Flexa's personal stories - Bella's experience of remote working & relocation with Farfetch

8th Jul 2020

Here at Flexa we know that work and life are intrinsically linked. Flexible working is one of the ways that our lives can fit better into work, and since starting Flexa, we've heard so many personal stories about why this is the case. We have started a series of guest blogs & interviews focusing on this. Here's our first blog in the series:

Hi, I'm Bella and I am a Senior Employer Brand Executive at Farfetch.

I joined Farfetch 3 years ago as a Talent Acquisition Executive, before moving into my current position as an Employer Branding specialist and I’ve been working remotely for the past 9 months. I’ve had an incredible journey with Farfetch so far, from getting the opportunity to move teams internally to experiencing life as a full-time remote worker. Here’s my story…

In 2019, my partner was offered the chance to spend 12 months working abroad in Paris. This was an amazing opportunity for him professionally, and we had both always liked the idea of an experience living abroad. At the time, I was working at Farfetch in London and since we don’t have an office in Paris I was faced with a difficult decision - I wanted to move abroad with my partner, but I didn’t want to lose the job that I love.

The majority of my team are based in Portugal and my role is global, so I decided to speak to my manager and the Farfetch People team about the possibility of continuing my role remotely. I had nothing to lose, but so often I hear from candidates and friends that their companies aren’t very open to flexible working so I was nervous about the response. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about - my suggestion was met with positivity and open-mindedness. Farfetch has always been very open to flexible working arrangements but still, I felt grateful to be part of an innovative and people-centred company who were happy to support me on this new adventure.

Fast forward six months and now many people are in the same situation, working remotely during these strange and uncertain times. There have been many great articles about how to work remotely in an efficient and positive way, but I would like to share two personal reflections.

1. Remote working during a global pandemic is not the same

I believe that it’s important to clearly differentiate between remote working in the current context and the experience of remote working before, and hopefully after, the COVID-19 pandemic. I read a quote recently which I believe accurately describes this: "You are not working from home, you are staying safe at home during a crisis, trying to work". Today’s experience of remote working is more challenging and we should all continue to focus on our well-being and try to just do our best. Despite this, there have been countless examples of amazing collaboration, community and strength which have prevailed at this time.

Companies and individuals should consider this when thinking about their future flexible working arrangements and shouldn’t judge their experience of remote working purely based on our current situation. Remote working has been a hugely positive experience for me overall, allowing me to move to another country and stay with Farfetch. Flexibility is such an important part of our working lives today and we should all take advantage of it when we can.

2. Be kind to yourself, always.

At the start, I was paranoid that my colleagues thought I was on a permanent holiday in Paris and I felt guilty if I was having an unproductive day. Feeling unproductive can happen in both the office and at home - it’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up about it and instead work on fixing it. I often find it helpful to change my surroundings or simply take a break.  

It’s also unrealistic to think that your working habits and schedule will be the same as they were in the office. Instead, you need to find a new routine that works for you. If you need to take a longer lunch break to make that gym class or you fancy an afternoon stroll, just do it! Use the time you would have been commuting to make up for it, or just take advantage of the greater flexibility you have and don’t feel bad about it.

I hope that companies will continue to champion flexibility and remote working in the future and, thanks to Flexa, I hope that lots of people will find their perfect job and enjoy a positive work-life balance at the same time.

Check out Farfetch's company page and their open roles here