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Adapting to COVID-19 restrictions
A year on…
As it approaches the one-year anniversary of the first UK lockdown, we looked into how we at Murray Uniforms adapted to the challenges of COVID-19. Murray, as well as many other businesses around the world had to adapt to the pandemic and explore new ways to work. This was something we had never experienced before, which gave us a new understanding of how well the staff could perform at work under different circumstances.
A big change
During the first national lockdown, Murray demonstrated adaptability and flexibility during the changing circumstances to make adjustments in the way all staff worked. There were many things to bear in mind, such as various staff members with children, who had to balance home schooling alongside their regular duties. Seniors at Murray quickly recognised this and offered staff the option of working from home and flexible working patterns, some opting for shorter working weeks.
The trust given to colleagues by the management team was certainly appreciated and was highlighted by the work produced. Everyone at Murray pulled together to come up with many new ideas and ways to work. As meetings had to be moved online, the whole team would attend the daily morning get-together to discuss our targets and hear of any important news and updates. One activity that everyone agreed on was to participate in a Murray team video call for half an hour per week, purely to speak to fellow team members – this ensured everyone still felt connected at such an isolated time.
It should come as no surprise that we were not the only company to move to a more online working environment and was especially true for the UK. A recent McKinsey & Company article* stated that the UK was shown to have the highest potential for remote work, of the nine countries studied. UK workforces could dedicate 28 to 30 percent of the time to working remotely without losing productivity.
Murray supplied PPE to a whole host of businesses during the pandemic, covering many different industries aside from the healthcare sector. In fact, during 2020 we worked with no fewer than 110 different companies. This activity, combined with day to day tasks working with new and existing clients regarding uniform, is a key example of how staff pulled together to ensure a positive outcome for the business during tough times.
At Murray Uniforms our key aim is to always work smarter and the team regularly demonstrated this in the way they performed together during the constant changes, brought about by Covid-19. We pride ourselves on service and strived to continue delivering excellent service to current and new customers. Murray, like many other businesses, were made to cancel face to face events due to the Coronavirus outbreak. As a result, we worked smarter and did something we had never done before - started a series of webinars! We covered aspects from our research report and focused on bespoke design, sustainability, profitability and ROI. If you’d like to see recordings of these webinars then please get in touch – [email protected]
As part of our fully managed service, we have regular meetings with new and existing customers to ensure that everything is as it should be and if not, a chance to hear about any issues for us to rectify them as soon as possible. Therefore it was important that our customers felt that even though we were unable to see them face to face, we could still provide them with any information and react swiftly with any query they had. Members of the team set up regular online meetings to provide this reassurance for them.
We spoke to colleagues to ask what they in particular felt was an example of working smarter. A common example was how the team all adapted their skills, not only in their own department but because of helping out in other areas of the business.
Even during the pandemic Murray expanded as a business, which of course meant we had to expand the team. As a result, recruitment of new talent occurred and a re-shuffle of roles ensued as well. As a whole, it was great seeing the team widen their skill set and approach new areas of the business with passion and enthusiasm.
Pivoting throughout the pandemic wasn’t just a success story for Murray Uniforms though. We heard of many tales of change and adaptation, none more so than our friends at Penderyn. They produce award-winning single malt whiskies and spirits in the foothills of the magnificent Brecon Beacons in South Wales. However, during the height of the pandemic they diversified into making hand sanitiser. To find out more, get in touch with us – 02476 587980 or email [email protected]
The past 12 months has been a struggle, for individuals and businesses alike. At Murray we are grateful for our staff working through these times and helping support the organisation in general. We leave you with some questions however… how do you think the office environment will change and look over the next few years? Are you an advocate of working remotely more often? Or a mixture of both office and home will be your balance for the foreseeable future? One thing is certain, we’ll be pleased to see the back of the one-way systems!
If you’d like to discuss the above topic in more detail with us or have a chat about how your uniform needs, get in touch with us - 02476 587980 or email [email protected]
*‘What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries’ – McKinsey Global Institute