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The Human Behind The Screen

The Human Behind The Screen

By Shauna Moran
The ways in which we work and scale workforces are changing. No longer are we reliant on a physical location in order to operate as a business or a team. This shift in building teams and companies is coming rapidly and businesses are being forced to adapt what they’ve done for years. In this podcast, we’ll be speaking to leaders and experts all over the world to dissect what makes businesses successful at remote working? We’ll be discussing the importance of human connection, emotional intelligence and relationships, in an ever-changing virtual world.
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Why are remote workers experiencing burnout, and what can we do about it? - Shauna Moran - Operate Remote
So many of us are experiencing burnout since COVID-19. We're working remotely and juggling a busy working environment along with many other reasons.  In this episode, I share my own experiences and insights as to what is causing burnout for remote workers in 2020 and what we can do for ourselves and each other to ensure we are sustaining for the future- whatever that looks like.  Whether you're concerned about burnout on your team, experiencing it yourself or want to be proactive about preventing it- this episode covers it all.
July 30, 2020
Understanding the Modern Workplace – Paul Savage – Conjura
How do we manage to transition back to an office environment when some of our teams will still be working remotely? What will the future of the workforce look like and how should we adapt as leaders? In this episode, we speak to Paul Savage, COO of Conjura. Paul is a passionate leader and shares with us his biggest insights from many years of building and managing teams remotely. There is also great discussion on the importance of seeking, for the right reasons, to carefully measure productivity, with the right message and for the right understanding. We cover the challenges that arise when giving feedback in a multi-generational remote workforce. Along with a nice touch of inner reflection from Paul during this show, we can all benefit from his sharing of thought leadership and his valuable advice!
July 23, 2020
Over-communicating and Redefining Collaboration for Top Performance in the New Remote Climate – Mike Potter – Rewind
A podcast full of great people-focussed leadership qualities from Mike Potter of Rewind, about how he supports his team of remoters during this unique time. Mike shares ideas on what to do when the initial appeal of working from home has, for many, become more of a challenge in terms of work-life balance, and how to meet the needs of those who are missing that super important human connection they had in the office, reiterating the value of ‘over-communication’ and ensuring priorities are aligned. He also leads by example when encouraging his team to manage their time based on their own unique needs. Practising empathy once again comes up as a key leadership skill, really listening to employees and employing processes and improvements that will really pay off when expanding a remote workforce. In the last section of the show, you will hear Mike and Shauna brainstorm ways around the key blocker to ‘collaboration’, which Mike’s development team are having a particular difficulty with. Mike Potter is the co-founder and CEO of Rewind, the leading cloud data backup provider. Rewind is trusted by over 20,000 businesses to protect their data on platforms such as BigCommerce, Mailchimp, Shopify and QuickBooks. He earned his MBA from the University of Ottawa and his B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University. Mike currently resides in Ottawa, Canada. Make sure to take good notes from this show!
July 16, 2020
The Future of Work, the Future of Living – Chris Herd - Founder & CEO Firstbase
This show gets rapidly interesting as the super-knowledgeable Chris, Founder and CEO of Firstbase, talks to Shauna about the logistical and physical aspects of setting up your business to operate remotely. Then he talks about how your leadership soft skills should come into play around collaboration, communication, trust, and enablement, when meeting the challenges of building and scaling a remote team. After that, enjoy some thought-provoking commentary from Chris about the future of work and how the by-product of remote working will be the ability to produce the best work of our lives. And if you have kept up thus far, then you will be ready for the live on-the-spot coaching session about removing bias from decision making! Firstbase is the physical Operating System (OS) for remote teams. Their platform lets companies supply and manage all the physical equipment remote workers need to do great work at home, as a monthly subscription.
July 9, 2020
Business as Usual? The Impact Over Recent Months on Distributed Teams – Marcus Wermuth – Engineering Manager at Buffer
Our new show format with live coaching is underway! We can’t wait for you to hear this episode with Marcus Wermuth, Engineering Manager at Buffer. Our discussion is about managing the latest challenges for widely distributed teams, bringing great insights on how to balance empathy with performance, how to provide the right support and guidance for effective communications, and generally seeking to make life for your team easier, not harder. Then we move into live coaching, where we strategise, coach and explore how to address the one challenge or blocker that Marcus has identified as key for improvement. The blocker, he explains, is about maintaining that team bond and how much trickier it has become, when travel and in-person events are not an option this year. Tune in and experience the power of coaching in our first show to feature a live on-the-spot coaching session!
July 2, 2020
Bullying and Bad Leadership in Remote Environments; Shauna's Story
In this episode, I sit down with my dear friend and fellow entrepreneur Rachel Jacobs. Last week, I posted an article that shared my story, a story that I've sat on for years. But then this week, I’ve had conversations that have pushed me to share this. I’ve had conversations with so many people around the world on how a bad leader has negatively impacted them. I’ve spoken to people I know, people I love, friends, ex-colleagues and even strangers and listened to their stories on the impact of bad leaders on their lives. Some have PTSD, some have mental health challenges, some have little confidence left and some continue to search for a better way forward. Leadership really matters. Hiring the wrong leader will not only change the culture of your organisation- it will negatively impact your employee’s mental health. You’ll lose great people. I’ve witnessed the most passionate, motivated and smartest people crumble to pieces because of a bad leader. I’ve crumbled to pieces because of my experience. But I’ve picked myself up and now these stories have pushed me to share my story. Now I’m sharing it with you today my story and the path that led me to create Operate Remote. You'll find the article here
June 26, 2020
Emotional Intelligence in the Online Environment – Maureen Hewitt – Founder and Academic Director of Positive Success Group
Our discussion in this podcast with Maureen Hewitt, is all around emotional intelligence and building strong foundations and relationships in the online environment. Maureen is the founder and academic director of PSG, Positive Success Group. PSG being led by Maureen, strengthens leadership in people, teams and organisations through coaching, emotional intelligence and tailored programmes. Maureen talks to us about the importance of being able to constantly adapt as we move into the remote working space. Being conscious of the elements that have been dulled down as a result of moving online and how to amplify them up again. Once again, we learn that there are terrific opportunities for businesses moving online, while recognising the need to take time to invest in learning, in order to grow and evolve. Listen in to this inspiring podcast for tonnes of wisdom and great advice for anyone operating in the virtual world.
June 18, 2020
The importance of ‘time’, our most valuable commodity – Shauna Moran – Founder of Operate Remote
This show features our very own founder of Operate Remote, Shauna Moran, who tells us about an ‘edgy’ change of format coming up for The Human Behind the Screen podcast! Make sure to stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as we kick off the new format of sharing insights and knowledge to build and hone our remote working skills. This week’s topic is all about the importance of ‘time’, our most valuable commodity. Shauna introduces important steps we can take as business owners and leaders, to ensure we are maximising our time and clearing any roadblocks to achieving our desired success. Don’t miss the powerful techniques that Shauna shares – designed to help us take back control and achieve the best ROI for our time. We learn to define what success really looks like and how we can ‘slow down’, in order to ‘speed up’. Use this link to avail of our FREE Time Management eBook: Scaling Your Value by Managing Your Time, and to sign up for our exclusive FREE webinar:
June 11, 2020
Personal Opportunities from Transitioning to Remote Working - Justine Shu - We Work Remotely
We have a great episode for you with our guest Justine Shu, Marketing & Community Manager at We Work Remotely. With a background in the music industry, tourism and hospitality, Justine is passionate about communication and creating connection with others – a key element at the heart of successful engagement and productivity within remote teams. Our conversation is about the opportunities that open up at a personal level when you transition to working remotely for the first time. Justine shared her own transition journey, the impact on her lifestyle and what she found to be huge benefits, once she had adjusted and had learned to set the appropriate boundaries between work and personal life. Whether you are a Job Seeker or an Employer, you should definitely check out We Work Remotely. Justine has arranged a special offer for our listeners too, with 15% off Job Listings on We Work Remotely. Simply apply the Coupon Code wwroperateremote15, when using this link: Also as promised, to avail of a special 30% discount on our course, Effective Communication Strategies for Remote Leaders, enter the discount code THEHUMANBEHINDTHESCREEN at the checkout here:
June 5, 2020
Uncovering Powerful Leadership Capabilities From Within - Nigel Stevens - Organic Growth Marketing
We can uncover from within, new and better leadership capabilities, to support not just ourselves, but also our clients, through these uncharted waters. Nigel Stevens, the founder, CEO and & Growth Lead of Organic Growth Marketing, a fully remote, SEO, digital marketing and content agency, revealed some powerful qualities that we can adopt as leaders and encourage among our teams - once we have worked out the logistics of how to work in this new environment.  What we like especially about Nigel’s approach to leadership in remote working is that he does not necessarily apply ‘learned leadership techniques’, but approaches it through his own evolving thoughts, understandings and experiences. Listen in for a discussion about ‘accountability’, ‘positive reinforcement’, 'self-reflection’ and more! And finally - make sure not to miss Nigel’s key piece of closing advice to us all, about how to deal with the uncertainty and focus in on what we can control. Nigel can be contacted through LinkedIn or his website, which is
May 28, 2020
Transitioning to Remote Work - Benjamin Crudo - Diff Agency
Today we're talking about transitioning to full remote work for the first time. We have Benjamin Crudo from Diff Agency to talk about their transition, the challenges that came with it, and his thoughts and practices on leadership. Benjamin is the founder and CEO of Diff Agency. With 100+ employees, three offices worldwide, and as one of the world’s top Shopify partners, Diff takes a full-service approach to e-commerce: planning, designing, building, integrating, and optimizing e-commerce products to drive success online. While known for his technical expertise, Ben remains passionate about demystifying e-commerce for his customers: communicating clearly in the language of retailers to ensure cooperative and successful projects. Some of his notable clients include Boll&Branch, Popsockets, YM,inc., WWF, Ecobee, and Yellow Shoes. To book a time to chat with Shauna, head on over to
May 21, 2020
Leading Teams with Empathy - Roy Sunstrum -
Today we're talking to Roy Sunstrum about what are the best practices for leading teams in these times when a lot of companies have been forced to go remote for the first time without any experience. Roy has over 25 years of senior leadership in a diverse set of companies and industries including Nortel, JDS Uniphase, DNA Genotek, and Shopify. Now retired from full-time work but highly active in the business community Roy has a stellar reputation in helping teams be more effective and developing great leaders. He has demonstrated this in disciplines including Manufacturing, Supply chain, Quality, Product development, Business Strategy, Customer Service and Support. If you want to learn more about leading remote teams successfully don't miss the opportunity to join my workshop on May 28th
May 15, 2020
The key to Enabling a Thriving Remote Work Environment - Tim Burgess - Shield GEO
Remote work and online meetings are something that a lot of us are experiencing daily during this time of isolation. But how does this affect our human connections? What are some good case practices from companies that have been working with remote teams for several years? Today, Shauna Moran talks to Tim Burgess, the co-founder of Shield GEO. In the past 20 years, Tim has dealt with thousands of international workers, and he's seen the benefits businesses get from international employment. So through his company, he's trying to make it simple for companies to employ staff quickly and compliantly anywhere in the world. Tim's remote team is spread across 16 different countries and is 80% remote. Learn more about Tim Burgess and his work at Shield GEO by connection with him on Twitter or exploring their website here.
May 8, 2020
The Secret to a Successful Workplace Wellbeing Program - Brian Crooke - Workplace Wellbeing
It is the international workers day today, and we have a special episode where we're going to discover the best practices to create a healthy and productive work environment. Today's guest, Brian Crooke, is the founder of Workplace Wellbeing Ireland and an expert in the field of workplace well being. He also acts as an educator and speaker, advising and supporting a large number of Irish organizations to promote and sustain well being within their workplaces. Surprisingly, Brian's background is actually in IT. The shift in his career happened when he realized that the stress and struggles he was experiencing daily in his consulting job are not something that should be considered normal. Brian Cooke hosts nationwide events for people interested in workplace wellbeing. You can find out more by joining the Workplace Wellbeing Ireland Community on LinkedIn.
May 1, 2020
Scaling With remote Teams - Chathri Ali - Recharge
How can we help our company to grow without perishing in the attempt, learning what tools we must improve, how we can keep vital information available to everyone, and maintain fluid communication? How difficult but important is it for leaders to manage their time to guide their teams and be effective in their work without overdoing themselves? How important is face-to-face for a remote company and how can we use this to avoid long-term losses? And how important is empathy as part of the corporate culture? All these questions get their answers through Chanthri Ali. In this episode of The Human Behind the Screen, we are going to speak with Chanthri Ali, who is the Chief Operating Officer for ReCharge, the leading subscription billing platform designed for physical subscription goods. She currently oversees the sales, marketing, customer success, and people operations, teams. ReCharge has achieved fast growth and currently powers over 10,000 e-commerce stores including Hubble Contacts, Native Deodorant, Dr. Axe, and Billie.
April 24, 2020
How to Nurture a Healthy Working Environment - Leah Knobler - Help Scout
Keeping a conversation with Leah Knobler, we will learn about how can we modify the hiring process, to generate a better relationship with new employees, how important is creativity when creating an inclusive environment within a remote company and difference between the growing and the scaling of a company. In this episode of The Human Behind the Screen, we got the chance to speak with Leah Knobler, a former high school teacher from New York, who found her passion for helping people as the director of talent acquisition for Help Scout. Leah has been creating inclusive environments since 2005 when she started her career as an NYC public school teacher. After years of educating the youths and working in higher education, she discovered her true love of People Operations when she heard about Help Scout, a remote-first tech company building helpful, human customer messaging tools. She took a chance, changed her career path, and for the past 4.5 years, she's grown the team from 20 to 110 people. Leah loves talking about recruiting like a human, diversifying tech, and Beyoncé.
April 17, 2020
Empowering Remote Employees - Job Van der Voort - Remote
In the business world, especially in remote work, being a good leader brings many benefits for the team. How do we know if we have the necessary qualities to be a good leader? How can we help our employees develop independence and ownership? What parameters must we have to guide our employees correctly? Is there a way to give our remote team the same benefits that our local teams have? In this episode of The Human Behind the Screen, we are joined by Job Van der Voort, who has a background in neuroscience. Job went into tech by starting a start-up, joining gets lab as Vice President of product. And he was fundamental in helping get lab scale from five people to unicorn have over 500 employees. Also, He's now helping the world work remotely as the CEO of, a company that allows both employers and remote workers around the world.
April 10, 2020
The Principles of Good Leadership for Remote Teams - Kelly Vaughn - The Taproom Agency
Having a remote work team, added to the one we have in an office, is an excellent opportunity to expand our reach as a company and add diversity to our work team, but what happens when our work team is entirely remote? How much can the experience gained over the years help us, when we undertake a project as innovative as risky? And, how important is a leader to help us grow and achieve our personal goals?
April 3, 2020
Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Shawn Winters - GitLab
There are a lot of us who have worked remotely for years, but, how should we deal with these new circumstances? How do we cope with the challenges that are implied with a generalized lockdown? And also, how do leaders manage a team that is transitioning to remote work now? We have Shawn Winters with us today in The Human Behind The Screen to share his experience as a leader of remote teams as well as his interesting point of view on topics like mental health and motivation for remote workers in these times of crisis.
April 2, 2020
Being an Successful Leader of Hybrid Teams - Brandee Sanders - Planet Brandee
Working remotely is a huge resource when it comes to having a flexible schedule, to fulfil our dreams or goals, but we could find some obstacles inside this kind of work. How we get the same visibility as our pairs, that work in an office? and how we, as leaders, can use standardization to help all our team members to be more efficient and have better communication? We are joined by Brandee Sanders, the owner and director of marketing operations activities of Planet Brandee, which is an award-winning visual storytelling, multimedia and content consultancy strategy business and the director of marketing operations activities.
March 27, 2020
Improving Communication in Remote Teams - Jordan Husney - Parabol
Working remote comes with a lot of challenges, one of the most obvious is the time zone differences. So, what do we do to improve communication under this scenario? And, how do we prevent this from generating more problems like isolation for our team members? We’ll discuss these and other topics in today’s episode of The Human Behind The Screen. We’re joined by Jordan Husney, co-founder and CEO of Parabol, a software that provides communication tools for remote workers. Jordan will share a few tips on how to improve the hiring process to find the right people for your team and how to overcome various other challenges implied when working remotely.
March 20, 2020
The Benefits of Holacracy - Morgan Legge - Convert
We’re quite used to the common management hierarchy that we’ll find in most businesses nowadays, both local and remotely - But what happens when teams work autonomously and decision-making is distributed throughout a holarchy of self-organizing groups rather than being vested in said hierarchy? Today we’re joined by Morgan Legge, an expert advocate of remote working from Convert, who will discuss the benefits of holacracy as a modern-day solution for teams and management models.
March 13, 2020
How to Be Efficient at Managing Remote Teams - Sarah McDevitt- Hubspot
Remote Teams are quite often crucial but overlooked components of our businesses, often so overlooked that it’s also common to think they can be managed the same way an office team can be organized - but what does managing a remote team really look from an inside perspective? What different challenges we can find when establishing an inclusive culture within that area? In this episode of The Human Behind The Screen, we’re joined by Sarah McDevitt, head of Customer Onboarding and Partner Success at Hubspot - and we’ll find out what management really is about when you’re connecting remote teams with each other.
March 6, 2020
Outsourcing Remote Resource and Scaling Quickly - GQ Fu - LTV Plus
Working remotely as an individual means having to adapt to your job or company needs from an employer standpoint. However, what happens when the task is too big for an individual or a small team? What happens when you need to entrust a complete specific part of your business to another partner who is not on-site? In this episode of The Human Behind the Screen we’re joined by GQ Fu, co-founder of LTVplus to discuss the intricacies of outsourcing and integrating other businesses in your own corporate or work ecosystem and keep things smooth between both parties to ensure optimal performance in your business.
February 28, 2020
How Companies and Leaders Can Be Effective at Scaling Remote Workforces - Filippo Di Trapani- Automattic
What does a business need to consider as remote teams start to scale? What does communication, onboarding and hiring strategies need to embody when your team is 800+ remote employees? In this episode, we speak to Filippo Di Trapani, Design Director at Automattic to discuss how companies and leaders can be effective at scaling remote workforces and make remote truly authentic and successful when a business is rapidly growing.
February 21, 2020
The Secret to Building Long-lasting Relationships Remotely - Jon Stern - Retention Rocket
When we think about the human connections we make remotely, our customers and partners play a big role in that. How do we connect with customers and partners with whom we never meet face-to-face? How do we ensure that we engage and retain customers when we build our relationships online? Jon Stern is the VP of Client Experience at Retention Rocket. Jon manages clients, partners, and prospects all over the world while working primarily in his home in San Diego. In this episode, we dive into what it takes to build effective customer relationships when you're limited to face-to-face interaction.
February 14, 2020
Building Empathy and Understanding in Multi-cultural Team Environments - Bridgid Farrell- All Talk Training
Communication is at the heart of any successful remote or multi-location team. What happens to communication when businesses add more dynamics to a remote team? How do we build effective human connections and interpersonal relationships when we have a diversity of languages and cultures. How can we prepare our businesses, our teams and ourselves when it comes to multi-cultural communication? In this episode, Bridgid Farrell from All-Talk Training discusses how speaking the same language on a multi-cultural team, doesn't guarantee that everyone has the same voice. Brigid Farrell, the founder of AllTalk Training, works with companies who operate internationally and have culturally diverse teams, helping them to eradicate communication issues that arise due to differences in language and culture.  Having spent several years abroad, Brigid has observed countless instances of communication breakdown due to cultural misunderstandings. In addition to this, her work training businesspeople in English has also afforded her extensive insight into the areas that lead to miscommunication in international business. This experience led Brigid to identify a pressing need - the development of communication training for those working within diverse teams. This training offers practical solutions to the question ‘What can we, native speakers of English, do to ensure non-native speakers are given an equal voice?’ Uncovering what can be done to improve cross-cultural interactions not only reduces inefficiencies that negatively impact productivity but also helps to drive collaboration among diverse teams.
February 7, 2020
Managing Yourself as a Human Being When Working Remotely - Brad Jasper - Remote Habits
A remote job, more than a position, is a lifestyle on its own because our job latches onto our everyday personal space and it is harder to delimit boundaries compared to having a fixed position in a local office. It is at that moment when we fail to set healthy habits for ourselves and we lose track of our circles, our social interactions, our physical health, and we slowly phase out of keeping things fresh and proficient.  In today’s podcast, we are going to have the opportunity to hear all about the experiences that our guest Brad Jasper has collected through extensive years working as a product developer, freelancer, and consultant. Brad himself is the creator of Remote Habits, an amazingly helpful online community that is focused on sharing key lessons and learnings and healthy practices for remote employees. Brad Jasper is a software entrepreneur building tools to help you be more productive, creative and independent. He created RemoteHabits, a place for workers to learn how to make the transition to remote work and also Focus an app to help with deep work. Currently, he's building, a next-generation network to help creators earn a living from their content. To learn more visit
February 7, 2020
The Secret Sauce to Remote Team Success - Vargab Bakshi & Eduardo Casta- Shopify
How do we build extraordinary relationships with our team members when they work halfway across the world? What's the secret sauce to creating fun and productive working friendships when we rarely meet our colleagues in person? In this episode, I speak to two of my dear friends and previous colleagues, Vargab Bakshi and Eduardo Casta to dissect what made our connection so special and our team efforts so successful on a fully remote team at Shopify. Vargab is a lead in the International Partnerships team at Shopify & their first employee in India. Vargab's expertise lies in E-commerce platform technologies & he has helped hundreds of small and medium businesses take their business online, guiding them in the digital space. Prior to Shopify, he has worked for Google and Martjack where he led Learning and Development. Presently he mentors freelancers and agencies to grow their business on Shopify. Apart from mentoring young startups, he is also a guest lecturer for educational institutions such as IIT KGP, SP Jain, Narsee Monji, Welingkar among others. In India, he has spoken at various conferences like Yourstory's Techsparks, India Retail Forum, Nasscom 10K startups amongst many others. Eduardo is an entrepreneur and expert in business development for technology-based companies, he is passionate about business and technology. Since 2013, he has led the growth of Shopify -a Canadian multinational e-commerce company- in both Latin America and Spain, by promoting and linking entrepreneurs in areas such as Fintech, web design, application development, digital marketing, logistics services, government, incubators, and other key players for trade in the region.
February 7, 2020