Over the last few weeks we've been speaking to our customers. We’ve asked them all the same, how are they managing the move to remote working, how are their teams remaining motivated and engaged and how are they maintaining service quality throughout this period of uncertainty and unrest.
Oh, and to share some tips they’d give to other teams in a similar situation.
Here, we have answers from Chris Foster, Associate Director at Ubisoft in Newcastle. Ubisoft Entertainment is a video game company headquartered in France, with development and support facilities around the globe, helping millions of gamers worldwide.
How many agents do you have working from home?
We have 230 team members working remote at the moment. That’s just the Newcastle office. There are 17,000 Ubisoft employees around the world and about 90% are now working remotely.
How ready were you to be able to move agents remotely?
Ubisoft weren’t too keen on remote working, however having to quickly create a homeworking strategy over the last few months, we’ve had to adapt and its really shown those at the top that it can work.
We were able to arrange hardware and move to remote working within 3 weeks. Luckily we don’t have restrictive IT processes due to the nature of our industry, however we did need to quickly update and arrange hardware.
We made a strategic decision to move away from telephony support over a year ago. So our support channels are much easier to manage without adding voice support technicalities too.
Any lessons learned from your team about working away from the office?
It became clear quite quickly that we needed a way for managers to be accessible and the team to be kept engaged. Video is super important as emails are boring. We needed a way to communicate with teams and keep them involved in what’s going on. But also to do the welfare checks on agents and make sure they have the support they need.
QA and coaching has continued, using EvaluAgent to document quality scores, feedback sessions and coaching steps. Time is a bit more restricted at the moment, but we recognise it’s an important activity to supporting our agents, and our Players.
We’ve used MS Teams quite a bit, from delivering business updates, to open drop in chat sessions, through to virtual drinks at the end of the day. There’s a nice mix of formal and informal content being published on internal social channels, and all levels encourage it.
How are agents managing the move to remote? Any feedback?
We have a bit of a different agent profile for those who work at Ubisoft. There are quite a few who welcomed a remote working style! But that’s meant we’ve had to work extra hard to keep the social element and not lose the great office culture we’re proud of.
One way we’re continuing the office culture is that any savings from office activities we’d normally do, have moved to employee engagement activities to reward key players and bring the team together virtually. From arranging pizza nights, to special gaming access, each team manager has the budget and power to engage their team.
We’ve arranged book clubs, gaming tournaments and even a tiktok challenge. It’s great to see all levels of the business getting involved too.
If you could give one tip to another business about working remote, what would it be?
Over communicate! Don’t feel you can’t reach out, or that you’re getting in touch to often with your team. That interaction might be the only one they get that day other than from customers. Remember the people who you would normally wish a good morning to on your way into the office.
Show your team it’s ok to chat non-work related topics. Also show them how easy it is to get in contact with you if needed.
Some great ideas to keep the team engaged from Ubisoft. It’s a nice balance between agent support and maintaining the office culture they’re so proud of. The regular use of video makes people feel closer to team mates and managers when they need that vital support the most.