WITH employers poised to re-open offices, many aspects of the nine-to-five will likely become relics of pre-Covid working life.
For energy retailer Love Energy Savings, one of the key differences between office life now and pre-pandemic has been the way they communicate with their 258 teammates.
Based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, the business is now favouring social media messaging and WhatsApp, so much so that it has completely abandoned email for internal communication.
Love Energy Savings CEO Phil Foster says: “I can’t remember the last time we sent out a company-wide email.
“The average age of our workforce is 33, and under-35s just don’t use email anymore; they use WhatsApp, Facebook, or Instagram.
“Even text messages are outdated for many of our employees.
“Using WhatsApp and social media is a much more effective way to communicate with the majority of them.
“We still need emails for external communication, but when it comes to talking to our workforce, emails have become a thing of the past.”
The Instagram livestream has seen Phil lace up his trainers to lead his team in video workouts live from his garage every day at 8 am.
Phil says: “LES Pump really changed how we interact with our employees.
“Almost overnight, Instagram became a way for us to come together and it really helped colleagues to maintain rapport and a sense of togetherness.
“The pandemic pushed us to use alternative methods of communication and, more than one year on, we’re still using it to maintain those connections.”
Love Energy Savings intends to keep many of the flexible work practices that have been implemented during lockdown.
Phil says: “Covid has changed the way we work for the better.
“It has made us a more flexible workspace – both when and where our colleagues work – which will remain long after the pandemic is over.
“However, one downside to remote working has been the lack of small day-to-day interactions between teammates that come from being in the office, which help to build good relationships and rapport.
“Having a more informal way of talking, such as through WhatsApp groups, can mimic those smaller interactions much more effectively than email can, so it helps us to bridge that gap.”
Despite using a more personal method of communication, Love Energy Savings takes steps to ensure it doesn’t encroach on colleagues’ personal lives.
He said: “We don’t message outside working hours and won’t message on social media platforms that colleagues reserve purely for their personal lives.
“These changes to how we communicate are very much driven by our colleagues, for our colleagues.”