We’ve had to reach across shut borders to stay global

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Our member Teresa Lewis talks to The Sunday Times about the challenges that affected Mauve Group during Covid-19 and how Ireland Together provides a platform for global business development

At first there was a sense of novelty about the whole thing, if I am being honest. Staying at home with my family, swapping information and speculating on how everything would work out — I could even teach my weekly yoga class online. Then Mauve, the global business solutions and consultancy services firm I’ve been working with for the past two years, asked if I could teach a class for staff and clients every Tuesday.

Straight after the class, I would be at my kitchen table in my role as business development co- ordinator for the company. It wasn’t long before the reality of working in a small house while trying to school a five-year-old kicked in.

Before, my role as a consultant for business development had included regular networking events, exhibitions and face-to-face meetings with clients. My day-to-day, like so many other people’s, changed overnight and I had to get used to conducting all business online. Having to get to grips with technology and remaining visible have been some of the testing challenges I have had to face.

How to stand out in this giant sea of what, at least to begin with, seemed like panic? I took comfort in remembering that many people were in the same boat, and we all helped each other along. I attended webinars, listened to advice and learnt how to use the many tools that are available. I sought opportunities where I could showcase Mauve as one of the leading providers for global mobility and consultancy.

Initially I felt that our business was going to be hugely affected because, in our line of work, we focus on assisting clients to expand their business to other countries; we rely on open borders, and so the travel restrictions were a worry. However, businesses have had to adapt quickly to meet a changing environment due to a rise in what we term “dispersed employees” as a result of the pandemic.

Dispersed employment can be a challenge for employers because of the rapid, sometimes unplanned nature, of the movement, when, for example, employees travel to another country because of office closures or get stuck because of travel restrictions. Add to that the subsequent resource constraints of tracking that employee or, indeed, an entire workforce. We are hearing from clients that the true picture of dispersed employees in their companies is completely unknown because of a lack of planning or standardised processes in the early stages of the pandemic.

Mauve has been able to address this by supporting our clients via our employer of record service. We can engage a client’s employees short or long term through one of our many Mauve companies worldwide, setting them up legally to work in the chosen country while ensuring complete compliance as they carry out their normal day-to-day work for their employer.

My experience of the pandemic has been very up and down. I get moments when everything appears to be fine, as though nothing has really changed, and then something will happen to remind me and I will be brought back to the reality that things are very different now. I go through phases when I am very productive to phases when I don’t seem to be able to get anything done at all.

Mauve has been an amazing and supportive company to work for. Ireland Together has been a breath of fresh air for me in a world where we have been confined to our homes and our small circles of family and friends. It has provided a platform for Mauve to continue developing our global businesses.

I’ve been able to meet so many new people. There have been opportunities to share valuable content on the website, attend interesting presentations and get to grips with all the new technology and tools that are now par for the course in our virtual world.

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