An interview with Emily McMurray from Thor Demolition

Welcome to our Remote HR series where we interview payroll and HR professionals who made the change to working remotely. This week we talk to Emily McMurray who covers payroll, accounts, quotes and invoicing (and anything else that comes her way) for foundU customer, Thor Demolition.

In this interview we ask Emily how she does it, her tips to working remotely and keeping in touch with colleagues when not in the office.

How did COVID-19 change your role?

It definitely changed the way we had to help each other out. Some people had to step up and do more while some people had to move into different roles.


I started working remotely on the 26th of March and that’s the same day we decided to keep the kids home from school as well (which fed into my decision to work from home).  Another reason was that my Director didn’t want me situated where I was in the office as I was the first port of call when people came to visit.



How did you adapt to working from home?


It was a really challenging time for all of us, not seeing our colleagues everyday and having the kids at home. I had to change my hours from my set school hours and adapt to a new routine.


I started getting up early and immediately working.  I no longer had a set lunch break and instead took mini lunch breaks throughout the day and when the kids needed me.


My workday definitely expanded and became a family focused schedule.


What do you enjoy about working remotely?


Being in my home and taking mini-breaks and doing something around the house like little bit of cleaning then getting back into work.  Being there for when my kids get home from school and not having to drive – I hate driving!


What are some of your tips and tricks for working remotely?


I’m doing the same role, but during this time I have to be a lot more flexible. Now that the kids are back at school and that aspect of life has gone back to normal, I do need to get myself into a better pattern.  Because I have the work at home I’m constantly jumping on my computer at all hours.


I really shouldn’t be doing that because it isn’t something I typically do. if I was going into work, I wouldn’t be getting on the computer late at night.  I really have to watch myself doing that, even if I had the opportunity to work whenever I want I have to stop myself working late nights or too early – you need to have structure and balance.


Have you learnt anything about yourself working remotely?


Don’t have a big lunch! If I do, I struggle to get back into it then put it off, then I’ll work into the night.


I was always asked to do more hours at work, but my husband used to travel a lot and I couldn’t commit to doing more hours. Now that I have my computer at home I can commit to more hours and take on more responsibility in the business.


How do you find not working in an office with your colleagues?


I keep in constant contact with my other accounts colleague.  We’re pretty good mates and we wanted to keep that connection.  We keep in constant contact and it’s easy for us and our generation to do that. Not everyone does that, and I am missing seeing colleagues at work and having those chats.


I get so much done at home though!



 Have you adapted your communication methods now that you’re working remotely?


My accounts colleague and I keep Facebook open and always have Facebook messenger there, that’s how we communicate. It’s easier than going back and forth on emails.


That’s the easiest way rather than emails going back and forward so we just can’t see chat on there.


How has foundU helped you work remotely?


It’s been so good.  I love doing payroll through foundU.  It’s all there and you do not have to switch between systems, push data through to another system to pay etc I really love it for that.


If something is happening with the rostering it is all there, and I can step in and roster people or approve hours on the fly.  I get all the shift reports as well and can easily jump across those different roles and responsibilities.