These COVID days

For those of us that work in a tech-comm business, I suspect our experience has been somewhat different to most. The products and services we provide have seen unprecedented demand.  Connectivity and collaboration tools to facilitate the mass migration of workers from the office to home and remote working environment have underpinned the nation’s ability to continue to work and that’s required our industry to move quickly to bring solutions to market that reflect these unique times, with a greater degree of flexibility than ever before.  It’s required us to work more closely with our customers and prospects, to listen carefully, engage diligently and to be more benevolent than ever before.

This need for innovation has come at a time when our own business has been adapting to the conditions brought about by the COVID pandemic. As with many companies of our ilk, we faced into the logistical challenge of moving thousands of desk-based staff from permanent office locations to home environments in the space of just a few days. In SME sales alone, we moved over 100 people to remote working in less than 2 weeks and 8 months on, we continue to remotely manage and engage the vast majority of our organisation.

For my own team, the change and the required adjustment has been significant.  Many of them are long-standing desk-based sales and service advisors, some of whom have only ever worked in an office environment.  For my managers, the task of remote management has been a new challenge and has required them to acquire a new skillset and embrace new ways of working to ensure they engage and encourage their people.  For my part, I have recognised that at this time, one size cannot fit all and it has been important to engage at an individual level, recognising the unique circumstances, demands and responsibilities that exist for every member of my team.  Understanding their needs has enabled the provision of a flexible and adaptable environment within which, every member of the team feels supported to give their best.

I’m extremely proud of the work that Vodafone has undertaken to support us all during this unprecedented period.  From the immediate and unequivocal prioritisation of employee safety, to the prompt provision of tools and tech to improve the working-from-home experience, their support has been unstinting. The leadership team have worked hard to find innovative ways of keeping the workforce engaged and motivated – small gifts, regular checkpoints, clear guidance for our people and programmes to support both mental and physical well-being have created a sense of value and community, whilst highlighting the important role we are all playing at this time to #keepconnecting.

On a personal note, the last 8 months have brought unprecedented change to my working life.  For many years, I have driven the length and breadth of the UK, rising ridiculously early to miss the morning traffic and arriving home well after the evening commute has subsided.  I can’t say I have missed those motorway miles one bit! I’ve enjoyed the new morning routine and the time with my family before the working / school day commences. What I have missed is the human contact – the quick coffee and chat, the quick ‘you’ve got this’ hug, the ‘white-boarding’ and debating of ideas and the sense of collective and informed decision making.  I have found working from home isolating and lonely at times, especially when things aren’t going to plan and on occasions, the days are almost indistinguishable from each other, such can be the repetitive nature of video conferences and calls!

But one thing that strikes me when I reflect on this period is that it has made us all a little more ‘human’.  The lines between our personal and professional lines have ‘blurred’ more now than ever before, certainly, we’ve brought more of our ‘whole selves’ to work! It’s highlighted the multitude of responsibilities we are all carry alongside our roles at work and we’ve all bonded not just with our colleagues but also with our Customers, over the glimpses of errant pets, demanding children and persistent forgetfulness when it comes to hitting the ‘mute’ button!  It’s emphasised more than ever, the need for empathetic leadership – the reality of the COVID virus is that it has claimed many lives and caused much suffering.  I want my people to feel secure in the knowledge that we understand their challenges, support their need to prioritise and allow them the flexibility to balance their commitments, as they need to. 

And so we move forward during these uncertain times, sure only in the knowledge that there will be more change to come.  The COVID pandemic will continue to challenge us all - I suspect we are nearer the start than the end of the journey.  We must continue to embrace the need to be adaptable in our expectations, ways of working and propositions to ensure we remain engaged and relevant. We have to focus on the positives and to ensure we make time to listen and talk – to our colleagues and our customers and we have to continue to highlight and celebrate our successes; we all need to find the ‘feel good’ during these difficult days. 

Interested in joining the Vodafone team? Click below to view all jobs within UK Business.

Jobs   
post

Life at Vodafone

Vodafone’s global policy offers 16 weeks paid parental leave to all employees

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Diversity & Inclusion

** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **

blogs

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

4/12/2021

** DEFAULT postresults.summarylabel - en-GB **

“Diversity and inclusion are core to our beliefs and purpose at Vodafone. We are proud to support all families by allowing every parent to have more time with their children, without worrying about the impact on their finances or careers”, Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said. Which is music to the ears of individuals such as Chris Parkinson, a Senior Government Affairs Manager here at Vodafone UK. Chris is expecting his second child this summer and the new equal parental policy will leave he will be able to take more paternity leave. Chris shared, “The new policy will allow me to support my wife and both of our children for far longer. She will be able to re-start her business more quickly. And I will be able to bond with the new baby and continue to bond with our eldest. It will also allow me to take a more equal role in caring responsibilities when we first become new parents”. Join Vodafone today and have the opportunity to be part of something amazing #TogetherWeCan. To read the full article, click the button below. Search Jobs   Read Full Article

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Father and employee, Chris Parkinson, says Vodafone’s equal parenting policy makes him feel proud.

Read full article
Job seekers receive much-needed boost

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Graduates & Students

** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **

blogs

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

4/9/2021

** DEFAULT postresults.summarylabel - en-GB **

The £10 voice and data plan, normally worth £35, was first announced on 9 November 2020. It will be available via VOXI Pay As You Go to anyone who has lost their job as a result of the pandemic in the UK. The offer lasts until 31 September 2021. Existing customers who have already taken up the offer will have the deal extended automatically to 31 October 2021.Building on the enthusiastic reception the offer received in the UK, Vodafone is now looking to lend a helping hand to job seekers in its other markets, too. As well as discounts and promotions, this might mean ‘zero-rating’ access to job sites in countries without unlimited plans, for example, so that data usage isn’t an added worry when searching for a job.Job seekers can also learn new skills for free through e-learning platforms like Udemy, which boasts more than 600 courses on technology and professional skills. And they can also use Future Jobs Finder, a self-assessment tool which helps people explore a digital career path based on their skills and interests.Join Vodafone today and have the opportunity to be part of something amazing #TogetherWeCan. To read the full article, click the button below. Search Jobs   Read Full Article

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Vodafone extends cut-price voice and data plan for UK job seekers as part of a number of new support packages launching across Europe, Turkey, Egypt and South Africa.

Read full article
International Women's Day 2021at Vodafone UK

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Diversity & Inclusion

** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **

blogs

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

3/9/2021

** DEFAULT postresults.summarylabel - en-GB **

To mark International Women’s Day this year, we want to shine a light on all the inspirational women at Vodafone and the amazing people who support them. This isn’t just about our high-flyers or the ‘usual’ faces: we want to uncover the people doing extraordinary things in their everyday life, the #ExtraordinaryInTheOrdinary. Want to know more about Life at Vodafone? Click the button below! Tell me more!   

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Celebrations of International Women's Day 2021at Vodafone UK. Shining a light on Vodafone's truly inspiration women. We #ChooseToChallenge.

Read full article
Returning to work after having a baby

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

Graduates & Students

** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **

blogs

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

2/12/2021

** DEFAULT postresults.summarylabel - en-GB **

"Coming back to work, in the middle of a pandemic was so hard.. I think any new Mum going back to work after a year off on maternity leave is challenging anyway, but with my mental health taking a decline, being diagnosed with Post Natal Depression and anxiety, and feeling as though Covid 19 took away the majority of my maternity leave made it all that much more of a struggle. Having such a flexible employer has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders. I have been able to ease myself back into work with the flexibility of Vodafone’s Reconnect programme which has allowed me to work 4 out of 5 days a week without it impacting my pay, giving me that extra day to spend with my now 14-month-old daughter. The pandemic has caused so much disruption with childcare, meaning that 1 day a week I have had to juggle my work with taking care of my daughter not easy (she doesn’t always agree with my work schedule, unfortunately). I have had occasions where her nursery has had COVID-19 cases, so I have had to have her at home with me for long periods. I know there are so many parents out there trying to juggle childcare, home schooling, work commitments, taking care of vulnerable relatives etc and I feel so fortunate to have an understanding employer who has gone above and beyond to support me and my wellbeing throughout.  One of the things I love about Vodafone is how seriously they take their employee's mental wellbeing. My team in particular have regular team catch-ups, social events, check-ins, sometimes just an hour out of the day to catch up virtually with a cup of tea and talk about what great new show we recommend on Netflix! My manager checks-in with me not to check up on my workload, but to make sure I am supported and ask how I am feeling. Having the flexibility to work from home and flex my hours during this crazy time has been a huge support. Some days are better than others, I can't always guarantee that I will be able to make it to that Teams meeting or have to move a call to another day but I think this is a new normal now, my daughter has made an appearance on a few calls and I have seen other colleagues (and candidates) in the same boat. I think one of the positives to come out of the pandemic is the realization that work doesn’t have to be 9 – 5, and having that work/life balance is so important and I am proud to work for a company that recognizes that." Interested in joining the Vodafone team? Click below to view all jobs within Vodafone UK. Search Jobs   

** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **

We caught up for a virtual cup of tea with Vodafone employee and new mum Zoe! Zoe shared with us what it's been like returning to work since having her little girl last year and the support she's got from Vodafone during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Read full article