Skip to content
Back to Blog Wellbeing at Switchee
Switchee Culture

Wellbeing at Switchee

This week, Olya looks at some of the wellbeing initiatives that Switchee have tried, and what they taught us about improving our working environment.

Olya Yakzhina
Olya Yakzhina

Feb 03, 2021

Switchee takes care of our employees and their wellbeing. Mental Wellbeing is subjective for everyone and it takes a well-defined process coupled with an empathetic approach to come as close as possible when looking after it.

In this blog post, we’d like to tell you about ways in which we measured, analysed and looked after our employee wellbeing over the last 10 months. We hope that this will help other companies on their journeys to achieving healthier virtual workplace in these trying times.

Metrics

This might not sound as exciting as some of the examples of great virtual socials and the ways those are put together. Don’t worry, we will get to that later, though ;) 

Everything starts with metrics and the reason for that is that your company is a collective of unique individuals who strive for different things. Not one person is alike and so researching “fun virtual events at work” and implementing them as a blanket “policy” in your business might not work as well as it could have if you created the right metrics and asked the right questions to uncover what is important for your people today

Switchee assesses employee wellbeing on two dimensions - quantitative and qualitative (having regular conversations to grasp one’s state of mind and work satisfaction). 

Our quantitative way of collecting data on how people’s experience of work and their wellbeing fluctuate involves a weekly Mental Wellbeing Poll. Each week our people get presented with one statement and asked to rate it on a scale of 1-5 (Disagree completely - Absolutely Agree). Here are a few examples:

work life balance I feel that I can maintain a healthy balance between work and my personal life

work stress Switchee offers the support I need to deal with work-related stress  

employee wellbeing Switchee does enough to promote employee wellbeing (resources, benefits, advice, etc.)

family issue support I feel supported at Switchee when I am dealing with personal or family issues 

time off work I am able to arrange time off from work when I need to

Every Quarter we share the overall score with our team as well as the scores for each question. We feel it is essential to be fully transparent around collective Mental Wellbeing not only to normalise conversations about it but also to raise awareness amongst employees on how others might be feeling in the business, which in turn creates a more empathetic workplace.

Analysis

Using these metrics allows us to collect data and analyse it, discovering trends across the business and implementing relevant action plans to tackle areas of concern.

When we discover a certain pattern from one quarter to the next, we can adjust our People OKRs for the quarter to come to prevent the trend from continuing into the next 3 months. 

Analysing our employees Mental Wellbeing allows us to recognise when action needs to be taken and determine which action it is. For example, recently we have discovered that only 60% of people felt supported when making use of flexible working arrangements. 

Taking certain actions in the last quarter we ensured that the freshest poll showed that 100% of people were now supported with flexi-working. I am proud to see that our leadership and our teams have found a way of making this happen. All this further supports our policy on flexible working and reaffirms its value. 

Appreciation

Taking care of our team and time and time again showing them that Switchee cares about them as individuals and about their mental wellbeing is important to us.

This is why we have been running the following initiatives to walk the talk (and take away the “show”)

  • Every Monday, we post a collection of resources (articles, podcasts, webinars, videos or short content pieces) on mental wellbeing and ways of looking after yourself. 
  • We partnered with our friends over at ThanksBen, opening access to their FREE virtual events that include physical exercises, breathing and meditation sessions, live webinars on wellbeing, resilience, stress management, time management and even nutrition. 
  • We support our working parents with their childcare arrangements and provide them with resources on homeschooling or other fun activities to do with kids during the lockdown.
  • Every Thursday we run an Afternoon Tea & Cupcake 30 minute break, to encourage each other to take a break and chat to colleagues with a cup of tea in hand. 
  • We know it can get a bit lonely and work can take our fun chats away at times and so our lovely Donut Slack integration allows us to couple up for a “No-work talk” every 2 weeks at random.

Socials & Milestones

I am sure you have felt it yourself over the last 10 months - virtual socials are hard to manage. We got lots of ideas out there such as new virtual even management companies, end of the week “pick me up” games, dreaded pub quizzes and DIY crafts.

How do we take everything that’s out there and organise it in a way that will be most meaningful and engaging for our people? To answer this question, Switchee takes an individualistic approach. Keeping one ear to the ground and remembering our team’s true interests and passions we select activities that will become most fun for the team. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Our Head of Customer Success Nick Sarac organised a Friends Quiz for the many fans of the series we have in the business.
  • We’ve played an online Song Guessing game to take to the melomans.
  • One of my favourites was the Drawing Guessing game letting our creativity go wild.
  • We’ve run our own family-like Winter Party, painting our Christmas tree decorations and auctioning our best creations and favours to each other while raising money for the Mind Charity in memory of our dear Co-Founder Ian Napier. 

We think it’s important to recognise the many milestones we go through as a team and the annual celebrations that happen around us. We’ve had so much fun dressing up in spooky outfits for our Halloween Social while listening to live music, topped with a Magic and Comedy show afterwards. 

This year, we wanted to start of the “right foot” and bring the right energy to the table as well as encourage our team to be kind to themselves and take it slow when rearing back into work after their winter holidays.

We sent everyone a Welcome Back to Work note with delicious raw coconut chocolate in the post to put a smile on their face and share how much we missed them over the break.

I gotta say the best way to welcome them back though, was our first Town Hall of 2021 when we had a surprise David Brent impersonator join us for an exciting announcement and a personal shout out to multiple members of the team!

Our Future Initiatives

The year 2021 holds hope for a final face to face social we’ve all been longing for. We can not wait to bring our dreams to reality and take everyone for a beach holiday when it is safe again to travel abroad.

Until then, we will be keeping a close eye on our team’s wellbeing and ensure that we never run out of fun ways to “pick them up” on a Friday evening 😉

Olya Yakzhina

Olya is Switchee's Head of People. She is a people-focused professional, educated in Counselling Psychology and Transformational Coaching. Olya's passion lies with the employee experience.

Latest Articles

The Monitoring Requirements of PAS 2035

The Monitoring Requirements of PAS 2035

With PAS 2035 released, the requirements for housing providers and their contractors to monitor their retrofit initiatives might come as a ...

How IoT in other industries could revolutionise social housing?

How IoT in other industries could revolutionise social housing?

With IoT flourishing in a host of other industries across the country - what can social housing learn from their deployments for their own ...

Does Fuel Poverty Damage Social Housing Properties?

Does Fuel Poverty Damage Social Housing Properties?

Everyone knows that fuel poverty causes health problems for social housing residents - but is it also damaging the properties they live in ...