My journey as a first-time remote manager

Gianna Empinotti, one of our customer support squad captains, explains the challenges and benefits of remote managing.
By Team member, 06/04/2022
2 minutes read

Covid and the workplace

After the pandemic began, a lot of people wanted to start working from home. That wasn’t my goal. I was mainly looking to find a job to take me out of my comfort zone, in a company that believed in the same things I believed in. Cuvva’s values ticked the boxes, and I got really excited about the possibility of working here. Being able to do this from home was a bonus.

“Can I pull this off?” I thought as I applied for the Squad Captain position at Cuvva. Firstly, because I had never worked remotely before. Secondly, because I never managed a team remotely before either. And, of course, there was also the fact that my knowledge of car insurance wasn’t something I could brag about.

Change has never scared me that much, career-wise. But when you spend so much time doing the same thing, and you can do your job with your eyes closed, you question yourself. But I gave it a go, and here I am 6 months later!

How did I feel about working remotely?

Coming from the hospitality industry, I got very used to speaking to people all day long. Working from home made me wonder if I'd forget how to speak to people - especially as English is not my first language! 😅 I also questioned how I would bond with a team I hadn’t met before and would see only occasionally.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that Cuvva is very social. When you think of remote working, you don’t think you’d interact with so many people, and this is definitely not the case here. Cuvva is big on making sure teams are building relationships and this plays a part in keeping everyone motivated and mentally healthy.

It was very helpful to have some fellow COps starting on the same day as me and going through the same path and struggles. We had huddles with each other and the training team every day for two weeks. This way we could support each other and exchange experiences along the way.

We don't have to go to the office, but we are given many reasons to go. Like a weekly happy hour and monthly social events, for example. Even if remotely, we are also encouraged to have ‘donuts’ with different people from time to time, which are quick 15-minute meetings where you have the chance to “meet”.

Managing a remote team

Another thing I quickly learned at Cuvva is that it wasn't that difficult to meet the team or feel integrated, even when working miles away from others. We have weekly 1-to-1s and catch-up meetings, so we can see each other’s faces on camera, discuss anything we want to and get to know each other better.

I always tried to keep an open dialogue with co-workers and was always very honest about any struggles. This happens to be how Cuvva does things too, which is great. And because my squad was also new to the company, we could relate to each other more easily and I feel that this definitely helped our bonding.

I have also had so much support from other Squad Captains, COps leadership and the rest of the Cuvva team, which made things a lot easier. Although I value peace and quiet so I can focus on important tasks, it’s refreshing being able to bounce back ideas and learn different things from so many lovely people every so often.

At the end of the day, I think I’m doing fine and my journey at Cuvva has been an amazing experience. I’ve learnt that working remotely doesn’t mean working on your own. So I’m super grateful to everyone that crossed my path so far and helped me be where I am right now. ❤️

Team member