Over the past few weeks, working from home has become the norm for millions of people around the world.

That includes many people at AGL – with our business ramping up precautionary measures to protect our employees, ensure the safety and reliability of our operations, and support our customers and community.

Today, more than 4,000 of our people are working remotely across our corporate workplaces, contact centre and generation sites – including 100% of our customer service agents in Australia, to ensure our customers can keep in contact with us.

By comparison, in February we had an average of 1,500 employees working remotely throughout the week.

So how did we enable our workforce to work from home?


Improving the experience

Over the past few years, we’ve invested more than $500 million in our systems, focusing on our customer and employee experience.

As part of this, we’ve upgraded our enterprise systems and processes – reducing the number of enterprise resource planning (ERP) related systems at AGL from 56 to 14. All these new applications are either Software as a Service (SaaS) or public cloud managed. We’ve simplified and digitised 71 key business processes, freeing up our people to focus on delivering for our customers and community.

Our three-year customer experience program – completed in 2019 – has also transformed how our customers interact with AGL by creating digital tools and experiences.

We now have the highest customer-rated energy app in both the Apple and Android stores, and we’re using application programming interfaces (APIs) between systems to set us up to be more flexible and responsive to evolving customer needs. We have more than 50 service APIs operating at scale to support interactions across the customer lifecycle.

These investments have enabled us to quickly and smoothly transition to full working from home arrangements for many of our employees, including critical frontline roles.

Digital tools like our Self-Service Meter Read and Energy Insights also play an important role in providing our customers with greater visibility and control over their energy usage – particularly during challenging times.

And we’ve invested heavily in uplifting cybersecurity at AGL, as well as in our network and cloud services. Our Security Uplift Program has delivered a number of key capabilities and tools to enable secure remote working, including multifactor authentication (MFA), as well as identity and information management.


Supporting new ways of working

With employees spread throughout the country, we’re already used to working with collaboration tools to drive engagement across our business and bring our people together.

For example, many of our people use Microsoft Teams for video meetings, calls, and collaboration. With the COVID-19 restrictions, it was relatively simple to ramp up this virtual collaboration – but that ramp-up would not have been possible without the behind-the-scenes investment in years past.

Over the past few weeks, it’s been great to see lots of virtual catch ups, coffees, and celebrations – as well as photos of pets and tips for working remotely and staying healthy.

Some of our people have said they feel more connected to their colleagues than ever – meeting their partners, children and pets, and seeing their homes for the first time.

We’re also holding regular web chats and live events with our teams to build engagement and connections, share updates and provide the opportunity for people to ask questions and share feedback in real time.

Change isn’t easy and I’m proud of the way our teams have come together to support each other, check-in, and continue to find time to connect as we navigate these unusual times together.