COVID-19 teaches Danske Bank a virtual lesson

More working from home and more virtual meetings. The experiences of working remotely will have a lasting impact on Danske Bank - our purpose is to become a more attractive work place for employees while maintaining the good customer experience.

The COVID-19 experience of sending more than 19,000 employees from the office to work from home will now have a lasting impact on how work is structured and conducted at Danske Bank. With early indications of increased customer satisfaction, employee engagement and productivity, we now want to capitalise on the experiences the last couple of months.“This experience has proven that there is so much untapped potential in the virtual workspace that we need to explore and use to create a more attractive and flexible workplace going forward while still maintaining the inspiration, energy and social connection that comes with belonging to a physical team and environment,” says CEO at Danske Bank, Chris Vogelzang. 

 


Initial lessons learned

  Increased employee engagement

  • Engagement of our colleagues in Lithuania increased by ~4% during the quarantine period

 

  More prefer online meetings
  • 20% increase in Nordic customers who will prefer online meetings going forward

 

  Customers satisfied with online meetings

  • 8.7 / 10  is the avg. customer satisfaction on online meetings in March 2020 - up from 8.5 in February

 

  Less airplane travel

  • 93% less airplane travel in March 2020 compared to March 2019

 

  Less employee stressed
  • 50% less stressed employees in the Danish financial sector (Source: Finansforbundet)

 


Working from home 1-2 days a week and investment in more digital tools  

In addition to giving employees the option to work from home one or two days a week and ensuring that all internal meetings are available through skype links and do not require physical attendance, Danske Bank will also invest in new digital collaboration tools and platforms. 

 

According to COO at Danske Bank, Frans Woelders, those are just the first in a serious of initiatives as the bank’s executive leadership team has launched a project to explore the full learnings from the Corona-crisis, and how these can be used to create a more flexible and digital workplace in Danske Bank.  

 

“The past months have really taught us that work is not a place, it’s an activity. We are going to explore many different initiatives and solutions, but if we want to see a long lasting change, we need to start already now and ask all of our colleagues to join us in this.That’s why we are now stating very clearly that even as society is slowly returning to a kind of normal, we should bring along some of our new habits and the flexibility that comes with working from home, just as we should naturally prioritise virtual meetings and collaboration over travels,” says Frans Woelders.  


 

Initial initiatives in creating a more virtual workplace

  Possibility to work from home
  • Possibility for employees to work from home 1-2 days per week in alignment with their managers

 

  Always an option to join virtually
  • Internal meetings to always include an option to join virtually without feeling “left out”

 

  More tools and platforms
  • More collaborative tools and platforms enabling the digital workplace -  
e.g. Microsoft Teams


Collecting input from employees 
Among other changes, the project is looking into changing corporate facilities going forward to focus on more team-spaces and work hubs for physical meetings, brainstorms etc. and less on solo work stations as more employees would work remotely some of the time. 


“We are aware that an increasingly virtual workplace comes with challenges and matters that need to be identified and addressed, just as we need to ensure that our colleagues have the proper tools, skills and equipment to work from multiple locations,” says Frans. 

That’s why the project is also continuously collecting perspectives and ideas from employees – both via online surveys and dialogues between leaders and employees.