March 2020 was a daunting time for everyone, including at PensionBee. Lockdown number one was in full effect, working from home was a new experience for many of us, and no one knew when we were going to see our loved ones next.
Adjusting to working from home
When the initial whispers of a lockdown were happening, we began quickly looking at a company-wide work from home arrangement. One of the key challenges we faced was to make sure we could continue to take care of our customers’ pensions while keeping their information secure. And we needed to continue to do our jobs at the level that our customers have come to expect.
Working from home isn’t a new concept at PensionBee. Many of us have been working from home infrequently for many years. But we’d never had our whole team work from home, and no one had done it for such a long period of time.
Working from home isn’t a new concept at PensionBee
It was challenging at first. In the office, it’s so easy to share information and ideas, help each other with specific challenges, or just relax over a coffee break together. Collaborating over Highfive, our video conferencing software, wasn’t new but it took some getting used to as our only option.
Our technical team pulled out all the stops when it came to making life easier for everyone. Within a day or two, the whole team was up and running from their dining tables, home offices and - in a few cases - their coffee tables. We were able to stay in touch with our customers without missing a beat, reassuring everyone involved that this storm will pass, and that we’d be there to look after their pensions so they could focus on what’s important – their health and wellbeing.
Staying safe and reassuring customers
We maintained a ‘business as usual‘ approach while making sure that everyone was safe and adhering to the lockdown rules. We created a Critical Task Unit (CTU), allowing a few select members of the team to remain safely socially distanced while working in the office to process the post and paperwork we often receive from providers. Fortunately, we were able to contact dozens of providers that normally have a paper-based pension transfer system, and convince them to process hundreds of transfers paper-free. This helped cut down on the amount of unnecessary paper used, along with the number of people needed in the office to get through it all.
The rest of our BeeKeepers and Nectar Collectors adapted to working from home well. They made full use of virtual meetings, using secure networks to take care of customers’ accounts, and answering customer emails, calls, and live chats without missing a beat.
From day one, they were managing to answer over 90% of customer calls and were available on email and live chat
We had a huge influx of customer communication at first. Understandably, many customers were concerned about the volatility of the stock markets and how their pensions might be affected. The BeeKeepers took working from home in their stride. From day one, they were managing to answer over 90% of customer calls and were available on email and live chat for any customers that just needed some reassurance that their future retirement was being carefully managed.
Looking to the future
By the time the pandemic started to settle down, the whole PensionBee team had adapted well to our new way of working. Some people have chosen to work from home permanently, moving closer to their families or accelerating planned moves out of the capital. Despite the challenges we faced, PensionBee hit several significant milestones, including reaching £2 billion of AUA in July of this year and listing on the High Growth Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange back in April. We were even able to celebrate this huge achievement remotely with each other over video calls (thanks to bottles of bubbly we received in the post!).
Today we’re delighted to announce that we now administer £2bn of pension savings on behalf of our customers 🎉🎊✨ pic.twitter.com/qhl4cSiISZ— PensionBee (@pensionbee) July 22, 2021
We’re a family at PensionBee. And after the year that everyone’s had, not seeing your family for a long time has been tough - especially when you’re so used to seeing them every day. We’ve done our utmost to keep the hive buzzing over the last 18 months, and we’ll continue to look after our customer’s pensions, and each other, as the last of the lockdown restrictions lifts and we can finally get back to a bit of normality.