One of the toughest impacts of dealing with the pandemic has been being away from our coworkers. At PCI Pal®, whilst the majority of our team across the world have experience working from home regularly, the wider impacts of regional lockdowns can quite easily bring about feelings of remoteness. This is why, now more than ever, it’s critical that our teams feel supported and connected as we all work from home, with many working under different conditions than they may have been used to pre-COVID. We are, after all, on this journey to the new normal together, and it’s one we will share the navigation of.
If you’re wondering how to foster a feeling of togetherness during this time apart, we wanted to share some of the things we have found effective for our business and our people:
- Organise time for employees to connect and unwind. One of the activities we’ve implemented is hosting virtual coffee breaks between departments during the workday. This has allowed employees to catch up and have “face-to-face” time to chat about anything other than work — in fact, talking about work isn’t allowed. We’ve also encouraged employees to participate in a number of online activities, from sharing remote working tips to posting pictures of their furry friends keeping them company.
- Ensure internal communication and transparency. To keep employees up to speed with the business, we have increased the frequency of our internal all company meetings. We want to practice what we preach.
- During this time, it is particularly important to make sure employees know they are appreciated. At PCI Pal, we have always had regular office Pizza Days. We wanted to maintain this unhealthy habit during lockdown, so we have been sending our coworkers, globally, pizza for them and their family once a month. We’re not too strict, so for any non-pizza lovers (who are these people?), we allow any take-out meal providing photos are sent into our marketing team. In addition to this, we recently sent the whole team chocolates and tea (because we’re a British-owned company) to enjoy during their virtual breaks, or whenever, to relax and unwind.
- We know that pizza and chocolate cannot fix everything, so to further support our teams, the company has invested in several new schemes to ensure they’re taking care of their mental health and well-being. These include access to new remote therapy, financial, legal and other services, as well as resources and advice on work and home issues, mental and physical health and more.
As our company vision states, it is our people that underpin all our company’s ambitions — they are the reason for our success, and so it’s important to ensure that we support each other. I have heard consistently from our teams that our people feel the lockdown and homeworking has brought us all closer together as a team. I am proud of this, and we are proud of the culture we’ve built and continue to develop.