10 things we’re doing at KTN to stay connected

Posted on: 06/04/2020

How can you connect with your team when working from home?

Since connecting and collaborating is at the heart of what we do, we have had to adapt to recent changes, not only for our external partners and network but also internally, to ensure we help the KTN team adjust in these challenging times.

As many of you will know, KTN is spread out right across the UK, with 3 office locations: London, Harwell and Edinburgh. While some of the team were already working remotely, there are around 200 of us that are used to coming together daily, in a professional and social capacity.

We thought we’d share some of the positive changes we’ve put in place to ensure we remain connected during this new way of life, while trying to maintain a healthy and happy balance (as much as one can during lockdown) – some you might even like to try in your own workplace!


1. Well-Being Resources

From access to online counselling sessions to dog yoga, we’ve got a list of resources that everyone can use! Updated weekly by Giulla, our Precision Medicine expert, it’s a simple Google doc that houses Youtube videos, websites links & downloadable apps. Focussed on health & mindfulness – it’s great way to start your day or for a mid-afternoon refresh!


2. Kids of KTN Lunchtime Story

Arguably the most popular of our new drop-in lunchtime sessions – the kids of KTN hijacking our colleagues’ Zoom accounts to read a short story has been the highlight for many – and just about the cutest thing you’ll see all day! Last week featured the Scottish version of The Gruffalo (for those who are fans of the original, you need to grab a copy for the family!). There’s also talk of a KTN kids Friday disco in the coming weeks!


3. Lunchtime Hang Outs

For those who don’t have little ones ‘helping’ them work from home, we have a Zoom room for each office location, open between 12.30pm – 1.30pm, Monday to Friday. It’s a great way to check-in with those we normally spend our working days with and there is always some great chat to be had.


4. Guess the Desk!

It’s exactly what you’re thinking – ‘guess the desk’ was the brainchild of Poonam from our events team – photos of home desks have poured into her inbox since the closure of our offices, with a new desk posted everyday on our internal comms platform (along with some truly spectacular puns from Poonam) . There might not be any prizes but we’re satisfied with a winning guess and it’s a great way of getting a sneak peek into your colleagues’ homes!


5. KTN Spotify Playlist

We love a good tune to work along to – so Jonathan, from the Infrastructure team, has begun to curate a powerful list of ballads to keep us pushing through the day, and is open for anyone to contribute.

Jonathan recommends checking out Balance ton quoi by Angèle for something new and a bit quirky (he’s also in full support of his daughter’s K-Pop collection during lockdown – #fatheroftheyear).

Why not start your own company-wide playlist with your favourite work week anthems?


6. Virtual Pub Quiz & Games Night

Ok so this isn’t part of the daily work routine but when you’ve had your head down all day and nowhere to go at night,  spending quality quiz time with your co-workers has become a highlight of our week. So much so, we’re starting games night next week! It’s not always easy to host a large group of people on Zoom but games like charades and Pictionary work well – try out Zoom’s drawing function to make it a little more interactive!


7. Drop-in Morning Meditation & Zumba

We might not be professional fitness instructors but some of the experienced team have stepped up to the plate to show us the way – Kelly from our Innovation Insights & Policy team has started up morning meditation for those that need a little more zen in their life and then we have Paynton from Finance showing us the best Zumba moves – the use of webcams is optional for this one!


8. Coffee with…

We’ve actually been doing this for a number of years but it’s proven to be more beneficial these days – a simple sign up sheet has been created for those who would like to have a (virtual) coffee and a chat, just someone on one time, work chat not essential.


9. KTN Open Forum

Once a week, we have a company-wide zoom call, to simply get together and share our challenges and ideas. Even though all levels of management join this call (including our CEO), it’s really important that this remains an opportunity for anyone to speak up and share their experiences – with a new ‘guest host’ each week, it’s also a great opportunity for those volunteers to practice their facilitation skills.


10. Last but not least… Introduction of new online tools & platforms

If you love workshops and post-its as much as we do, the struggle is all too real when it comes to keeping teams connected and collaborating, which is why we’re constantly reviewing the latest and greatest tools for our team! There are some seriously great (and free) options out there – let us know if you’d like a round-up to get you started!


We’d love to hear what you and your team are doing to stay connected!

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