Our nest is very important to us. It’s where we spend most of our time together, it’s where we meet our clients and it’s the environment which helps foster our amazing, positive Swan culture. Alongside our people, it’s the heart of Indigo Swan.
Before COVID-19 we weren’t really in a position to work from home. The odd occasion here and there, but for our company culture to thrive we recognised how vital it was for us all to be together, working side by side. This changed recently when we made the decision to set up ‘virtual nests’ in each of the Swans homes to help the country beat the coronavirus pandemic. During this time of change, our top priorities are of course the health and safety of our Swans and making sure there is no disruption to our clients.
We also recognise how important it is during this time to keep our incredible culture alive in order to help with our wellbeing. This has meant we have had to find new ways of doing things and communicating with each other. Although we can’t be together physically, we’ve been using lots of different tools and methods to continue to support, encourage and motivate each other.
If you follow us on social media, you may have already seen our ‘Swan Challenges’ each day. For those who haven’t, this is where James sets an assignment in the morning for everyone to complete by the end of the day. Swans submit their entries via our What’s App group for everyone to see and comment on. Challenges so far include sharing what you’re eating for lunch, drawing your best version of a swan and stepping outside for some fresh air. It’s been a great way for us to keep in touch, have a little bit of fun and bring some positivity to the day.
Meetings have continued as normal we’ve just been using Microsoft Teams to hold them virtually. It’s a new tool for us, so we admit there were a few teething problems to begin with but it’s all part of the fun! Children, fury friends and funny hats have all featured so far, we even carried out our normal ‘Friday Drinks Cart’ virtually.
Microsoft Teams also allows us to keep in touch with each other throughout the day. Each of us knows we can just phone one of the Swans for a chat or to see a friendly face. It could be a quick 5 minute catch up, or half an hour meeting, the fact that you get to see someone’s face and smile is what’s important. We love spending our working day with one another and this is helping us to continue to do so.
James has always been honest in the fact that he believes the most important 4 words he says in a day are ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’. Although he can’t say these words to each of us as he normally would, James has been sending across videos versions, one at the start of the day and one at the end and sending them to our What’s App group. You might be surprised the impact these four words have on a person’s day. It doesn’t take a lot but means so much. They are a way of keeping some normality when we are far from it.
Although we are working from home, collectively we understand it’s better to spend our time being productive rather than sitting in front of a computer all day. This means some days we may work 5 hours others we may work 7.5, as long as we get the work done when its needed and achieve what we set out to work on that day, that’s what matters.
We’re also using this time to learn and improve our knowledge. Each week the Swans are asked to watch a Ted Talk and relay what they have learnt and their key takeaways with the rest of the team. It could be energy related; it could be something to do with their role or it could be something separate. It’s up to them to find something they will find useful! Aimee is also using the time to complete her Energy Management Professional course online, which she will be able to use to help our clients in the future. Lee will be continuing our internal training sessions virtually so that all the Swans stay up to date with developments and the energy market.
It’s had its challenges, but that’s to be expected. As we continue our second week of working from our ‘Virtual Nests’, we’re excited to see what it brings us and how we can work together to achieve the very best we can as a team!