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Ebury’s remote working experiment

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2 April 2020

Written by
Shalini Kotecha

n recent weeks, we have seen companies around the world embrace remote working. As a cloud-first organisation well placed to operate in any location, the initial transition for Ebury was extremely smooth. We knew the technology side of things was working well, but we wanted to make sure that our 1000+ Eburians continued to be healthy, engaged and productive during this period of change.

One of the key initiatives we rolled out immediately was a weekly pulse check to monitor how our employees are feeling. The survey takes employees no more than 2 minutes to complete, and includes 3 simple questions:

– How did you feel this week (scale of 1-4)?
– What were the upsides from the week?
– What were the downsides from the week?

We review the results each week so that we can implement new initiatives to ensure the good stays good and to help employees on the downsides.

The results from the first 2 weeks indicated that employees, in general, are feeling positive about their experience so far (97% saying that they had a good week).

There were many upsides: employees are feeling supported, they are saving time and money with no daily commute, they have more time to spend on other things (e.g. me-time, family-time or work-time), there are fewer distractions, they are more productive and they are enjoying the comforts of their own homes.

The downsides were linked to the unique situation we are in: the obligation of staying indoors left some people feeling alone and others having to manage distractions of housemates or family members. We wanted to support employees who might be facing a difficult time.

As a result of this feedback, we implemented a number of remote engagement initiatives focusing on 3 key areas:

1) Increasing connections with colleagues:
– Increased remote social events (e.g. remote pub quiz, remote
‘coffee’ sessions)
– Set up of interest-specific chat groups (e.g. pets of Ebury)
– Launched weekly photography competitions (e.g. beard-off, most
interesting work set-up)
– Scheduled regular checkpoints with employees via HR reps

2) Increasing communication channels with Ebury
– Sending daily blog posts so that Eburians can stay connected to what’s
happening across the organisation
– Organised an Ebury Town Hall where the Senior Leadership Team gave a
live update to all employees
– Increased recognition for employees going above and beyond (e.g.
multiple Eburians of the month instead of 1)

3) Focusing on mental & physical health:
– Organised a weekly remote HIIT class with a qualified fitness
instructor (Ebury employee)
– Started the Ebury Kitchen cook-book for Eburians to share recipe ideas
– Shared useful resources, tips and advice from our employees who
previously worked remotely
– In process of organising guided meditation classes

We will continue to review the results each week and continue to roll-out new initiatives to support our colleagues.