I see it as part of my role as Head of People and Places to create a balanced work environment. This environment should be healthy and inspiring, a place where people love to come to work.
And where we work has, of course, changed significantly in the past weeks! At Mollie we’ve gone from working with 200+ employees happily together in our offices, to working completely from home practically overnight due to the coronavirus. The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority. They have to feel safe and secure. And at the same time they still need a balanced environment where they love to work. I’m pleased to say we are making this happen.
Finding the new right balance
Because at the same time, we have 80K+ customers who fully rely on our platform for their income and this means we need to be up and running at all times. Mollies are super passionate about our customers and they work very hard for them. This passion and hard work ensure we can continue to support our customers, and the millions of consumers they serve, during these tough times.
Simon Sinek puts it nicely: ’Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.’ It’s my role to ensure our people continue to feel passionate and not stressed. I personally believe it’s a healthy body and mind which increases our wellbeing, creativity, and our productivity. It’s all tied together. Finding the right balance is even more important right now, and at the same time a bit harder. Not seeing each other in the same way we used to, means we have to find new ways to ensure our Mollies feel loved, feel supported, and feel they can still learn and grow as individuals.
The key to this transition
It’s not ideal to run this business without an office, but it’s definitely possible. Of course, we are still adapting to this new situation. We realise we miss each other’s company. One day, you’re bumping into your favourite colleague at the coffee machine, sharing your weekend plans, petting our office dog Olaf. The next day you’re at home, separated from your work friends because the normal way of working is no longer safe.
The key to making this shift is information. There was never a better time to over-communicate. At Mollie, we’ve been sending out daily ‘Corona updates’ to keep everyone informed. We also launched an internal ‘Corona. Everything you need to know’ page. Here we provide a detailed FAQ, updates and practical information as well as a lot of nice Tips & Tricks for working from home. We’ve also increased the frequency of our all -company ‘soapbox’ updates from our CEO and we started offering virtual lunch sessions for our managers to keep them connected and hear how the teams are doing.
How we support our people
We realised for a lot of people working from home wouldn’t be easy. Not everyone had the right setup, so we provided them with the funds to buy equipment. As we are a growing company, we also have new Mollies joining. For them we created a fully remote onboarding program so they can still start with us. Thanks to our great IT team all the equipment is now delivered to their homes, including a Mollie shirt so they can also look like their new family.
But this is only half of the story. Many Mollies have kids and are trying to juggle homeschooling or nursing with work. Being a mom of two young boys myself, I totally understand how stressful this juggle can be. Therefore we give parents all the space and time they need to take care of their family, without having to worry about work. Some people are home by themselves and might be starting to feel lonely. So we organise extra events, online of course, like Friday drinks and a virtual pub quiz to allow people to unwind and reconnect. We pay close attention to questions from our employees and try to anticipate their needs.
I think the combination of anticipating peoples’ needs, being there to support them, and showing additional appreciation in a tough time like this goes a long way. In the past weeks, we sent our Mollies weekly ‘Thank You’s’. Such as a green plant to decorate their new home-office, a culinary foodbox, and a dose of vitamins to encourage them to stay healthy. We’ll continue to do this. Because all the things we are doing, big and small, add up to making people know that social distancing ≠ social isolation.
I already see positives coming from this new situation and environment. We’ve seen people from other departments jump in to help out when their colleagues need help, which is fantastic. We seem more aware that we are in this together. We have a bit more patience with each other and ask ‘how are you?’ more frequently. All of this additional kindness is beautiful to witness, it’s the path to becoming stronger than ever long after this crisis is over.
Stay safe and stay healthy – Ingeborg