Together through Covid-19
When lockdown was announced in the UK at the end of March, the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and the immediate financial impact on the country and business and the operational impact on our clients became very clear very quickly. As restrictions begin to lift, we reflect on this time with pride in our staff on the ground. They have helped to support our clients through these difficult times, remaining dedicated, hard-working, and motivated, and have come up with innovative solutions to overcome challenges. All of this has, of course, happened alongside each and every individual’s personal challenge. Here are just a couple of examples that appeared in the media on World FM Day in May. There continue to be many, many more. Once again, thank you to you all.
Key Account Manager
“One of the biggest things to adapt to during lockdown has, of course, been working from home. I’m normally travelling around and visiting sites. It can take me a couple of hours to get to a site and travel can limit the number of sites you can get to. However, using technology, I’m now able to meet with all my sites together on a more regular basis over video conference call. I work with supervisors on very varied sites, from Tier One COMAH to retail sites, and all of these have been affected by Covid-19 in so many different ways. Meeting online has added value because the whole team can work together to share best practice and give advice to each other, making the best use of our wide skillset and experience. I’m looking at how technology can be used, going forward, as we’ve been carrying out business as normal with training online during the restrictions, and I’d like to optimise this experience. Continuing to develop and value your staff is particularly important during these challenging times and we’ve been doing things like CCTV training and getting qualifications too. This has added to my passion for FM working in a smarter and more environmentally friendly way. The current situation has really highlighted how FM can move forward into the future sustainably and with a lot of credibility. I speak to our clients every day and they have been impressed at how our teams have pulled together, adding value with their dedication and skills. From getting the right PPE to supporting social distancing, our teams, from frontline cleaning staff to managers, have all contributed and had incredible ideas to make everyone safer. Clients are getting a positive view of how important good facilities management is to their business, it’s seen as a valued service, and will strengthen relationships.”
Site Support Manager
“My team carries out cleaning, security, and logistics services for our client which manufactures polypropylene for the food industry and medical grade plastics. We knew, from the outset, that we needed to carry on regardless and so, batting ideas across the site fishpond for safe distancing, the supervisors worked with me to ensure our people remain as safe as possible and that they can keep their families safe too when they go home.
New policies and procedures, new shift patterns, barriers and safe distancing became the norm – quickly and efficiently. For example, as a GoalZERO company our client must meet stringent health and safety standards. Around 350 vehicles move on and off site daily with deliveries from all around Europe. Now we must take the temperature of every driver, from inside their vehicle on the gate, before they enter site, and also ensure they are given and understand the Covid19 procedure. We introduced correct PPE, temperature screening equipment and methods for safe distancing. New systems in all of the departments have all required training too. We have the biggest footprint on site, with many of our client’s staff home working and leaving just the plant operators. Sometimes I’m the only manager on site dealing with a range of different problems I’m not accustomed to. We’re adding to our duties wherever we can to help out, carrying out new tasks like stock checking and running taps and showers to prevent Legionella. It’s rare for us to say we can’t. One of the ships that arrived on the jetty needed to be there for twice as long as expected. We needed to keep the crew safe and we had to keep them on the ship. But every day we get great feedback and a thank you from our client. That’s fantastic because our team has pulled together to jump the lockdown hurdles that are thrown in front of them and to enthusiastically work as a team, helping each other out during these difficult times.”