The pandemic has introduced many fundamental changes for many of us, not only from a professional point of view but also from a personal point of view as well. The coronavirus has caused a lot of disruption to the workplace, with many of us required to consider new ways of working, including how we operate and communicate with both colleagues and customers.
It has forced millions of people to adopt remote working almost overnight and new social distancing measures for those who aren’t able to work from home. This creates huge challenges for organisations and individuals who have been forced to adapt with very short notice.
With the situation being forever changing, it is important to be able to adapt, innovate and try new things whilst keeping both our customers and teams as safe as possible.
We thought we’d explore these new ways of working and explain how we have adapted as a business, with input from different team members from across the board.
UPGRADE TO DIGITAL
The pandemic has formed great challenges for many people to adapt to digital, both within our working lives and within our everyday lives. It has allowed a large scale digital “upgrading” of sorts across different age groups worldwide.
This includes –
- Organisations exploring remote working where they possibly haven’t done before.
- An increase or first-time usage of programmes such as Microsoft Teams to communicate and hold meetings both in-house and externally with customers and clients.
- An even bigger need to be active and innovative with digital marketing efforts such as social media or company websites. Some companies have had to diversify quickly into offering the ability to purchase online as opposed to just having their physical shop.
- Of course, there has also been a large shift towards online learning across all age groups including training throughout businesses, education and learning for leisure.
This digital shift hasn’t just occurred in our working lives. Due to the lockdown, we have had to find new ways of communicating with our friends and relatives too.
- Grandparents and the older generation have perhaps for the first time ever explored things such as digital messaging and video calling.
- Social gatherings, birthday parties and even weddings have all been held on video chat!
- We’ve carried out our hobbies and exercise online too.
NEW WAYS OF WORKING
Of course, the Corona Virus hasn’t just seen a shift towards online ways of working and communicating. There have been other changes too.
Some work environments (including offices and warehouses like ourselves) have remained open on skeleton staff throughout lockdown whilst adapting and accommodating the new social distancing and compulsory hand hygiene practices.
New PPE and signage have been put in place to help with social distancing and keeping each other safe.
So, how have we at Castle risen to this digital challenge and what changes have we made to the way we work?
Here at Castle we have embraced change and adapted where necessary to carry on providing the exact same quality service as before.
Digitally, we have always strived to try new things but we have to admit, there has still been room to evolve and provide our customers with a safe and efficient experience with us.
Talking about adapting and embracing digital changes within our business is Carmel – Marketing Manager - “There is no better time than now to adapt to new ways of working. As a business we are always looking at ways to improve our service and we have made some impressive changes during the last few months. Our team have done an amazing job during this crisis at continuing to provide our customers with the products they require and the quality service that they are used to. The team have embraced the digital shift, offering a number of new and improved ways to interact with us as well as getting used to new ways of working.”
Some of our team have been working hard remotely from home, some for the first time. Whilst our sales office continues to open and function with new social distancing measures and hand hygiene practices in place. Luckily, there has been no disruption to our deliveries with courier services and Royal Mail working so hard to keep everything running.
We have always been proactive and available for our customers (whether that’s providing site visits, meetings with their Area Sales Manager, product testing or via the phone and email). However, with are Area Sales Managers more restricted than ever before it has forced us to become even more diverse with our communications. This includes –
- Offering online meetings, product demonstrations and training via Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Whatsapp.
- Staying in touch with all the latest offers and news via social media and email.
- Instant messenger on our website for even quicker answers to your questions.
- We are still able to carry out time-honoured physical visits to customers. We are doing this subject to government rules and customer own additional rules, wearing PPE and ensuring customer and staff safety at all times.
Area Sales Managers, Damian talks about what changes he has found in the way he interacts with his customers and colleagues - “Generally any changes have been very positive – the majority of business, be it new, regular or problem solving can be done effectively over the phone or email. Everyone has very quickly become accepting of the restrictions and it has been a great ice-breaker with new customers. I think it offers an instant connection with everybody you talk to as we are all sailing in the same boat. I have still been able to socially distance with some accounts that needed to see me so the car park has become the new office and it works just fine!”
We also asked him about any changes he’d experienced digitally, to which he replied - “The only platform that I had used (or even heard of) before the lockdown was WhatsApp…so yes quite a few changes there. I have now been involved in quite a few Zoom and Teams meetings which work really well and have been a great way to conference communicate. Although you can’t ever beat the old-fashioned sit down with a brew kind (in terms of meetings) but hey-ho this modern way in the now and in the future, so very much here to stay!”
Our team are here to help and are always on hand via phone, email, web chat and video call when needed. If you have any questions about any of our products or services get in touch with our team here.