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Live from London: interview with RVE’s instructional designer

For just over a year now, Caroline Selber, our instructional designer, has been living in London, UK. Yet RVE is based in Quebec, and its markets are exclusively North American. But thanks to the remote working that RVE allows to promote the well-being of its employees, there’s nothing to stop them from moving out of the country and collaborating with the rest of the team day after day. All that’s required is a slight shift in working hours. We spoke with Caroline about her time in the UK.

Optimizing learning, a central goal for RVE

First of all, could you tell us what an instructional designer is?

I design things that are instructional. It’s looking at how people learn and figuring out how to deliver material to them in the best way possible to optimize what they get out of it. At RVE, where the focus is on continuous improvement and democratized knowledge, we want to make sure we develop the best possible tools. I think it’s a wise move for any company to hire an instructional designer because they’re a really good fit for the marketing team, considering that anything that goes out to be marketed is kind of a learner’s tool.

What was the first project you worked on at RVE?

I participated in the development of the NRCan guide, EV Ready Planning, A Guide for Murbs. It’s a very visual guide and it has a second part of it that is printable to allow you to keep track of the steps that you take. That’s also something that we found was important; condo owners sometimes sell their units and they might have had a history with EV charging in the building that then doesn’t get passed on to other unit owners, or a condo board might decide to switch over the membership every year. So how do you keep track of all the decisions that are made yearly? A project like this, where there’s many, many different steps, might go on for longer than a year. So we tried to encourage packaging it all, putting it in a binder, and passing it on to the next person who might want to be involved in that kind of project.

What are your studies and how do they translate to your work at RVE?

I did my bachelor’s at McGill in Education and then my master’s at Concordia in Educational Technology. I started as a high school teacher which I did for about seven years. I was teaching at-risk youth and I think I learned a lot about how kids function. Often a child, an adolescent, is a really good representative of what a learner is because you’ve got all the different things that are going on to treat at the same time. I think that it was really preparatory in terms of understanding learners generally as well as contributing to the value of the RVE brand.

“For me, I haven’t found that the time difference has made a difference at all. And if anything, it works best with how I operate.”

— Caroline Selber, Instructional Designer

The remote working experience

Why did you decide to go live in London?

I was in school for a long time and then in a classroom as a teacher without really having the opportunity to explore. Working at RVE gives me that opportunity because I do all of my work remotely. I’m grateful for it because it’s given me the opportunity to visit many different countries and learn a lot about these different countries and at the same time keep an eye out for what it is that I do for work!

What are the main differences between working here and working over there?

I think it’s really cool that you can operate on different time zones. It’s good if you find a time zone where it works for both [the company and you], for example, I’m somebody that likes working at night and I get to work on hours that work for me. I think that’s the case for just about everybody at RVE. I don’t think it’s so stuck to a nine to five that anybody really gets negatively impacted by that work structure. For me, I haven’t found that the time difference has made a difference at all. And if anything, it works best with how I operate.

What do you find is the hardest part of working exclusively remotely?

When you’re working at a distance, you can only get so much from the collaboration that you have with your other coworkers. There’s definitely moments where I wish I was in the room because collaboration does happen best when everybody’s in a room together. But distance doesn’t have to go on forever! I saw a lot. I’m happy with what I saw, but I know that there’s a life to get back to when I return to Quebec in September!

Electric vehicle charging in the United Kingdom

You recently attended the electric vehicle show Fully Charged Live UK. What did you learn there?

I do think that it’s quite advanced here in terms of how they handle safety and how they handle on-street parking. All of the same things that I would imagine would be at a North American conference were here, although with less emphasis on EVSE (Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment). However, I find it interesting that they were very conscious of the fact that WiFi and communication protocols don’t always solve something; that’s a safety factor. They are trying to improve on those systems and to find a better way for the charging stations to communicate with each other.

Live from London: interview with RVE's instructional designer

Caroline au salon Fully Charged Live UK

Did you see any product that operates the same way as RVE’s products?

No! They do have load management and I have seen products that are energy management systems. There are a couple of companies that I flagged that have that integrated into their products but it works slightly differently.

What have you seen over the past few months in terms of home charging in the UK and Europe in general?

Being here allows me to keep an eye out for charging technology and see how different countries operate within an industry that’s still very new in North America. In places like the Netherlands, it’s much, much more advanced ; in the UK too. But I’ve also seen other countries like Austria or Bulgaria, where it’s only a couple charging ports at hotels for example. It has a presence, but they’re not treating it as though it’s a need for every person that lives in the country; that’s because they don’t have goals set for EV adoption. I think living here gives me a perspective different from the North-American one. I’d love to see how charging operates in Asia, where it’s also very, very advanced. I feel like some of the same problems that we have in Canada could get informed by what problems they’ve already encountered and resolved.

Allowing employees to travel thanks to remote working also contributes to their personal development, while opening up the company’s horizons. And at RVE, we believe that this experience will expand our expertise and further enrich our innovative solutions, which are transforming the home charging industry in North America.

Our Team

A team that works together

Although the company has several departments, the whole team is tightly knit, and we don’t hesitate to lend a hand from one department to another. Find out more about our team members and the role they play within the company.

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