Our Guide to Working from Home in 2020: Boosting Morale and the Future of Remote Working

BAmira Bird, Midwich Digital Content Creator 

Typically, my days fly past. Being able to have a laugh with my colleagues while I work never fails to uplift my mood and help me get through stressful tasks. However, without that, my days at home do tend to drag on a bit and all blur into one.  

Luckily, I’ve got teammates who are working with the business to ensure we all stay connected throughout the coronavirus epidemic. Ben Thompson, our Communications and PR Manager, is working hard to ensure morale is kept at a high. 

Amira Bird

Given you head up internal & external communications for Midwich, you’ve worked with HR quite closely to ensure staff morale and welfare is a high priority. What have you put in place to ensure the business is doing everything to keep staff mentally healthy? 

Ben Thompson

We’ve already got a great sense of community, so I know so many people are already checking in on each other as the days go by. I know our HR team are regularly checking on every staff member and our mental health first-aiders are checking on us too.

What I’ve been working on is ensuring that we have continual communication to our staff. Most importantly, we have ensured they are kept fully updated by our senior management team on the ongoing situation. We’ve also increased our regular internal news updates. For example, as well as our regular newsletter which includes lighthearted content from across our UKI colleagues, we have introduced a mid-week news bulletin filled with relevant content from our super HR team. 

Amira BirdOut of all the planned activities, what are you most excited about? 

Ben ThompsonDefinitely the pub quiz. Our digital content creator, Hannah Moody hosted our first one recently and it was a roaring success. Being able to sit down in a team and have a laugh with a drink in hand, came as a welcome change.  

Amira BirdWhat is your advice for people who are feeling their morale or their team’s morale waning?  

Ben ThompsonFocus on the positives. While you work from home, you have unlimited snacks, you can prepare an oven meal on your lunch, and personally, I have loved spending more time with my young family. Disney's launch of the new Disney+ app was good timing too! 

The sun has also been shining so lunchtime play in the garden has been a ‘breath of fresh air’. I managed to build this playhouse for my son and daughter!

Lunchtime at the Thompson house

Amira BirdHow do you think having 99% of Midwich staff being able to work from home will affect business practices in the future?  

Ben ThompsonIt’s difficult to know for sure but I think that now we know we can work remotely, it will allow more flexibility for how staff work. This is also demonstrating the alternative options to business travel and makes us consider what is really essential. Being able to cut back on non-essential travel is not only better for the environment but also saves money that can be better used on our staff.  

Amira BirdNext stop, four-day workweek? 

Ben ThompsonDon’t push it...   

 

Being on the CSR team alongside Ben, I’m all for cutting non-essential business travel and pushing for alternatives such as video conferencing. And, being a Gen-Z, I’m all about workplace flexibility. Although the four-day workweek may be a while off yet, I think the uptake of videoconferencing and remote working is a positive step towards having greener working habits.  

View more - Our Guide to Working from Home in 2020