Nationwide sees 2.5m lockdown video calls as it plans hybrid work strategy

Nationwide has seen soaring use of video calls during lockdown, with 2.5 million calls made in June as it continues to roll out a digital transformation strategy.

The building society became an early adopter of Microsoft Teams’ collaboration software in 2019, as part of efforts to transform the workplace and create more flexibility for staff.

Following the COVID-19 lockdown, more than 12,000 employees are now working from home on the platform.

June’s 2.5 million video calls on the platform represented an increase of almost 3,000 per cent on numbers seen in February, the last full month before lockdown began.

Using Teams has meant colleagues have a single platform that could support collaboration across the society and was accessible across multiple devices, offering them more choice on how they manage their working day around other priorities.

It was central to the society being able to quickly organise support for those financially impacted by the pandemic, such as mortgage payment holidays – an online hub was built, tested and rolled out in eight days. The technology has also supported the continuation of learning and development through virtual training sessions, hosting daily scrums for Agile Squads and delivering product updates.

Patrick Eltridge, chief operating officer at Nationwide, said lockdown had proven the effectiveness of technology in remote working and would inform the society’s long term planning for workplace efficiency.

“Having Teams in place prior to COVID-19 has ensured we could react to lockdown rules very effectively as we prepared the organisation for new ways of working,” he said. “Teams has enabled us to convene large groups of people in a way that isn’t possible in a meeting room."

Nationwide is set to open a new digital hub at The Post Building in Holborn, London, later this year, with all its meeting rooms to be integrated with Teams.

It will allow colleagues from across the society to join physical meeting rooms remotely and support yet more collaboration and efficiency in future. In the coming years, the ambition is for every meeting room at Nationwide to become integrated with Teams.

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