Responding to a crisis: how eShopWorld has been dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19


This week we’re chatting to eShopWorld about how they’ve been coping with the outbreak of COVID-19.

It has been very uplifting seeing companies face the COVID – 19 challenges head-on with humanity, creativity and kindness.  When things are going well, it is easy for a leader to do their job, however, during these tough times, it becomes a lot more challenging.

As we’ve mentioned before, companies will be remembered for their response to this global pandemic.

And so, we decided to chat to some well known businesses, and see what they’ve been doing to help their staff during this period.

This week, we’re chatting to eShopWorld, one of the world’s leading global eCommerce platforms. We chatted to Louise Kiernan, Talent Acquisition Parter at eShopWorld, and asked her a series of questions about how her company has been coping, what they’ve done in terms of their employer brand, and of course, what the future might hold.

How is your company coping working remotely? Have you put in place anything to keep your culture going, etc?

We’re coping very well – we’ve always offered flexible working arrangement and some degree of remote working but adjustments were needed to get used to this new norm. We also know that it’s a difficult time for our teams and we are keen to do as much as possible to help people stay connected with their work friends and colleagues. Over the last few weeks we’ve enjoyed Weekly Quizzes, a Steps Challenge, Colouring Competitions for Children (and some adults!), Virtual Coffee Catch Ups and lots of virtual classroom training session to keep people connected.

What initiatives have you implemented because of coronavirus in order to maintain an engaged remote workforce? And do you think it will be beneficial to maintain any of these initiatives back in the office?

 Yes for sure, I reckon we will keep some of the initiatives listed above the crisis abates. The weekly quiz has proved a great success and it is something we might maintain since it allows all eShopWorld employees, no matter where in the world they may be, to socialise together and enjoy some fun. 

What are the 3 best tools that you would recommend when working remotely? 

Slack for chats and general updates via our company wide channels, Zoom for meetings and catch ups, and Trello for keeping projects moving.

Are you up-skilling your employees while they WFH? If so how?

Our L&D team has organised a variety of virtual classroom sessions over the last few weeks – topics have included “Staying Motivated while Working Remotely”, “Managing Remote Teams”, “Emotional and Mental Wellbeing” and “Coping with Kids”.

How should someone do a remote job interview?

The normal rules of interview preparation still apply but in advance I suggest ensuring you’re set up correctly. Find a quiet spot (don’t worry too much about the background – everyone is working from random locations at the moment but avoid harsh lighting behind you and test your web camera/microphone in advance. It’s no harm to have a copy of your CV or some notes in front of you but make sure to look into the camera and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Keep calm if the technology isn’t on your side, engage with the interviewer and let your personality shine.

How have you been demonstrating your culture and values during this time? 

We have 5 eValues here at eShopWorld (Empowerment, Excellence, Ethics, Enjoyments and Entrepreneurship) and I reckon we are demonstrating them on a daily basis. We’re doing our best to keep things moving as normal during these challenging times but also ensuring some fun and entertainment along the way. This month we are celebrating Entrepreneurship by launching a Dragons Den Challenge for employees and their children by asking them to help solve two big challenges in our lives today! 

What permanent changes do you think we will see to the workforce post-Covid 19?

Definitely a more widespread and permanent shift towards working from home. Employers and employees seem to have embraced the shift to remote working so it might just become the norm for many industries (not just larger tech companies).

What 3 things would you like your employees to say about how your company has handled this situation and your culture during this pandemic?

Hopefully they feel that we have supported them and their families throughout the pandemic by providing enough relevant information on the situation and our response as a business.


What positive aspects of working from home have you taken from this experience that you will implement your work ethic in the future?

Definitely making the most of working from home and the extra head space it gives. Planning my day and sticking to it, scheduling breaks and allocating time to get some fresh air. I’ve also made a deliberate effort to check in with my colleagues on a daily basis via slack.  

What can talent do now to place them in a better position when looking for a job in a few months?

Use this time wisely – pick up a new online hobby, exercise and keep fit, join free webinars, read books, meditate, start a blog, foster a dog but most importantly stay positive. 

What are the challenges facing job seekers over the next 6-12 months (post Coronavirus)?

Unfortunately, an economic reaction to this health crisis is inevitable across most industries and job seekers will see the market slow down considerably. Up-skill, stay active on LinkedIn, follow the companies that are of interest to you and reach out to your friends and previous colleagues  to let them know that you are available for new opportunities.  

To find out more about the wonderful culture at eShopWorld, check out their Jobbio profile here



Author Rebecca O'Keeffe

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