As the country was reacting to the Global COVID-19 Pandemic and protective measures were being rolled out we had one staff member ‘self-isolating’ in line with Government guidelines. Like the rest of the UK and world, we at People and Business had to make some quick and decisive Business Interruption Plans in late March 2020.
After an emergency Board Meeting, we looked at all scenarios operationally, financially stress testing the business before taking the decision to facilitate remote working for staff members not self-isolating. As we have a fantastic digital infrastructure, skilled and knowledgeable IT consultants, we were able to move quickly to get our staff the right tools to operate from home and maintain phone lines seamlessly.
Working from home
The next important phase was ensuring our staff were happy and comfortable working in their own home office environment. Our confidence in the team was quickly evidenced to be well placed. As they rose to the challenge and excelled once again in their flexibility to deliver. We are blessed with exceptional staff members, who not only successfully adapted to new working conditions but creatively drove through new working processes.
We have twice daily phone or video calls with all staff members working from home. This has enabled us all to continue working as a team and assisting in maintaining our mental health and collective belonging in what has been testing times. With lockdown being enforced, we envisaged that personal difficulties may occur, so offered a private and confidential, personal wellbeing counselling service. We engaged a professional, experienced Mental Health Counsellor, to help look after us all if required.
Steve continues to lead from the front with his strong work ethic and customer centric focus. As an organisation, we instil the same value across the team. This is echoed by how we have kept our customers informed in the COVID-19 crisis. We are proactively in regular contact with our customers. The cloud-based phone lines have been maintained and regular blogs have been posted to our website as the markets, industry, our organisation and the world reacts.
As an organisation we have met the challenges head on and from a business perspective, we remain robust and resilient. The proactive measures we have put in place ensure we are in a strong position to continue delivering the service our customers expect and deserve. As we have evidenced, we are able to continue working and thriving whilst having key staff working from home. We will continue working to keep each other safe, our organisation safe and the UK safe by taking the most responsible working approach appropriate to the business circumstances.
What the future holds
While we are still a long way from business as usual, there have been a few changes happening and indeed the UK COVID-19 alert level has just been downgraded from four to three, so we will continue to monitor the situation, but safe in the knowledge we are successfully working in ‘unusual’ Business as usual practices.
Some of our experience gained over this crisis may help us evolve and improve our service to clients. As a team we constantly look to innovate with our client centric focus.
Moving forward, with new skills and working practices, we will sustain and adapt as the world continues to evolve. We can leave our customers safe in the knowledge that our business is on firm footings and aiming to continue its organic growth as we look after the financial needs of our customers.