How to keep in touch with colleagues during lockdown

  Angelique   |   12th November 2020 - 4 min read

For Fun | Charity Days

There’s a meme that’s done the rounds several times on LinkedIn that jokes about how Zoom meetings are the modern seances. This is mainly because you’re regularly saying things like ‘Make a sound if you can hear me’ and ‘We can’t see you can you hear us?’ Then of course, there’s the classic ‘You’re on mute!’But admit it – few things can replace a good natter around the water cooler or a quick after work pint at the nearby pub. But, unfortunately, with lockdown in full swing (again) we’re left doing virtual seances through our video communications platform of choice.As a remote business, SchemeServe has always had our employees’ mental health at the forefront of our minds. When things were ‘normal’ we’d have team days every quarter and would typically stay over at a hotel and enjoy each other’s company.Of course, such team days are now no longer possible.  Like thousands of other workplaces around the country we’re left with no other option than to speak to each other remotely.

SchemeServe’s Elevenses

So, on the 1 October, we introduced what we’ve affectionately named ‘SchemeServe Elevenses’. The concept is really simple. We take an hour every Thursday morning at 11am to chat over coffee and biscuits and get to know each other a little better.We’re close to our staff and wanted more team interaction and it’s worked out really well. The number one rule is that we’re not allowed to talk shop. But family news, coping with Covid-19 fatigue and discussions about pets are all welcome. Everyone looks forward to Thursdays now.When it comes to our platform of choice, we mostly use Zoom – it’s more intuitive to use. However, when it comes to inter-office exchanges, Slack is the preferred choice. Slack is handy as documents can be exchanged and conversations can be recorded.

Why WFH works

SchemeServe is one of the original insuretechs that worked from home. We’re sure that when we first decided this was going to be the way we worked there were a couple of raised eyebrows and frowns. But we didn’t let that stand in our way.We’ve now been running for 20 years and our WFH policy doesn’t affect our productivity one bit. It’s one of the things that set us apart and we’re proud of this. Granted there are now more that have embraced that WFH philosophy, but how many companies can say that they have really allowed for the flexibility that should go with it?Here at SchemeServe we believe that it’s important to have that work life balance. Spending time with family and attending those all-important sports days are vital too.It’s also important to have things outside of our work that gives us stimulus and makes us happy and we have a number of employees here that do voluntary work and have hobbies.Just recently we wrote about how our Lee Rogers works as a software engineer at SchemeServe during the week and how at weekends he takes on the role of a scrutineer for the world’s largest international street-dance competition.Our staff often do charity work outside of SchemeServe on a regular basis. During the first lockdown we wrote about how our employees were helping people in their communities. Chief of the Wunderwriter team, Colin Kippen, often helped out with prescription collections at the local village.Work-life balance is vital, especially now in these difficult times. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own version of our infamous Elevenses. All you need, is a steaming cup of coffee (or tea) and a biscuit!

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