PraxisIFM has been recognised by the States of Guernsey as a ‘winter champion’
The winter wellness campaign was launched by the local government to encourage businesses to do what they could to protect staff and the wider community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a financial services company, it was pretty much ‘business as usual’ during 2020.
The pandemic has introduced a more flexible approach to working life, with a greater emphasis on good hand and respiratory hygiene.
‘The biggest impact was felt in the first few weeks of lockdown when our staff were adapting to working remotely and, for some, juggling the demands of home schooling and other challenges that the situation created,’ said Ray Tully, Head of Marketing & Business Development in an article for the gov.gg website.
During lockdown the office was closed to all but two or three staff and, while they had to adjust the way they communicated with their clients, they quickly embraced the new way of working.
‘Our 200 staff in Guernsey have access to Teams and each department developed its own method and routine of staying in touch with colleagues via regular Zoom calls or WhatsApp.’
They worked hard to keep their staff informed, with their number one priority being the team’s welfare.
‘We also set up a private Facebook page so that colleagues from all our global offices could keep in touch. Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular topics was photos of pets!’
The teams continued to work from home until 22 June, when the States of Guernsey advised it was ok to return to normal working practices.
Ray said they were proud of the work they had done to ensure the wellbeing of their staff, and their family’s welfare, during COVID-19.
‘We’re very much a ‘local company’ with our global headquarters here and so feel very much part of the community, which we’re lucky to live and work in.’
All 200 staff members were offered a flu jab this year, as per every year, which take place at their office during working hours. Staff are fully supported to work from home if they are feeling unwell.
‘We have all the systems in place for them to do so. This helps staff recover from illness more quickly, as well as reducing the amount of cross-infection of bugs to colleagues.’
Ray said early indications showed this approach had reduced overall sickness levels. Encouraging the ongoing observance of good hand hygiene was also a key message, and one that may also help reduce general sickness.
‘We still encourage people to only visit the office if they are feeling well. We also have hand sanitiser and plenty of hand wash available.
During the early days of lockdown, back in March, the team recognised some islanders and charities were facing financial difficulties and launched an initiative asking staff to consider donating the last hour of their April salary.
Staff raised £4,600 which was split between Age Concern and the Guernsey Welfare Service, and continue support of local charities through their Charitable Trust throughout the pandemic as part of our commitment to CSR.
Click here for full details of our ‘final hour’ appeal.