Life on Teams

Like so many other companies’, Hansel’s comfortable office facilities emptied on Friday 13 March following the government’s strict COVID-19 recommendations issued the previous day. We were well prepared to transfer for remote work, as the company already had a strong culture of working remotely and using Teams was everyday life.

Employees were still allowed to come to the office, but they had to follow safe distances and every other workstation was removed from use. The number of employees at the office was so small that it did not cause risks. Employees were given an opportunity to take a second display to their home offices, as our employees used to working with two displays found it useful.

Supervisors managed the exceptional circumstances well and started hosting unit meetings on Teams, as well as some coffee breaks. Keeping your camera on was recommended, and at least some adopted this as a habit. Supervisor meetings discussed the good and bad sides of remote management, giving and receiving peer support.

“A sense of community was maintained already in the spring with the company’s common Teams channel for lighter topics.”

As a company, we are in a fortunate position to have been able to keep growing our business despite COVID-19. During 2020, we have performed our first remote recruitment and even induction was possible mainly through Teams. For our employees’ team formation, it is obviously a shame that the unofficial events and encounters on the corridors and breakroom were not possible.

A sense of community was maintained already in the spring with the company’s common Teams channel for lighter topics, such as sharing lunch and recreational tips and pictures of remote workstations. In November, we launched a campaign where Hansel employees would share their news in their own way: we have had plenty of nice stories, photos, some headlines, and even an Excel table.

Hansel’s events were quickly changed to webinars in the spring, customers and partners were “met” online, and the Board’s meetings and the annual general meeting in spring were held remotely. For the first time, we even signed the financial statements electronically, same as the minutes of the Board. In autumn, it was the first remote account audit’s turn. We took a digital leap even on this field.

Results of the occupational well-being survey

Hansel surveys personnel’s well-being every other year. The survey was conducted in September 2020, and 96 employees responded with a response rate of 86 per cent. The subareas of occupational well-being were divided into five categories in the survey, and on a scale of one to five, we received a total average of 3.87 (previous result 3.92).