Mobile Workplace for an Enabled Workforce

Keeping our team safe and making a difference for customers in the process

When reports of COVID-19 cases started to emerge in different countries throughout the World, we were as concerned as everyone else as to the potential impact and knew that it was critical to act early. It was only going to be a matter of time before coronavirus arrived on our shores in Australia.

During the Black Summer of 2019-2020, our team had established a working in extreme conditions policy for our team which looked at what the workflow of moving to a remote model would look like. Little did we know that come early March, we would be doing exactly that. We’ve always worked hard to ensure that our team members have the best workplace and by extension, the best ability to make a difference for our customers. So making the call to move everyone to a work-from-home (WFH) model was an easy call to make to ensure the safety of them and their families.

In the creation of a mobile workplace for an enabled workforce, there are a couple of very clear themes that we focused on:

  1. Leadership

    Regular and clear communication to our team is being delivered by our ELT on a weekly basis via our Town Hall over video conferencing. Our Heads of Departments (HODs) have also been instrumental in working with their direct reports by providing clear direction. Throughout the challenges from COVID-19 so far, our team knows how we’re responding and what the plan is going forward, allowing them to purely focus on their customer outcomes.

  2. The Right Team

    It takes time to build the right team, ensuring the right people are on the bus. Fortunately we have a strong team that is not only highly collaborative but they’re singularity focused on customer success. The support that we’ve seen from our team for each other and our customers has been inspirational, they care and it shows.

  3. Facing Facts

    We’re always looking for ways to improve in all areas of what we do, understanding what works well and what doesn’t has ensured that we’ve made changes over the last few years that has placed us in a strong position to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19 on a range of different levels.

  4. Process, Procedure & Technology

    A key area we’ve focused on over the past few years has been the establishment of clear processes in everything that we do, ensuring that there are procedures that can be worked to and using technology to make that process as streamlined as possible. As our team works through their planned time each week, we can easily see where we’re doing well and where we may need some extra resource. Several platforms that we utilise from Atlassian, G Suite and Slack (to name a few) has enabled us to work like we’re still in the office.

  5. Maintaining Motivation & Moral

    Whilst one of the most important things to nail in remote working, it is easier when you have a super strong team behind you. The novelty of WFH has made way to looking at maintaining the moral and motivation to deliver exceptional customer outcomes, day-in and day-out. Our approach has been to ensure that we’re celebrating the achievements of our team and customers every day, we’re checking in on team members from ELT, to HODs and Tech Leads to ensure everyone is doing well and there are also the cheeky Friday drinks with different themes over video conferencing. We’re a team after all, we miss each other and the social interaction of being F2F.

Whilst these are extremely challenging times, seeing the hard work that the team has put in over several years across several areas of Switch has really ensured that we’re well prepared to support each other and our customers. It has been quite humbling to see how well our team has come together to not only get through this but to be doing it so well, that we will emerge stronger than we were before. I’ll be forever grateful for their hard work and determination to make a difference for our customers.

— Steve Nelson, Managing Director

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