Ella Schofield
Engineering Manager
Bloom & Wild
More about Ella Schofield...

Ella works as an Engineering Manager, leading a cross functional development team at one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe. Since joining Bloom & Wild Ella’s built several high performing teams. She’s currently leading the Subscription & Retention Squad and working on consolidating the tech stack post acquisition.

Twice a member of Computer Weekly’s Women in Software Power List, Ella is passionate about encouraging women to join the tech industry. Her commitment to this includes getting primary school kids coding with Scratch, coaching at Rails Girls London and Code First Girls and regularly sitting on panels for Stemettes, Makers and Goldsmiths University.

Ella Schofield is talking about  
Squads Assemble! - Keeping Engagement High When Teams Go Remote First
Like many companies, Bloom & Wild went fully remote when the pandemic hit. Overnight our ways of working changed and what were daily, face to face, human connections became all too regular video conferences. As a company who had been fully office based then this change was huge and it became larger as we grew the engineering team by 50% during the pandemic, acquired two companies and integrated their engineering teams into the group. Suddenly more of our team had not met each other in person and hadn’t formed the closer bonds that come from the conscious and unconscious interactions that come from being co-located in a working space. Now that the pandemic is over then we’ve not gone back to our old ways of working. We couldn’t if we wanted to, through acquisition and hiring we now have engineers in multiple locations across Europe. Keeping engagement high in this model is harder than before; especially as new starters or those who’ve joined via acquisition won’t absorb the company and team culture simply by “being in the office” anymore. This talk is a story about how we’ve adapted to a world where being in the office is the exception, what we’ve tried in order to improve team engagement and what’s worked and what hasn’t. It contains experiences of how we now keep our fully remote squads engaged in both their squad’s mission and the mission of the wider company, and how we’ve adapted our culture to match our new reality. It’ll be useful for anyone who runs a distributed team or is part of a distributed team or company.
Key takeaways…
- How and why distributed team are different and how to get the best out of a distributed team, both as a leader and a member of the team - What happened when Bloom & Wild moved from an ‘in office’ model to a location agnostic model - How to measure engagement and what to do with the results - Tried and tested techniques to improve engagement, including the squads assemble model which we’ve found, after two years of experimentation, works best for our teams - Ideas for a variety of in person workshops and activities to build team engagement - How to maintain engagement when everyone goes back to their homes and back to a video conferences