Embracing the remote-working culture is something Lottoland was already doing. As CEO Nigel Birrell explains, this is helping to foster a new sense of unity at the company
CB: How is the Lottoland workforce coping with the Covid-19 measures?
NB: “Our staff’s health and safety is our number-one priority right now and we have been following government guidelines. We are a global company but the majority of our staff, around 260, are based at our headquarters in Gibraltar.
“Our offices are now closed and our staff are all working remotely from home. Morale is high and our staff seem to be taking it all in their stride. As a company we joined in on the #Iworkfromhomefor campaign (see attached pic).
“We realise that communication is key right now and have kept our staff updated on developments and our People Ops team have done a fantastic job in ensuring everyone is OK not just physically but mentally.”
Are daily operations being impacted by the measures?
“It’s business as usual as best we can. We have adapted some of the plans – where national draws have been postponed or cancelled, but overall we are operating as usual to date. I’m really impressed by the entire team and how well they have adapted to the change and we have seen no signs of negative effects or productivity.
“We are a very agile business so we are able to quickly adapt.”
Focusing on the business, then, how will the gaming sector be affected by the coronavirus – what threats and opportunities will we see?
“These are unprecedented times for all of us. Lottoland is a purely online business – our players are able to still bet on our products from the comfort of their own homes, so we are fortunate that our business is less impacted than many others out there.
“The gaming sector is a small world and we all want to stand together and help each other get through this – many of my closest friends work in the industry. if we can help them bridge the gap through support or assisting through our B2B sister company, ALOT, then we will do so.”
Do you think this period of special measures to manage the outbreak will change the way we work permanently?
“I think it could lead to a change in people’s habits and a much more flexible approach to people working remotely and travelling less for meetings.
“We have been prepared for our staff to have to work remotely since 2016 and the Brexit decision just in case there were any issues at the Spanish/Gibraltar border. As I said above our employees are dealing and coping well with it so we know it can work.”
“Regular updates and clear instruction is what your employees need right now“
How important is leadership during this time and what should the igaming community be expecting from its business leaders?
“Leadership and clear communication is key. Regular updates and clear instruction is what your employees need right now. They also need to know that you have got their back and are there for them – I believe our team know this. We trust them to do the right thing and they trust us to look after them.
“I have also been fortunate enough to be included on the Chief Minister of Gibraltar’s economic advisory committee so can see, and help influence, first-hand, measures of support for employees and business generally in Gibraltar.”
What else is the Lottoland business doing to foster a sense of togetherness during these unprecedented times?
“Apart from the team coming together to do the #Istayathomefor campaign we have seen a number of great virtual initiatives taking place – twice-a-week a yoga session is happening via Zoom, a virtual book club is underway, and, starting next week I believe there will also be a Zumba class via Slack – although not sure I will be capable of that!
“Team morale is high and we are happy to support any ideas that make our staff feel still connected to one another. I think a virtual team beer on a Friday evening has got to be the next move!”
Read our series of leadership articles on gaming’s Coronavirus challenge here