The following appeared in the Guernsey Press' Q1 Business Review. It is from our Managing Director, Steve Brehaut
When mentions of ‘coronavirus’ started popping up in the media at the back end of last year, we were continuing to regularly update our own disaster recovery plan, as part of good business practice. ‘Global pandemic’ was definitely on our risk register but it certainly wasn’t top of it. Then, within a matter of weeks, we were, like every other Guernsey business no doubt, aware it was going to play a significant role in how we would be able to function.
Our business continuity suites (which we’d only just finished kitting out with the move into our new offices last autumn) suddenly became booked as businesses looked to separate their teams. It was at this point that we also took the decision as a team to separate into three groups; one would stay in the office; another group would work from our old offices and the third group would work from home.
However, just as we were getting used to this new way of working, there came the announcement from the States of Guernsey that everyone must now work from home.We realise we are in a more fortunate business than others in that technology is our business andthe technology we use for both ourselves and our clients easily allows for remote working. At the same time, we were making sure everyone was able to do that, we were also helping clients and non-clients alike with things like dual monitors, web cams and headsets to make the transition as comfortable as possible.
This piece isn’t about the specific products we’ve used to achieve this but I do want to mention one – Microsoft Teams. It has pretty much allowed us to continue with ‘business as usual’; no mean feat when you consider we operate a Help Desk which was receiving higher than average calls once the call to work from home was announced. It’s allowed us to work together, share and collaborate on documents, have one-to-one and team chats. And it’s allowed our IT trainer to offer free virtual Teams training sessions to those who were suddenly thrown in at the deep end.As I write this, Guernsey has just completed its first two weeks of lockdown.
During that time, we have received 1,677 external calls, had 1,869 messages within our different teams, sent an incredible 22,385 individual messages to each other (think of that as the verbal conversations you’d have had with colleagues in the office), held 137 internal team meetings and made 3,104 video calls.
When this is all over and our business lives return to normality (whatever the ultimate new normal will look like) we will look back and be glad we had a business continuity plan, be pleased the technology we use for both ourselves and our clients stood up so well to the pressure placed on it and be thankful for our office colleagues who’ll no longer have to see us with unbrushed hair and questionable daywear during those thousands of video calls!