Weathering the Storm – How has Commsworld adapted to COVID-19?

As we are now in our fifth week of full lockdown many businesses are wondering when this pandemic will ease and what state their business and the economy is going to be in when we come out of it.  Working from home, video conferencing an online meetings are classed as the ‘new normal’, but indeed we all know there is nothing normal about this pandemic.

COVID-19 has affected every inch of our lives and one that we are all trying to navigate our way through to the best of our abilities.

Commsworld are a UK company and as such we have customers, suppliers up and down the country and whilst video conferencing was always a small aspect of this to keep in touch, nothing quite beats a face-to-face meeting.

When meeting new customers for the first time nine out ten times we visit their offices, we attend industry events to learn and network with our peers and we visit customer sites on a daily basis to install, maintain and deploy communication infrastructures.

This basically stopped over night with COVID-19.

So how do you carry on in such a situation?

For Commsworld we had a Business Continuity Plan in place for such situations, this enabled us to quickly make decisions and enforce measures that would ensure our employees were safe and keep our customers connected.

Never has technology been so important, we like everyone else have embraced call conferences, video conferencing and online collaboration for sharing files; but when it came to quickly updating and checking in on our customers the telephone was the natural choice. Not so long ago heralded as dying out, the telephone is what we turned to first when it mattered the most.

Keeping our customers connected

Day-to-day we are continuing with our normal services as much as possible, just in a different way. For us the biggest impact has been in how we managed interactions with customers.

The Government recognises that the telecommunications infrastructure is critical to society and the economy at this critical time. As a critical sector we are continuing to maintain and service our clients in the Business and Public Sector community but we strictly follow its advice and adhere to the new policies that have been put in place to protect our staff, customers and the public to minimise the risk of COVID-19.             

Kris Galloway, Commsworld Customer Service Co-ordinator said “Given these current circumstances, working from home is going well and I think our customers have been very understanding as we really are all in the same position, facing the same challenges.  I definitely feel customers and colleagues are all pulling together to help each other, everyone is a bit more patient and considerate knowing that we’re all doing our best to help and keep things running as smoothly as possible.

We have a virtual tea break every day at 4pm, via Microsoft Teams so we can discuss our day and just make sure everyone is doing ok, which is good. We are working from laptops and have our Mitel teleworker phones and they have everything we need on them to carry out same tasks as working from the office.”

Working smarter, wherever we are

Nowadays your workspace is where you make it. While our key workers such as engineers continue to carry out site visits where appropriate all our office based staff now work safely from home.  For some working from home was a regular occurrence so this move came as no shock, for others this was a completely new experience.  Thankfully one that everyone seems to be adapting to, since the lockdown has been imposed some our colleagues have been sharing an insight into their working from home set-up, you can read more about them here.

Simon Ironside, Commsworld Senior Systems Architect commented: “Working from home honestly makes little difference. Almost everything I work on is remote from the office anyway so whether I'm there or at home doesn't matter.

There's no real impact on services from my point of view. But the bit I miss is people. Being able to work from home with little or no compromise is fantastic but isolation from everyone (in both my working and personal lives) for weeks on end does take its toll. Video chats etc. help but it's no substitute for the real thing. Mustn't complain though, there are many in far worse positions than me.”

So while the world is in a state of fluctuation we are just trying to do what we do best – stay calm and keep on working.  We’re working hard with our customers to ensure we can do all that we can to keep them connected in these turbulent times, because we all need communications to keep in touch with customers, employees and family.

We encourage everyone to stay safe and stay home and for our part we’ll continue to follow the government guidelines to keep our doors open for business.