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Company culture has found itself in the spotlight in recent years, especially since the pandemic, with betting and gaming businesses having to find new ways to meet the demands placed on them by their teams.

From the shift towards remote working, to the increased focus on employee wellbeing, the focus is much more on the positives of coming to work, rather than meeting corporate objectives.

For PandaScore, this focus on company culture is nothing new. In fact, building an environment that fosters a sense of community and facilitates employee progression has always been core to PandaScore’s ethos and has helped shape the brand’s operational strategy over the years.

There have, however, been some changes that have been introduced since the pandemic.

Shift in working patterns

For Jérémy Picard, Chief of Staff at PandaScore, the prospect of moving towards remote working did initially pose some questions about how the brand would manage to maintain that synergy and sense of company culture among the team. However, the results so far have shown that offering the team flexibility has been much more beneficial.

He began: “During the pandemic, we set up discussions with all our employees to find out what they wanted from work – the result of those discussions was the introduction of a fully flexible work policy that has been designed by our team.

“Our employees, or Pandas as we like to call them, can choose if and when they want to go into the office. We wanted to make sure that everyone has full freedom to work in a way that works best for them.”

When developing the company’s current working practices, Picard explained that PandaScore actually drew inspiration from the team’s love of gaming – something that he believes has helped make that shift towards online team calls and remote working much easier.

“This flexible working approach has suited our company really well,” Picard added. “Much of our team enjoy playing video games, so they are used to having their social life centred around the digital world. That shift towards remote working has, as a result, been somewhat of a second nature for us.

“We ensure that we’re constantly communicating with our team via Slack and Discord. The great thing about these two platforms is the ability to connect with one another is seamless and instant – you don’t have to spend the time creating meeting links or sending out calendar invites. You’re only one click away from chatting with your colleagues.”

Alongside the calls on Slack and Discord, PandaScore facilitates team-wide discussions with its weekly calls that often feature a company-wide game or icebreaker that helps take some of the focus away from work.

This is then complemented by regular in-person meet ups and team building sessions that help foster those relationships between the team. And for those food-motivated people among us, these meet-ups often include the addition of pizza.

“On a yearly basis, we also host in-person gatherings such as our tech team building, our pandackathon, or a long gathering weekend which tend to be hosted in a different city every year. We also run regular gaming sessions, otherwise known as pizza lol, where Pandas come together to game and enjoy pizza together.

“These face-to-face meet ups are great for building team morale and fostering those relationships. We also encourage all remote pandas to come and visit the office as soon as they feel disconnected from it, on a voluntary basis.  When you have a remote company, it’s so important to have that strong connection with your employees.”

One to One

As a remote company, it can sometimes be quite difficult to not only maintain that sense of collaboration within the team. But from a managerial perspective, it also presents challenges when monitoring employee well-being.

When you’re not physically seeing team members daily, it can be difficult to assess how that employee is feeling, whether they are going through a difficult time, or if they may need additional support.

Picard explained that employee wellbeing is incredibly important to PandaScore. With this in mind, the company often rolls out anonymous mood surveys that allow the team to voice their opinions and share how they are feeling. PandaScore can then use this feedback to adapt to any potential issues that the Pandas are facing.

He added: “Communication with our employees is key, especially around the topic of wellbeing and work-life balance. We also encourage our department leaders to have regular discussions within their team too to discuss how they feel about working remotely. And we do yearly HR follow-ups where we always learn a lot.

“As Chief of Staff, I also regularly sit down with members of our team from across the company to discuss how they are feeling and what we can do better. We strongly encourage open and honest communication.

“At PandaScore, there are no wrong questions, no wrong feelings. We want to keep that dialogue open and to make our team feel like they can share anything with us.”

This emphasis on communication carries through to the company’s senior management team too, who ensure that they are open and honest about any ongoing changes within the business.

The measures that the esports provider has introduced over the years have clearly resonated with the team, as Picard pointed out that in a recent employee satisfaction survey, 99% of Pandas said “they wouldn’t change anything about the company’s current working policy”.

Picard said: “In addition to fostering open communication and adapting to feedback, we recognise the importance of striking a balance between structured processes and flexibility in our workplace culture.

“At PandaScore, we are always listening to feedback from our Pandas and use these insights to evolve our working policy. Our policy does, and always will, reflect the people within our company and that’s something we’re very proud of.

“As we look to the future, our focus is not solely on promoting remote work but on finding the optimal blend of remote and in-person collaboration that maximises productivity, creativity, and employee well-being. We must continue to find new ways to keep your team happy and keep evolving as a business.”