The unexpected upside of working from home - our company experience
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Since 17th March, following government guidance and our policy to always put the health and safety of our people first, all of Cornerstone’s 250 employees are working from home.
We have prepared a working from home guide which you can view here.
We have moved very quickly to create the right environment to keep everybody connected.
We began by setting up a dedicated coronavirus intranet page hosting company updates to keep pace with the situation and external information from trusted sources such as Public Health England. From there, we issued working from home guidance based on industry best practice. The guide covers how to set up a workstation safely, remaining vigilant with information technology, getting the best out of technology to communicate and collaborate with others, and last, but by no means least, the importance of maintaining our wellbeing.
To support our people in this challenging time, we have taken the initiative to provide an additional five days paid compassionate leave to cover caring for dependents or maintaining carer responsibilities, which has been well received.
We were conscious too of the need to create two-way communication between everyone in the company and we have set up an MS Team called Cornerstone Family, which reflects how we feel as an organisation. Containing three channels, the combined effect of all our actions has had some surprising upsides.
Our people have embraced their new working conditions brought about by coronavirus, showing creativity and innovation in their response. As examples, from a wellbeing perspective, we offer online yoga three times a week, or for those who want something more demanding, HITT sessions are available. People are sharing pictures of their team virtual coffee catchup’s, outside surroundings, motivational quotes, while others are organising online tea breaks for those who want a friendly chat.
That online camaraderie has extended into day-to-day working too. Managers are reporting that the desire they see right across Cornerstone to do the right thing is simply inspirational.
One manager summed it up for me when he commented that the challenges of working from home in maintaining business as usual, has unexpectedly produced a renewed team energy and increased drive. People are communicating even better than before among themselves, our suppliers, and our customers. It has gone up a level from what was already a very high standard. A fantastic example being the weekly online meetings we are having with our key suppliers to keep them updated, a move described as industry-leading.
I am so proud of everyone’s efforts and determination at Cornerstone to keep ourselves connected and in looking out for one another.
People, Brand, Communications and Facilities Director