We’re facing a challenging time for our world, and as social distancing and lock-down measures persist across the globe, people and businesses are being forced to adapt to a new way of working.
Companies around the world, i-stock included, have followed Government guidelines to work remotely from home as part of “the world’s largest work-from-home experiment”, and of course, to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the NHS.
Before COVID-19, flexible or remote work may have been viewed as a luxury, or a niche trend, and it was, hypothetically thought of as the future of work. It was desired by Gen Z and millennials, with more than two-thirds of college and university students and graduates expressing that they want jobs with remote work options.
Now working from home is not just a desire, but a necessity and businesses are trying to figure out how they can survive with help from the virtual world.
Firstly, we can break it down into four core areas:
- Technology: How can we use technology to connect with colleagues and clients?
- Care and culture: How can we ensure that staff continue to feel fully engaged by the organisation?
- Operational pinch points: How can we manage resource shortages caused by illness or self-isolation and focus on delivery good outcomes for clients?
- Commercial momentum: How can we maintain business momentum?
The digital world is truly coming into its own during lockdown, with more video conferencing then ever before. Team calls and meetings are occurring through platforms like Microsoft Teams, with security measures in place to ensure there is nothing shared that shouldn’t be. Microsoft Teams also allows for an exchange of documents, as platforms like OneDrive are allowing companies to access all files remotely, in a safe and secure system
Care and culture
In these challenging and uncertain times, there may be a host of personal and work-related problems and challenges. It’s important now more than ever, to be aware of well-being.
In our case, staff benefits have been reviewed to ensure all have access to an employee assistance programme. Provided by AXA PPP, this will be available to all colleagues and their immediate family members for support, be it physically or mentally. As well as this, communications from HR departments keep colleagues up to date on government guidance and ensure all are adhering to the advice in place.
Those struggling to work on personal computers, or computers with little memory, have been provided with new devices to ensure they can complete their work to the best of their ability. By doing this, the process of this new normality becomes much more seamless, having a positive effect on mental health and the productivity of the team. It’s important to stay focussed on staff’s mental, and physical health whilst working remotely; keeping morale high and communication flowing are proving a good way to do this.
Operational pinch points
It’s likely that day-to-day operations will come under pressure, as staff continue to negotiate working from home, or indeed may suffer from illness. Our company has established a skeleton staff rotation system, with specific cross functional teams to ensure customer needs are met and essential activites are delivered. This coupled with strong team communication through technology can help us continue to run an efficient and hard-working ship.
i-stock have worked hard to keep their teams and messaging energised and connected. Keeping customers happy and protecting their money as best we can is our key drive. It’s also helping to refresh staff on the long-term strategy of the company, providing updates as the daily news effects all of our futures, as well as our day-to-day activities. Sharing success stories will inspire and motivate through this tricky time.
Those are just a few things we are doing at i-stock. Please comment and share any thoughts as we all work together to thrive during this unsettling time.