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The government anticipates that up to a fifth of UK workers could be absent from work when Covid-19 reaches its peak. Could the unprecedented lockdown events we’ve seen in Italy over the last week be replicated here? Nobody knows, but the best approach from a business continuity perspective is to plan ahead for a time when travelling into the office may not be possible.

With this in mind, on Thursday 12th March, Charterhouse ran an enforced office closure day to test and measure how the business could continue to function without staff being physically in the office. After all, on a daily basis we talk about and deliver the very solutions to our clients that enable them to embrace flexible working, so being able to practice what we preach means showing clients exactly how it’s done.  It did raise some important questions: Can this be done seamlessly across the board while maintaining the same levels of security and connectivity? And can our staff still feel part of the team if we enforce remote working to maintain their safety? 

Admittedly our sales, project management and engineering teams work from home as part of their weekly routine but this isn’t something we’ve done before in every department - indeed before the Coronavirus crisis, it’s unlikely that any UK business of our size had shut their office entirely and every member of staff worked remotely. But desperate times call for desperate measures and being fully prepared for whatever the future holds is the wisest of moves.

How did it go?!

We’re delighted to say it was a resounding success! 

Every department was able to function just as effectively as if they’d been in the office - in fact, a number of people commented on how much they achieved without the usual office distractions! And yes, the absence of the commute was seen as a real treat, freeing up time for staff to be even more productive. Our solutions teams put Mitel, 8x8 and Microsoft Teams through their paces as we collectively held a vast number of conference/ video calls. 

The test day gave Charterhouse the confidence that whatever restrictions are imposed on us, even if we go into complete lockdown for an extended period of time, we have the collaboration tools in place to continue to work as a team and deliver the level of service our clients expect from us. 

And it’s not a problem. It’s all in a day’s work for the Charterhouse team.

#remoteworking #unifiedcommunications

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