Let’s talk about company culture in self-isolation04 Apr 2020
Amidst the uncertainty and stress of this unprecedented time, it’s easy to feel a dip in morale. Albumedix took the decision to ask all employees able to work from home to do so approximately three weeks ago. This was in a bid to protect the manufacturing team, to ensure continued supply security to our customers. It’s essential that we continue to produce our recombinant albumin products to support our customers in the creation of their life-saving therapies.
This decision created a working situation that we haven’t experienced in our 30+ years of operation. No longer being able to nip for a cup of tea with colleagues or have a lunchtime catch-up in one of our busy kitchen areas, a sub-team within Albumedix formed to capture ideas that would protect our extremely supportive company culture. These have since been implemented and we’ve reflected on their effectiveness below.
Meetings, meetings, video meetings!
We have found it beneficial to wherever possible have meetings via video chat. This face to face interaction is extremely valuable, even if it’s in a digital format during self-isolation. This has been encouraged across every level of our organisation, from the Albumedix Leadership Team meeting to 5-minute chats with colleagues.
It’s important to recognize that not every conversation that takes place in the workday is about work! Colleagues are often also friends and it’s important to dedicate time to catching up on a personal as well as a professional level. Different teams or buildings within Albumedix have taken the time to set up their own weekly calls, where you can dial in with a brew or your lunch to see some friendly faces. Kids, other half’s and pets have been known to also join these calls, giving everyone the opportunity to offer support to each other through this stressful time. One of our colleagues, Alex, has even set up a virtual Craft Club on Thursday lunch times, providing the perfect opportunity to be creative.
We quickly found that initiatives one and two helped colleagues who typically work closely or in the same building within Albumedix to stay in touch, however they didn’t do much to help cross-functional communication. A sub-group of volunteers quickly formed to address this. A ‘Covid-19’ page was created and hosted on our company intranet to centralize company-wide communications without flooding everyone’s inbox. Here, our senior leadership team can share business updates, we post the latest government and NHS advice to ensure we are all compliant and we created space for less formal updates.
Employees are encouraged to use this platform to share tips and tricks in the form of blog posts or photos depicting how they’re adapting to self-isolation. Some use this space simply to share positive news, however the most-used function on the page is the ‘helpful links’ section. Here, we have everything from ideas to occupy the kids and exercise tutorials to guided meditation videos and chiropractor-led neck exercises to compensate for not working at your normal desk.
Albumedix prides itself on having a strong, flexible and supportive culture and we’re doing all that we can to adapt that to a mostly virtual approach for now.