Work Happy Podcast: Episode 5

As challenging as 2020 was for all of us, worldwide travel bans proved to be an incomparable hurdle in the travel industry. Now, as the dust settles and the allure of abroad seems stronger than ever before, TUI are taking notes on the lessons from lockdown and implementing them throughout their global team.

TUI’s Dawn Robinson and Samantha Dye join us on ‘Work Happy’ to detail the degree of flexibility that’s expected from a future workplace, consider how they’ve shifted channels to invite more interaction among staff, and what makes a truly engaging virtual experience.

This episode covers

  • Shifting content and channels to suit more virtual work
  • Allowing people to keep a better life balance, not just work-life balance
  • TUI’s ‘Flexible As You Like’ approach to remote work
  • Trying new approaches to delivering team-building content
  • Connecting colleagues across the globe

Turning to vlogging

 

“Right at the start of the pandemic, the MD took to vlogging. He’s a dab hand now with his iPhone and some post it notes. And he was doing weekly updates from his home for all colleagues, whether they were working or furloughed.”
[3:00 – Dawn Robinson]

Going virtual

 

“We were already quite virtual anyway because we’re based across so many different countries. So when the pandemic happened, it wasn’t completely shocking for our audience, because we work very virtually anyway.”
[7:22 – Samantha Dye]

Being transparent

 

“The world’s gone crazy and we’re all working virtually. I’ve never seen the audience that I work with as transparent as they have been now.”
[11:10 – Samantha Dye]

Treating people as individuals

 

“It’s really about treating people as individuals and allowing them to get that – not work-life balance – but a life balance.”
[14:45 – Dawn Robinson]

Changing channels

 

“Email was the #1 channel and then #2 was the intranet. But now MS Teams is #1, the intranet is #2, and email is #3. So I think people have just shifted. I mean, I don’t ever read emails anymore. I have to remind myself and tell myself off by the end of the week.”
[19:05 – Samantha Dye]

Flexible Locations

 

“At the moment, ‘Flexible As You Like’ obviously means location. And for us in the UK and Ireland that’s currently within the UK and Ireland. However, across TUI Group they’re talking about working from anywhere, which is really very exciting when you think we’re a holiday company and you just think about some of the destinations we have.”
[22:55 – Dawn Robinson]

Digitalising as a business

 

“It used to be that if you had a good boss, and your boss didn’t mind you working from home, you would do it in some areas. Whereas now I think that it’s part of our culture and our dynamic. So I think we’re digitalising as a business anyway.”
[28:00 – Samantha Dye]

Trying new things

 

“We’re still gathering feedback from our watch party event, but it wasn’t for some people, some people said it was okay, and others would prefer to watch Netflix. But we tried it. And I said to the girl on my team who organized that it really doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, because it’s just the start of something.”
[36:00 – Dawn Robinson]

Being on the ball

 

“Virtual working is here to stay. So I think as communicators we always need to be on the ball in terms of what does a good virtual session look like? So is the audience still engaged? Are they listening? Are they interacting with us?”
[41:45 – Samantha Dye]

Focusing on outcomes

 

“For the organization, I think Work Happy is all about being outcome-based. It’s not about watching the clock and going, ‘Oh, I’ve got 10 minutes to waste, sit here and look busy’. Virtual work means no one’s watching you, so you focus on outcomes.”
[50:34 – Dawn Robinson]