It’s been several months since Hastings Direct colleagues joined people up and down the country in setting up their home workstations to play their part in protecting our NHS and stemming the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety of our colleagues is always a top priority and while industries like retail and leisure opened their doors again over the summer, we were fortunate that very little needed to change for us and we have been able to continue to recruit and grow.
From early on, our colleagues had pulled together to adjust to their ‘new normal’ – the technical capabilities that supported people in working from home quickly became embedded and the majority of our colleagues had the equipment needed to carry out their roles. Over video calls, we discovered a real mix of home-office set ups – from those based at their kitchen tables, to those camping out in the spare bedroom, complete of course with the occasional guest appearance from children and pets!
Supporting each other and our customers
So our ‘new normal’ quickly became ‘business as usual’ as the Hastings Direct team continued to support customers with as minimal impact as possible and we’re extremely proud of everyone for making this happen during such difficult times. Recognising that people adjust to challenges differently, we worked hard to ensure our colleagues felt supported. We benefit from an extensive wellbeing programme which provides 24/7 mental, physical, financial and social health support, through regular workshop sessions and apps, with extra support provided by our wellbeing champions and mental health first aiders. A monthly survey was also introduced to capture how colleagues are doing – ever important as we headed into the winter months and a second lockdown.
Throughout the year, a hardship fund has supported Colleagues whose households were experiencing financial difficulties as a direct result of the pandemic and we were proud to extend this help to our Communities too. A £250,000 scheme was dedicated to supporting local charity projects that were tackling the impact of the pandemic such as foodbanks, refuges and NHS services.
Isn’t technology great?!
While that morning natter over the first cuppa of the day isn’t quite the same as it was, our teams have embraced Microsoft Teams to stay in touch. Across the board we’ve seen regular team check-ins, virtual meetings and social quizzes, through to our usual 4Cs Awards which moved online to make sure we continued recognising our colleagues’ achievements and success.
So for now at least, our new ‘business as usual’ continues 2020 style… from an eclectic mix of colleague homes in towns and streets across the country!
Could you and your home join us? Click here to take a look at our current recruitment opportunities.
Pictured: Data Protection Executive, Phil May, in his home office – kept company over the summer by his dog, Murphy.