As the extent and impact of the coronavirus continues to grow, Ground Control, suppliers of maintenance services, has introduced a work-for-home policy for all office based staff including those at its Essex headquarters to ensure it can continue delivering its wide range of award-winning maintenance services.
Ground Control launched the initiative after extensive resilience testing of its robust IT infrastructure, ensuring office-based employees will be able to remotely access business systems and communications platforms.
“Many years back, we developed systems and processes that were resilient to external shocks to make sure that we were able to stay open and serve our customers with minimal disruption. We thought of catastrophic risks such as fires, cybercrime, electricity supply failures, floods. We did not necessarily see the risk that people would potentially not be able to work from offices for fear of catching a new virus,” says Marcus Watson of Ground Control.
“The significant investment we have made into our systems and processes as well as extensive resilience testing mean we are superbly positioned to cope with any eventuality resulting from the threat of Coronavirus. Ground Control is ahead of the curve in terms of preparedness. As a company, we’re fortunate in that the majority of work we’re involved in is outdoors and doesn’t require people coming into a central yard or building. We anticipate this to have minimal impact on our field team operations and thus minimal, if any, negative interruptions in supporting our customers, given the proactive steps we have already taken.”
During this period the senior management team has been meeting daily to review processes and data from our operations, clients and systems as well as the latest UK Government guidance to ensure that Ground Control continue to stay ahead of this moving situation.
With internal meetings severely limited, Ground Control employees have access to a range of systems that allow them to monitor on-going projects and hold video chats with their teams and clients. Managers are conducting daily calls to ensure cohesion and to share progress on tasks. Those few staff that need to, will be allowed entry into the company’s Billericay office but must maintain social distancing – a minimum of two metres – and good hand hygiene at all times.
“Our goal is to minimise the number of Ground Control people, and their families, infected at any one time,” said Marcus Watson “But in doing so, we’ll also contribute to alleviating pressure on the NHS so it can cope with the anticipated daily increase in new cases.”
For professionals working in the field, Ground Control has the following advice:
- there is a reduced risk when working outside, separately from the public, particularly when wearing PPE (e.g. gloves and face masks)
- consider how you structure your day to try to avoid busy periods and locations, and eat and use facilities at home wherever possible
- make sure you regularly clean vehicles and welfare units using disinfectant spray or wipes
- carry and use antibacterial gel where regular handwashing is not an option.