Employee Tales of Creativity: Heather and Scott

More than three years into our hybrid way of working, we caught up with some of our colleagues at home to hear how it’s working for them – inside and outside of work.

The pandemic brought sweeping changes to our lives, but two things remain constant: WeTransfer's culture values togetherness, and our environments shape our creative culture. Over the past three years, we've learned that connection can happen anywhere, not just in the office. We've adapted to hybrid work and have found that our colleagues thrive in spaces that make them feel good – whether that's working from the office, from home, working from the garden–darn it, or working from the bathtub if that’s what floats your boat.

We’re so proud of the way we work that we asked a few of our colleagues if they’d let us into their lovely homes to capture the spaces and places they inhabit on a daily basis. They all tidied their desks for us too, which was nice of them.

Photography by Magnus Holmes (Heather) and Liam Woods (Scott)

Heather Champ, Portland

For Heather, work-life is about balance. And specifically, having the flexibility to spend an hour or two in the morning running errands on her farm (including hanging out with the goats and her cat, Inky). Heather works remotely from her home-slash-farm in Portland, Oregon—sometimes from her office, and sometimes from her self-proclaimed upstairs-upside-down-space, depending on which animal is joining her that day.

Favourite spot to work

“Well, our house started life in the ‘30s as a barn and only the upstairs had been plumbed. Up here was where the farm hens lived, and downstairs is kind of where the cows were. And when they converted it to a house in the ‘60s, they made it so there was space for an office downstairs. But at the moment [these days] I'm upstairs at the dining room table because we have a new kitten. Until she gets a little bit older, she's only allowed in the upstairs of the house. She's so spicy—she is just the spiciest little kitten. Her name’s Inky.”

How has the transition to working from home changed your view of “work”?

“I've been remote for years, so I think it's funny because COVID changed so much for everyone. Until it's really thought out, remote employees can kind of be an afterthought.

“WeTransfer was just brilliant about how they were rethinking things. I guess the fear for me had always been that it wasn’t going to work, working in customer and community support remotely. But our hybrid way of doing things has proven that it does work—and actually, it can work really well. I think the Support Team is much happier. We don't all need to be online at the same time.”

There’s my working life, and then there’s the farm life. And what’s interesting is that the working life stays the same, but throughout the year, farm life changes a little bit.

Heather Champ, Senior Community Manager, and Mental Health First Aider

What has flexible working given you time for?

“I participate in crochet and yarn bombings. The most recent one is actually now at Revolution Hall, in Portland. There was a Planned Parenthood event a while back, and so I crocheted two squares for this big quilt. It was roughly 11 by 17 feet.

I also made 100 flowers to send to New York—there's a woman I’ve worked with and she made a big peace sign out of them when it was the anniversary of John Lennon's death a few years ago. I'm also so close to finishing the first crocheted garment that I've made for myself— a shawl—because most of it is making stuff to send to people.

I also made a big kind of pixelated heart that is on our fence. We’re semi rural here, but as you come around, I used reflective yarn so it lights up at night when the people's car lights are on.”

Scott Holcombe, San Diego

Scott, Senior Engineering Manager for our App platform, lives and works from the California Coast (nope, not jealous) in a small city called Solana Beach – just north of San Diego’s main city. When he’s not working, you can find him riding his bike, reading or playing music in his cozy home-office-music-room nook.

How was your experience starting a remote role during the pandemic?

“It was a surprisingly positive experience for me. I knew I would appreciate the flexibility, but I had a little trepidation about not being able to fully engage with people. It helped that I was joining a team that had already been distributed in some way before I started—meaning that there was a New York team, and a West Coast team and some other folks in different spots. That way of working made it easier for me to come in and sort of just fit in. And honestly, I'm happy to say that after all that, it’s been totally possible to really connect with other people.”

A lot of the time when I’m trying to think—I think it’s the same for everybody—when we're trying to like, solve problems or come up with ideas, they don't always just happen, here at this very moment.

Scott Holcombe, Senior Engineering Manager - App Platform

Tell us about some of your daily routines and rituals.

“Being on the West Coast, I've been sharing one of my precious morning rituals with you as we've been talking [we’re chatting at 7am Scott’s time, oops]. Being on the West Coast, my day starts very early—golden hours here start at 7am. I like to walk with my partner and our dog every day, and then coffee is a big part of my morning ritual.

I don't miss the old ways at all, you know. I guess the one thing I missed was the notion of driving. A lot of the time when I'm trying to think—I think it's the same for everybody—when we're trying to like solve problems or come up with ideas, they don't always just happen, here at this very moment. One of the things I do now is ride my bike a lot more; it’s the perfect thing where you can go fast enough so that you get somewhere, but slow enough that you have time to look around and think.

I think it’s also helped me to do more meaningful periods of focused work. When we have a very set meeting time, I can then set time aside to do focus work, and you can even be more protective over your own time and create that space to work. When you're in the office, as awesome as it is, sometimes that focused work can just get interrupted more easily. So that’s nice.”

Check out more tales of creativity from our people at home.

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