By John Reynolds on Monday 6 April 2020
PensionBee, Curve, TransferWise, and Chip air their views.
Technology has come to the fore during the coronavirus crisis and helped smooth the process of working from home. For those still struggling, here a number of fintechs tell us which apps, technology and other pursuits might come in handy when working from home.
What video conferencing app do you prefer?
“We’ve been using Highfive as the default for our meetings for the best part of a year, and it’s really helped us retain a sense of normality in the past few weeks,” said PensionBee.
“Before the coronavirus pandemic started we had a handful of remote colleagues dotted around the world, now our daily stand-ups involve the entire 100-strong team joining remotely.”
“It’s pretty cool! We’ve even started doing some of our more social activities on Highfive - last week we held our monthly pub quiz virtually and housemates and families got involved too.”
Google Hangouts, Zoom
“Zoom and Slack were very much part of our working culture already as teams are used to working from home,” said TransferWise.
“But since we went into full remote working mode our team have been doing a brilliant job at taking care of us all with some extra activities via Zoom and Slack to make sure we take breaks.”
Zoom, Google Hangouts, Houseparty
“During the office hours, most of us opt for Zoom or Google Hangouts, but in our spare time, quite a few of us use Houseparty,” said Chip
Is there any particular app- or other means- your staff are using to help with mental health during the quarantine period?
Mental health first aiders, happiness chats
“As part of our benefits package, we offer an Employee Assistance Programme which gives our team access to a confidential helpline and trauma support 24/7,” said PensionBee.
“We also have trained mental health first aiders who are always available for a chat if anyone in the team needs some support. We’re just generally trying to keep the team as connected as possible while we’re physically apart.”
“Managers are still having their regular Happiness! chats with their team, where they check in to find out how people are doing, and we’ve kept going with things like our Donut Slack integration, where you get paired up with another member of the team once a fortnight for a doughnut or coffee.”
Audible, Happiness Trap
“Calm, headspace or free sleep meditations from Audible are popular choices among Curvers, especially at night time when they’ve read all the tragedy and worry constantly circulating in the news,” said Curve.
“Along a similar theme is an app called Happiness Trap. It helps people remember what is important by suggesting the best tasks to complete- with the aim of keeping people engaged and help stay present in the moment.”
Zoom- yoga, mobility training, meditation
TransferWise has “an open morning Zoom yoga class led by a trained member of the team to wake up the body and settle the mind”, as well as a “45-minute Zoom mobility training led by our wellness manager to focus on stretches you can do at the desks and tips for agile working”.
Also on the conferencing platform, TransferWise has "a global meditation session via Zoom for some mindful breathing together to relax, de-stress and regain balance" and “a nod to our Estonian / Scandi roots, the office team put on an afternoon break for coffee & biscuits and a quick chat".
Down Dog, Headspace, Netflix
Chip staff said they like Down Dog “which is a really good and free recourse for yoga’ while staff also use Headspace, to “unwind and relax” and Netflix “as long as you steer clear of anything overly serious or pandemic related”.
What app do you recommend to help you when away from desk during a break or lunch?
“Our guilty pleasures channel is where we share everything from memes and pet photos to the weird and wonderful things we’ve found on the internet. Pretty much anything goes!”
“We also have a Positive News channel that was set up a few weeks back to bring some much-needed brightness to our days, and Boxx by Perkbox has come in really handy due to its free home workouts that colleagues can do in their lunch breaks.”
Yoga, Mario Kart, TikTok, Duolingo, Peleton
Curve staff like Mario Kart “which helps keeps the mind occupied and entertained while in lunchtime lockdown”’ while Duolingo “is a great choice for those of us wanting to learn a new language” and Peleton “is also proving popular as we adjust to a new way of living, especially with colleagues in the US”.
Book Club, virtual pub
“We've started a lunchtime Zoom book club for the team to get together and talk about what we've read over the past week,” said TransferWise.
“Friday at 5pm we have a virtual pub which we've renamed 'The Wisers Arms', for an end of the week drink and catch up with the team.”
Chip staff are using “Audible to catch up on books they've been meaning to read - or listen to - for a while” as well as “Pinterest for inspiration for workouts, recipes and DIY projects” and they have also set up a “Stava leaderboard” for those who run during their lunch breaks.