Who said working from home meant working alone…..
It’s the end of our third week working remotely and we, like many other companies across the UK, have been learning and adapting every day of the lock down. We’re in unprecedented times, not only having to adapt to our working conditions but also being asked to learn a new set of social norms, where isolation and distancing is not only encouraged but enforced. All our lives have been affected by COVID-19 and it’s now, more than ever, that we need to come together as a team and support each other through this.
As a member of the Wellbeing committee at Generation Media our last few weeks have been focused on keeping our staff motivated and our workplaces as connected as possible. You would have seen lots of articles and pieces of research in the last few weeks showcasing the importance of staff wellbeing so we wanted to share our programme with you in hopes of inspiring other companies in the coming month.
We’ve focused or internal efforts around four core values of Wellbeing: –
- We’ve started a Virtual Coffee catch up within the company. Every Thursday at 11am we put everyone’s name in a randomiser and dial in to a video call to catch up with people in the team you may not speak to on a regular basis. We’ve found it a great way to get everyone talking and replaces the small conversations we used to have around the kettle at the office.
- We’re continuing to host our Friday company meetings, updating the team on everything that’s happening in the business and ending the week with some positive messages.
- Finally we’ve been hosting Thursday quiz nights for the office at 5pm each week. Being a London based company many of our staff are living separated from their families or in some cases on their own. Having these opportunities to get together and not focus on everything that’s going on in the world at the moment can really make a difference in peoples week.
- Be Active
- We’re holding Wednesday afternoon virtual HiiT sessions, led by our very own Rob Lyon. The ‘Get Ripped with Rob’ sessions are optional to any member of the team wanting to join but it’s keeping us active despite the limited access we’re having to the outside world.
- Take Notice
- With us all working remotely we’ve had to adapt to how we take company and team meetings in the last few weeks. We’ve encouraged our managers to host Video calls each morning with their teams and multiple points throughout the day, giving face to face contact like you would have had in the office. Sometimes an email is an easy option to reply to someone, especially internally, but using one of the various video conference software to Video call someone a talk through things is a much better way to take notice and show genuine interest.
- We’ve also asked all members of the team to make a conscious effort to video call members of the team they may not interact with regularly, especially those who are suffering more than others in the current climate. We want our office to remain the support system it was when we were all working in the same building, and we can only do this by looking out for each other.
- Finally we’ve made the camera being switched on mandatory for all meetings within the company. We want to ensure meeting etiquette is kept high even with us working remotely, the best way to show your listening and taking notice is to show your paying attention which is very hard when you can’t see someone’s face.
- Keep Learning
- Again we’ve been encouraging the use of video conference tools as much as possible. The screen sharing capabilities make it very simple to take team members through tasks and continue their professional development. At a senior level we’ve been attending various external online seminars taking place and ensuring all learnings are shared amongst the teams. We’ve attended some great sessions on ‘how to boost employee moral in uncertain times’ and ‘Leading Virtual Teams’, lot of similar sessions can be found at the moment so if you would like more details on these reach out to a member of the team.
- We’ve also hosted a week of waterfall learning within the agency this week, holding a 2pm session each day to upskill the wider team in various areas of our business.
This is just an example of some of the things we are doing internally to keep our office working productively and keeping our team as motivated as possible. We’re going to be working remotely for the foreseeable and a lot of people are feeling uncertain, or in some cases anxious, of what the future holds. Some things are outside our control but what we can do is keep our staff motivated at work and try and support them as much as we can through these trying times.