Celine Mechain
VP People Ops
May 27, 2019

Interview with Celine, a VP of People Ops and remote team member

Celine has experienced the highs and lows of working with remote and hybrid teams—see her tips for thriving as a member of a remote team.

How did you get started with remote work?

Remote work is not (yet) common practice in Europe. And it is even less common in my line of work (People Ops).

After two years of experience being remote, I can say that you work very differently whether you are in a fully distributed organization or whether you are one of the very few remote employees and everyone else commuting to an office.

In a fully remote organization, you thrive with the same tools as everyone else. That helps a lot.

You feel much more isolated, and you are not part of the working culture when you are remote with everyone else at the office. So you adopt a project management type of work, and you constantly ask questions to ensure you are not missing an important piece of information.

Read 57 answers from other remote workers

What are you working on?

I am a full-time employee in a fast-growing cloud company.

Working in People Ops means supporting the changes in the organization (teams, tools, communication, policies), being in charge of the overall employee experience from recruitment to exit, and developing people skills.

Being remote allows me to work in a truly international working environment, but this also means more amplitude in my working time as I am interviewing people worldwide.

Read 57 answers from other remote workers

What's your typical work routine?

I have a nice mix of being autonomous and being part of a team.

I usually start up in the morning by checking all messages in our instant messaging system and deal with easy to answer questions and emails.

Then I spend the time until the other part of the world gets up focusing on substantive work and the goals I set myself.

Late afternoons and evenings are usually dedicated to meetings.

Read 57 answers from other remote workers

Do you have a dedicated space to work?

Yes, I believe it is important to have a :

  1. Routine
  2. Dedicated space to work

Having these items gives boundaries to you and your family when you work from home and enhances the work/life balance.

Read 57 answers from other remote workers

What tools do you use to stay productive?

I am a strong no-paper activist.

As a result, we have implemented a wide variety of tools (direct communication, video communication, asynchronous communication, documentation, absence management, recruitment management ...).

Being available, staying in touch, and sharing ideas and experiences is key when you work remotely.

Read 57 answers from other remote workers

How do you stay on task?

Being remote did not change the way I work. Not at all.

I know what I have to do, and I organize myself accordingly. Working from an office or being home did not change a thing.

Being remote means you need not be shy in asking questions and being autonomous on your role.

Read 56 answers from other remote workers

What do you like about remote work?

I love everything about it:

  • More quality family time
  • No wasting time in commuting
  • Being able to focus on a project without being interrupted all the time
  • The comfort of being in your own environment

Check out this article of mine on the pros and cons of remote work for more details.

Read 57 answers from other remote workers

What do you not like about remote work?

I do not like the fact that in my country many people feel that working from home means not working.

It actually means working longer hours and being much more productive.

Read 56 answers from other remote workers


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Biography

Celine Mechain

Celine Mechain has 20 years of People Ops experience for fast growing small international IT companies.

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