With hundreds of employees transitioning to remote work, WEX had no easy task in transitioning its workforce. We sat down with a few of their team members to learn more about what makes a successful transition.
Can you take me through the process of when you decided to go remote?
Jesse: The decision to work from home comes naturally with how WEX is positioned with our employee base. Each of our divisions, from a technology perspective and how we are organized — not just in Fargo but across all our locations — we start with the work from home capability as a requirement in fitting our employees with technology. Whether it’s laptops and mobile devices, both are key to that and that is a required component to each of our employees. And we handle the telephone and telematics aspect. So as we started to work plans and decided to move our employees to workforce separation as part of COVID-19, it really was more of a preparation and communication than it was for technology work. It was more about ensuring that we had the right plans for moving the people over the 24-48 hour period without disrupting our service and planning within each group.
Is there anything special you’re doing for your employees as they work from home?
Jesse: For my organization, while we are used to this, we are spending a lot more time pulling people together for short coffee breaks and impromptu happy hours. We are trying to communicate more. You’re relying on a lot more on written communication but as a team leader you have to spend a little more time virtually on a camera having conversations just to connect is key to that. Those are the things we are doing in the technology world. I would say a lot of it is common to other teams, as far as having lunch and learns and getting on video conferencing. There are also a lot more people having social hangouts at night with friends and we are bringing that into the office space. The work is getting done and that’s proof in our technology and our capabilities, but also making sure we are connecting on a social level is key to ensuring people are staying motivated and connected.
Sarah: We’ve done some creative things just to get people to collaborate together. For example, we used our Google communities page to have communities put together for each campus. People can post pictures, a lot of people post photos of their furry coworkers. We have a funniest home video contest going on right now. We are collecting those and will be putting out a vote across all the campuses. We also have a vote for the most creative workspace so people can showcase their workspace and what they have come up with to make it work for them. There’s a lot of regular communication going out across the entire organization from our Chief Human Resources Officer. There’s a daily newsletter, now we are down to twice a week with things to keep in mind, important COVID updates and also tips on making the most of your work from home routine. One of the newest things we launched this week is a live webinar on how to help work with your kids at home while you’re working and tips for parents on homeschooling and caring for your little ones while you’re working at your desk every day. Lots of ways to get conversations going and staying connected so we aren’t having anyone feeling like we are in this forever. We want everyone to stay connected regularly.