In just one week, people around the United Kingdom have faced many changes. As the response to COVID-19 has developed, millions of people have juggled changes not just to their working week, but also with social restrictions, limitations and new routines to put in place.
So, with all the changes taking place, how have we at Retail Assist adapted to working from home? Here’s a look behind the scenes.
Like many people around the country, we’ve seen the majority of our team move to working from home. We’ve seen big changes as we’ve moved from 8 offices to over 200 locations!
Rae Hayward, our Head of People, said: “All of those who are working from ‘other locations’ have set themselves up well and we are encouraging use of video calls and sending daily updates. For our Data Centre colleagues, some are still safely working a shift from the office whilst others are working from home, to decrease the numbers of people that are within the vicinity.”
Jordon Graham, Digital Executive, said: “Having worked from home as a freelancer prior to joining Retail Assist, I think that it’s easy to feel disconnected. As a marketing team, we’re making sure to keep in touch, but also to stay in contact with as many people as possible – especially in times like these – everyone is in the same boat and will be happy to hear from you!”
Keep reading for more working from home tips from Danielle Bamra, from our Client Services team.
Sneak peek! Here’s a look at some of our team’s new working spaces.
Business as Usual
Whilst our office postcodes may have expanded somewhat, the level of service we provide hasn’t dropped. In fact, our call stats and call volumes show that it’s been very much business as usual – and that we have been helping more client head office users to sort out their remote access to systems.
Kevin Greathead, Chief Services Officer, said: “We’ve reached the end of a very busy week and we now have most of our team members working from home, whilst several are still helping clients on-site. Over the week, we observed a gradual decrease across both incoming calls and incidents as we progressed further into the week, which is what we anticipated.
“However, the number of incidents raised remained higher than the previous week due to a number of head office users reporting issues within their VPN connectivity. A big thank-you to everyone for their patience and good humour through this transition.”
We’ve always been proud to keep the customer at the centre of our business and that has been true now more so than ever.
Bill Parker, IT Service Delivery Manager at Pizza Hut Restaurants, got in touch with us to share his feedback of our teams’ reactions to the COVID-19 situation.
He said: “I just wanted to thank you all for the sterling work you and your teams have been doing to manage the open engineering incidents. In such challenging times, it was very reassuring to see the fabulous all-round effort and teamwork. Please pass on my thanks to your teams; it’s an excellent position to be in and very comforting to know that we have you as our support partners to call upon whatever the situation throws at us.”
Steve Packer, Director of Supply Chain and IT at Pizza Hut Restaurants, added: “We genuinely appreciate everything that you and the teams have been doing. I have spent a large proportion of my week speaking to all sorts of suppliers and the amount of support and excellence we receive from teams such as yours means a huge amount to us. It is one of the reasons I am incredibly confident that together we’re going to get through the challenges being thrown at us right now.”
Supporting the Future
Whilst many people across the globe face great uncertainty – and none more so than the retail and hospitality sector – we’re here to provide support for a changing world. Whatever happens, we’re here supporting businesses and the teams within them, with solutions to enable current retailing in an evolving world.
Dan Smith, our CEO, said: “Retail Assist shall be defined by our actions in the face of this challenge, just like the rest of the retail and hospitality industry we are proud to be a part of. Ultimately, we are social animals and love to interact with others: there shall be an end to the crisis and Retail Assist is building now to meet the future pent up demand for retail and hospitality.
“We have great team members, our partners have great team members and our clients have great team members: together we have the resourcefulness to come back stronger than ever.”
As one of Retail Assist’s Client Account Managers, Danielle Bamra is used to working remotely at sites around the country and also from working from home.
Here are her top tips to getting the most out of your new working environment.
- Try to get up at the same time you would get up if you were going into the office; whether you use the commute time to do a morning workout or have a quick pamper, I think it’s vital to get up and get ready for the day. I always try and make sure I don’t look like a complete troll as well! Comfy clothes are essential for me, but I still like to be ready, fresh and fully awake before 9am. Basically, don’t crawl out of bed and just turn on the laptop!
- Take small breaks throughout the day. One thing I like to do mid-morning is make myself an iced or a fancy coffee so I feel like I’m giving myself a little treat.
- Lunchtime – step away from the laptop! Try and get outside, even if it’s just for fresh air. I feel like it clears your mind – especially crucial during the current situation – or, for those with children, if it fits with childcare, then do something you like for 30 mins just to have a bit of “me” time.
- Check in with colleagues when you can. We are making sure as a team that we have a group WhatsApp that we check in every day to make sure we are all ok. Also, we are having regular webcam catch ups so it feels like you are bringing a small bit of the office life into your home and you don’t feel as isolated. We try to make this not just dedicated to work and we also try to have a bit of light-hearted “normal” conversation as I think, in the current climate, it can really lift spirits.
- Make a ‘to do’ list and plan your day. Whilst normality is out of the window at the moment, I try to make a plan of what I would like to achieve each day. Setting these small targets gives me something to focus on and something to work towards.