CNG is the UK's largest independent energy supplier with 200 employees; and we’ve built our business as a predominantly close contact/call centre style environment. Therefore, when the pandemic hit, we had to adapt quickly. Fortunately, a response committee had been formed in early March, prior to lockdown reaching the UK. Our response was a three level strategy, with the main focus being employee wellness and business continuity. Prior to Coronavirus, only a small amount of staff had the relevant infrastructure to work from home, however within a few days, we quickly moved from 15 to the full workforce of 200 working remotely.
Importantly, we have remained flexible, looking at individual circumstances and accommodating a complete shift in working hours if needed.
As we transition back to office working, we want to continue this flexible approach, so we’re conducting surveys and management are working with their teams to get further understanding of what works for their teams. We envisage a hybrid working environment.
We understand that this will bring some challenges. In an industry notorious for low levels of customer service, CNG has built its business around prioritising the customer. Therefore, we are trying to ensure that our new working world does not impact customer service; we want the customer experience to run as smoothly as ever.
We are also conscious of our previous culture and how this might change and are therefore looking at technology to support our new ways of working, ensuring all employees still feel connected. We think the key take-away of the 12 months for us is that the way we work has changed forever, and we need to adapt with this new world, taking into account individual needs and circumstances rather than a blanket approach.