Whilst making it seem like it happened naturally and organically!
How important are purpose-driven remote initiatives for organisations?
We’ve seen a real shift in the interests of Novodans over the last 2 years. We used to meet for a casual post office drink at the pub every Thursday but our lives, lifestyles and opportunities to meet in person have all changed.
What we are seeing, increasingly, is an interest in wanting to be part of social and learning opportunities with a sense of purpose and meaning, such as fitness, well-being, art classes, sustainability upgrades and opportunities to donate time, knowledge or monetary donations to charities and community projects.
These initiatives allow Novodans to come together, no matter their physical location, with their shared interests. Getting to know each other better makes integrating working styles and communicating efficiently much easier.
Providing remote initiatives that support knowing your colleagues more deeply - it all contributes to building a rapport and infrastructure of good communication and comradery between people and teams - even if they’re on opposite sides of the globe - especially so!
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
The Novoda Knowledge Hub aka The Wiki. Our single source of truth which will evolve into so much more! Most companies, and especially remote ones, have some kind of “employee guide” or “knowledge hub”, where employees can find access to crucial information about the business and their employment. The Wiki is our (better, more exciting) version of that.
I learnt that employees spend 9.3 hours every week looking for information to do their jobs - according to research conducted by McKinsey. And most of the time, they give up looking and just come and ask me. Although I love to be the fountain of knowledge at Novoda, I also like getting some more substantial strategic work done.
As a business navigating a changing world of work, within an industry that’s valuing the positives of remote and async work more, I wanted Novoda to be highly successful in this area, and push to be the most successful remote company ever.
This Wiki facilitates Novodans choosing autonomy in their remote working lives. It is also a repository to keep our most valuable and impactful work; past, present and future. I wanted to create a space in which Novodans can find the information they need to do their jobs really well, and also understand and support our already fantastic culture.
What’s your top tip for happy remote working?
Working at a desk might not be your most productive environment. Remote work used to be about having the standing desk, the LED light, and the ergonomic chair that you need a mortgage for. And god forbid you thought it was ok to sit on your sofa! But that was then, this is now, and humans are restless creatures! I recommend changing your working environment throughout the day depending on the work you’re doing. This might be an ambient-noise filled co-working space for deep focus work, or a quiet corner of your curated home office for external client calls. Or maybe, it’s your sofa whilst you read a very interesting article about remote work.
At Novoda we promote a healthy approach to work/life balance and being flexible with your time. This also means spending time understanding what works best for you. We are currently reviewing the engagement with individual co-working space passes, using Hubble HQ for our employees, allowing them ad-hoc access to a range of different spaces to suit them within their local city. We are continuing to research more options and solutions to create positive environments for our team.
Favourite remote social?
Festive Party 2020. We had a Task Master (UK TV show on Channel 4) inspired event, in which each team member was given a list of tasks and activities, each one more ridiculous than the next! The video and picture entries were hilarious, heartwarming, and really brought the team together during a demanding year.
🎤 What’s your karaoke song? Tribute by Tenacious D (but I have to do it as a duet)
✍️ Secret hobbies? Signwriting and typography
Want to join the good work we’re doing? Or if you want to know more about our remote working practices, you can contact Edie direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.