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Innovation Spotlight – Creating a fully-functional virtual workplace

At Moneypenny, our culture is our secret sauce. We work to the formula: happy staff = happy clients; it’s been key to our success for over two decades.

Our company-wide move to home working during the lockdowns might’ve threatened to dilute our culture and our ability to look after our people.

But – with the help of technology – we took many small steps to make sure we constantly communicated with each other to keep our culture alive. When the time came, this also translated to hiring new staff.

Here is an overview of how we overcame the physical distance between staff and teams, and what we found successful to give you food for thought for your own business’s workplace culture.

A virtual home brought people together

Obviously, with everyone working together in the office, keeping culture and communication buzzing is easy.

During WFH though, we leaned on an online platform, Workplace by Facebook, to keep us connected.

We were already one of the most engaged companies using Workplace since we introduced it to our employees in January 2017, to replace an existing intranet.

It quickly became our main source of internal communication, giving employees a place to talk and share more intimately on a familiar platform.

People created groups, chatted using the direct message function, and celebrated their life milestones (buying a house, announcing a birth etc) – all the things people can do on Facebook, exclusively for Moneypenny employees.

But it was during lockdown that the platform really shined. It meant that we had a place to keep employees informed and motivated whilst they couldn’t physically see each other each day.

The importance of the chat function of Workplace demonstrates this: pre-homeworking, we sent 4,000 messages per day on average. Over the past year, it increased to 15,000 per day – hitting a record-breaking 26,057 on 4th February 2021.

Logging all necessary equipment

Together with The Bot Platform, we created bots to sit on Workplace too. This helped the company to converse with people quickly, and gather important data to help manage the workforce while they WFH.

For example, the Equipment Bot. In spring 2021, Moneypenny employees started to come back to the office, and plans were created to support hybrid working.

To make sure the correct equipment was in the right place at the right time for everyone, the Equipment Bot asked questions such as where they are working: full time at the office, home, or a mix of both.

And what equipment they’re using e.g. PC or a laptop, headset etc. This provided us with a really easy way of capturing that data and is something we will keep doing in the future.

Keeping fit and healthy

Previously, we’ve run health and fitness programmes, where Moneypenny employees who take part can share their achievements and stay accountable.

They’ve been wildly popular – especially with the incentive of friendly competition! – and we wanted to keep that momentum regardless of WFH. The ‘Mr Motivator’ Bot provided the solution.

Over February and March 2021, employees had the option to join a fitness challenge which allowed people to log their weekly exercise minutes and be entered into a league table.

A prize was given to the person who logged the most amount of time. 104 people joined in total, and by the end had logged an impressive 139,209 minutes of exercise (the equivalent of three months’ non-stop workouts!).

We improved our company updates

We’ve always worked to keep Moneypenny employees abreast of the company moves, but with the success of Workplace, our Group CEO, Joanna Swash, decided to leverage Workplace for a new kind of company update.



In her ‘Weekly Waffle’ videos, Joanna gives an informal update on topics such as: what Government changes mean for employees, when they can start to come back into the office, recruitment news, and how they can get their Moneypenny merchandise to name a few.

We found that by updating employees this way, more people got the information they needed, could comment with any further questions, and helped keep the sense of community while most people worked remotely.

Virtual open day for new recruits

Moneypenny is always on the lookout for exceptional people to join the team, and we pride ourselves on helping them to become the talent of the future and growing with us as a business. The past year was no exception.

We saw huge growth in the number of law firms and property companies who needed our help during the trying time, and as such we needed extra Moneypenny Receptionists to help handle their calls and chats.

An advert on a jobs board wasn’t going to cut it. But restrictions meant we couldn’t physically open our doors to potential new recruits, but we still wanted to show-off what we’re about, our office and our people in a friendly and accessible way.

The solution was a series of virtual open days using virtual event platform, Hopin.

We were able to introduce members of various teams such as the training team, and attendees could ask all the questions they needed, answered by Moneypenny employees.

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