A young woman wearing a microphone smiling at someone off camera at an event.
Martina Wilde. Image: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

How this sales director addresses the challenges of remote work

15 Sep 2022

Nitro’s Martina Wilde discusses how she has adjusted to remote working and managing a hybrid team, and gives her top tip for staying productive.

Martina Wilde started her career in marketing and quickly learned that sales was her passion.

She has worked in Ireland, the UK and Australia in sales and sales management, and is currently a sales director at software company Nitro, managing an EMEA sales team in a hybrid model.

“For some people it’s fully remote, depending on each person’s location. For others we meet up to twice per week in the office. Nothing beats face-to-face contact,” she said.

“We offer a flexible forever model, appreciating that there are times when coming together is important for morale and business progress.”

‘I have more time to be productive as I completely control my time’

Have you always worked remotely?

No, most of my career I spent working from an office. With the pandemic, it gave me to opportunity to work in a remote setting and to challenge my thinking around working from where I work best.

I have been remote now for more than two years. Working in silence was my biggest challenge as I had historically been surrounded by people, which was both enriching from a learning perspective and at times challenging when quiet time was needed to complete a task.

That said, I have adapted my style and learned to manage my energy better through making my diary work for me. Screen time can be tiring, and nothing beats a quick catch up in person to solve a business problem. I make a conscious effort to go to the office each week to connect with people and refuel!

Which skills have you found to be most important for working remotely?

I would say diary and time management, building rapport with stakeholders, teammates and clients, engaging people online (facilitation) and IT troubleshooting!

What are the biggest challenges you have encountered while working remotely?

The greatest challenge is keeping in touch with all stakeholders and my team. It’s amazing how a lunch/coffee catch-up helps build a relationship. Being online, we can forget to take time to check in with people properly, which is so important.

One of my favourite things to do pre-pandemic was to walk the floor to see how everyone’s week had gone. I have replaced this with a virtual check-in, which is a super alternative so that we can celebrate the wins for the week, talk about some of the things that were challenging and ease people into weekend mode.

Another challenge is around work versus business hours. Initially, it all became very blurred. I had to make a genuine effort and set my boundaries to make sure I had home time. I did this by very openly sharing my office hours with colleagues and not setting meetings at the time when I should be having dinner with my family or enjoying a pastime. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed not having to commute.

How do you stay productive when remote working?

Keep to a schedule, plan your time and outputs each week. A check-in with your manager or buddy is also useful to keep on track.

What do you most enjoy about doing your job remotely?

I most enjoy seeing my family more frequently during the day, especially my son. In some respects, work-life balance is better, however I need to work hard at this given you never really leave work when you are at home.

I also find I have more time to be productive as I completely control my time. Previously, I would be pulled into five-minute meetings a number of times a day and everyone knows there is no such thing as a five-minute meeting!

Is remote working something that suits everyone?

I think it depends on how self-disciplined you are, your home set-up and where you get your energy. Not everyone has a quiet space to go to at home or the ability to separate from family/housemates. Equally, if you are not self-disciplined or you work better with in a more structured environment or with people around you, remote work can be a challenge.

Additionally, some roles are easier than others. Sales, for example, is very suited to remote work. My only concern is the missed opportunity to learn from your peers. Gong, of course, is excellent to hear other people’s calls but not always enough to close knowledge gaps.

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