Denise Fail, administrator at Hodgson Sayers, praises team effort for new way of working
Our Stanley HQ has remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and it has been a collective team effort as we continue to transition to what is now known as the ‘new normal’.
For many of the team, myself included, it has been a case of business as usual but I am safe in saying that our old way of working was transformed overnight and we had to quickly adapt and ensure the correct safety measures are in place to allow us to remain in the workplace.
Our sales ledger clerk, Penny Owen, was steely in her determination to carry on as normal, adamant she wanted to be in the office and the admin team has really rallied together to keep team morale high.
We very much see Hodgson Sayers as an extension of our own family and so the whole team has really made an effort to ensure that each and every one of us is coping both mentally and physically.
The senior management team has been excellent, communicating to us on a weekly basis, as we ensured the office adhered to social distancing guidelines.
On arrival into the office the team wipe down their workstations along with switches and office equipment-photocopiers, laminators, as well as our kitchen area. All doors remain open so no-one has to touch them unnecessarily and our desks are all apart with signage at reception for scheduled visitors and deliveries.
Our metalwork team is also hard at work trialling office shields, so that desks and reception areas are further protected in preparation of staff returning to work. It has been a real learning curve, whatever needs to be done gets done to ensure the smooth running of the office including a thorough archiving exercise and adopting smarter working practices.
Colleagues are collaborating and learning new skills within the office as we help each other out. All of the ladies have really pitched in and have been an excellent support to the wider team.
We have all been mindful of each other during the pandemic, some colleagues have requested to work from home, others have felt fearful at times but the team cooking has lifted spirits. I have made batches of beef sandwiches, Penny Owen has cooked a chicken curry, our accounts team leader, Tarnya Henderson arrived to work one day with a chilli and we had a lovely birthday cake for our office manager, Marie Errington.
Business development manager, Gary Brannighan and SHEQ manager James Rolt brought in cookies and cake, administrator, Emily Stevenson supplied us with bacon and egg sandwiches and our finance manager, Mike Wade, has volunteered to make spaghetti bolognaise so we have all been well fed!
We have enjoyed these cooking treats from our socially distanced kitchen. We take it in turns if we need to enter the kitchen and all tables are separated and other meeting rooms also utilised.
Any necessary meetings take place in our largest meeting room with chairs positioned 2 metres apart. Slowly but surely, we are each adapting to our new office environment.