An interview with Steph Taylor from Omni Recruit
Welcome to our Remote HR Heroes series where we interview payroll and HR professionals who made the change to working remotely. This week we talk to Steph Taylor, Payroll Manager for foundU customer, Omni Recruit.
Steph discusses how she manages being a working Mum, feeling valued professionally and her tips to a successful remote workday.
How did COVID-19 change your role?
I was already working from home three days a week anyway, but obviously, the whole Omni team moved to working from home full time. My role didn’t massively change – apart from the introduction of JobKeeper and working through how/if this applied to our business and how it would be utilised/payrolled.
All our consultants started working from home and they started using Zoom and doing Zoom interviews.
As we got quieter, it gave me a chance to catch up on stuff that I don’t always have a chance to catch up on.
How did you adapt to working from home?
It’s not too bad working at home, I do have two young children who are in day care, thank goodness it didn’t close!
At home there’s distraction and there also distractions in the office and you try to adapt to that. At home you can think, ‘did I leave that washing on?’ or something needs cleaning and you need to get over those distractions and find focus.
With payroll there are obviously deadlines and I didn’t find it too difficult keeping up the motivation because if I don’t do my job people don’t get paid.
I’m lucky that I’m able to work from home, but I’m used to doing stuff randomly say at eight at night to make sure deadlines are met.
So, I don’t necessarily work the standard nine-to-five office hours. I work around the children which obviously have a different schedule.
What do you enjoy about working remotely?
I like that I can do my own thing in my own time. Say for example if I have a sick child I can focus on that and it gives me a chance to be a Mum when I need to be a Mum, and a working Mum when I need to be a working Mum.
The major thing is I get more time with my family; I can put a load of washing on, carry-on working then put the washing in the dryer.
What tips would you give to someone just starting remote working?
I would say routine is super important. Get out of bed, have your breakfast, and get dressed properly.
You don’t necessarily have to get dressed into office attire, during Covid I would get dressed into my gym gear which forced me to do a workout. Usually, I would do a workout at lunch and then get changed and continue my day.
Have a designated office space (even if it’s just the dining room table) and then set your schedule for the day. Make a list of goals that you need to get done for the day and highlight it off, cross it out, whatever you need to do.
I also try and keep my breaks to a set time and take my breaks away from the computer. Don’t eat your lunch in front of it, don’t watch something on it, stay away from your computer.
Basically, separate work and home at home…tough to do!
How do you find not working in an office with your colleagues?
I miss being in the office. That was one of the reasons I went back to the office after having a child. I can do my job fully remotely, but we have a good team with a really nice culture. It’s nice as a Mum to be able to talk to someone who isn’t a child.
To me on a personal level, just being a Mum isn’t enough for me. I love my kids to death, but I don’t feel like that is enough of achievement in life for me. I feel like I need to have a career and to be a Mum and smash both to feel fulfilled.
Coming into the office makes me feel like I’m an adult and a human and a professional. I can then go back home and wipe noses, sort arguments and be a Mum.
How has foundU helped you work remotely?
You can use it anywhere if you have an Internet connection. if I’m out with the kids and someone asks me a question I can log on with my phone and generally get them an answer.
We came from a system that was very paper-based and was not automated. I used to have to do a lot of printing of timesheets and other paperwork.
We are completely paperless from a payroll point of view. Everything is on my laptop and everything is in foundU.
Even though we are in multiple states (Omni Recruit), it doesn’t matter where I’m based to run payroll. I could be in Queensland, I could be New South Wales, I could be in England and no one would know from a payroll perspective.
I could not work from home if I did not have foundU, there is no way. I physically could not do it from home on our old system, but we can with foundU.
It’s so quick and easy. We love the foundU system and we are happy to sing about it to anybody and anyone.
I love foundU!
Anything else you would like to add?
I am super lucky that Darren (our boss) has given all of us in our team flexibility. Being a working Mum, I’ve found that there are not many people out there like Darren, who allows us to have that work life balance and get on with it
He has five working Mums in his team in Queensland. He gives us all the flexibility to work from home and work around our children. We are really lucky we are able to do that and I’m lucky to feel that I can be a good Mum and a valued and important employee.