Sharing BiU’s real life experience of working from home

It’s been well over a week since all of BiU’s team have been working from home and we wanted to share some of the ways in which our team has adapted. 

In order to give some context; we have a team of 110 and 80% were office based only.
Tiny to some, big to others. 

Anthony Mayall, CCO, BiU
Anthony Mayall, CCO, BiU

Our IT team were incredible in mobilising our staff to work from their lounges, dining rooms, offices and spare bedrooms across the country – from Blackpool pier to Southport pier, from Greater Manchester to the Ribble Valley, we’re all staying at home. Without a doubt the work they did in just a few days has been key to allowing us to do business as usual. Most businesses have a Continuity Plan but it doesn’t usually include the redeployment of all staff to home working. It does now… 

So, here’s us sharing our recent experience that enabled us to maintain our service, sanity in our homes, as well help our wider community where we can. 

Colleagues have been geared-up with proper home working equipment – that means two or three monitors if that’s what’s required.

Our morning department huddles have gone digital with Microsoft Teams meetings 

Monday office drinks and food supplies swapped by donating the value to Fylde Food Bank 

Internal meetings have all gone digital, often with added guest appearances from children, parents, and pets!

Leadership giving continuous reassurance that we don’t need to get stressed if our three children bomb a video call – all businesses are in the same position.

External meetings have also gone digital, with our clients and friends of BiU embracing technology and the opportunity to still engage

Staff who didn’t have office chairs had their BiU one delivered by the team before the movement restrictions were put in place by the Government 

Those usual 5-minute chats in the kitchen or popping heads into our departments swapped with coffee catchups via Teams – encouraging staff to have a chat with cross-departments as well 

We started last week with 113 members of staff, and end this week with 115 – yes, we’re doing our usual induction week online, and supporting our new Analysts remotely

Flexi-time has been swapped with flexible working to accommodate all our parents and carers at BiU as well as staff supporting the NHS Good Sam scheme 

We’ve a ‘logged in’ notification system in place to allow staff across the company see who’s available and not due to the flexible working accommodating daily form of exercise, helping with maths revision or popping the kettle on! 

Our canteen has been replaced with virtual lunch buddies using Teams or Skype to enjoy a break from the ‘office’ and catch up 

Our office music has been swapped with a staff generated BiU Spotify and Amazon Music playlist 

Typically, we’ve a range of staff communication screens across BiU which we’ve now swapped with dedicated channels on Teams – our coffee break daily brain teasers, kids resource sharing, and birthday shout-outs on our own internal social media channel, Juice 

Our post has been redirected to reception working from home (as like our switchboard), and is digitally scanned, securely stored and digitally sent to departments  

Fun Friday’s drinks and food swapped with donating the value to Leon’s Feed the NHS. ( www.feednhs.com )

But Fun Friday, where our staff socialise over a drink and slice of pizza, remains, with our Chief Commercial Officer, Anthony Mayall, hosting the first virtual fun Friday via Teams – enjoying music from our BiU DJs and some fizz to hand. It lasted 5 hours! 

No matter the challenges ahead, we’re sure that the great minds at BiU have a solution not just for our clients but for our staff alike over the coming weeks. 

We can do this!