By Stacey Cockram
When the world went into lockdown, to keep the company thriving, and to keep our unique company culture alive, Aspectus prioritised keeping its people connected and energised. We’ve always been such a tight-knit group of people that thrives on sharing ideas and building each other up, so there’s no way we wanted to lose that just because the business had gone remote. Here’s some of the exciting things we implemented during COVID-19:
To keep morale high, bi-weekly on a Wednesday we have an inspiring speaker chat to us about something outside of work. The whole company has had the opportunity to listen to some fantastic speakers including Tom Williams, the screen writer for Chalet Girl and Jennifer Achiro, Enterprise Sales Lead for Central Government at Microsoft.
At the very start of lockdown, Gus Williams, rugby producer at Sky, hosted a 5-week series covering enthusiasm, teamwork and working efficiently, which was a welcome motivational boost for us all. After that, Tom Williams spoke about positivity and shared funny stories about his own creative journey. Most recently, Microsoft’s Jennifer Achiro and Jim Bichard, Global Insurance Leader for PwC, have given talks about allyship and diversifying the workforce.
These chats have been a real highlight in our diaries, helping the company to stay driven, motivated and giving us a safe place for important discussions to be held.
With no hope of having drinks together anytime soon, Aspectus’ global virtual happy hour is the next best thing. Organised by Kylie Souder, Senior Account Manager, in the US, every few Fridays the whole the company – no matter where they are in the world – logs onto Zoom with their beverage of choice. It’s a perfect way to switch off and catch up with our colleagues across the pond. The other positive is that the Aspectus office bar has never been so well–stocked, given that we haven’t made a dent in the supplies for a good few months.
Individual teams have been doing their own thing too. On the Technology team, we recently took an afternoon off as Garry Dix, Account Director, and Sofie Skouras, Deputy Head of Tech, organised a tech quiz and our very own version of ‘Would I Lie to You?’.
We’ve prioritised keeping in touch with our colleagues because we understand the significant impact that connection has – it’s refreshing and energising! We truly value our company culture at Aspectus because we know it empowers us and makes the team members around us feel good about not just their careers, but their community too.
The day to day
Every team has embraced remote working in their own way, but one thing all sectors have started doing is morning video check-ins to say hello to friendly faces, plan the day and make sure everyone is getting the support they need.
We use video call a lot as it’s the quickest and most human way to communicate, but we understand it can get overwhelming too, so we’re all taking full advantage of the Microsoft Teams status options if we ever need some quiet time.
Peer group sessions
Our People forum – a group of senior employees overseeing company wellbeing– have also recently introduced peer group sessions. These fortnightly meetings with colleagues at your level from across different teams and offices, allow you to chat with people you might not usually work with directly during the day to day. This has been ideal for asking questions, sharing ideas and ways of working, and it’s brought us all closer together.
In these strange times, there’s been a lot of shifting and adapting, but there’s been some huge positives as a result. The extent to which we’ve remained connected with one another over the past few months, even with those across the globe, has been amazing to be a part of. New initiatives have cropped up, and new ways of thinking have been encouraged – something that’s definitely going to have a lasting impact on how we work as a global agency in the future, no matter our physical location.