Business as Usual
Funny how a quick photo on a phone encapsulates a moment so well. This was taken by some of our staff in the office ahead of them working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve all put a few more pounds on and most of us are in need of scissors for a haircut rather than garden shears but at least we look happy!!
When the Government announced the lockdown by closing shops, implementing social distancing and keeping us all at home it wasn’t exactly a surprise. We had spent some time planning for a work from home situation and once we had successfully run test days, we took the decision to ask staff to work from home. Shortly after this decision the Government announcement was made so we were already operational!
We knew it was going to be tough and the first few days were filled with running financial models. Construction was under pressure to shut down during that time and I have to admit it was hard work.
Here we are 4 weeks later and, whilst there was understandable initial disruption, the situation is showing signs of easing. It seems many people both in the insurance industry and the construction industry have become accustomed to working from home. Indeed, for many it has proved a revelation. What I am amazed at is how many companies seemed completely unprepared and have struggled to operate systems and functions whilst workers are at home. Don’t get me wrong, there are clearly functions that are office based and cannot be taken home – but some insurers seem to have been taken by surprise.
However, adapting in times of trouble is what we British are good at isn’t it! Inspections of properties and works are largely being carried out wherever possible, both on-site and by video link. Our phones continue to ring with new enquires for urgent projects and we work hard and fast to comply with the timescales required.
Insurers service levels have improved from what was very challenging before the crisis to almost normal speedy response times for most (with some notable exceptions – you know who you are!).
We have conference calls on Zoom to keep in touch with all our staff and are continuing business largely as usual. It’s been an interesting month and hopefully we won’t be locked down for much longer because some normality would be nice. However, at the moment I’m glad we seem to have prepared well and are able to continue business as usual.
So a big thank you to our wonderful staff, understanding clients and insurers helping wherever possible.
We will soon return to the office, functioning normally, but to the outside world we hope you won’t notice much difference. In the meantime, stay home and stay safe.