M247’s Field Operations Manager and employee of the year, Jason Harris, talks to us about his teams’ journey throughout the ongoing pandemic

In our latest blog we asked Jason how his team adapted to this new way of working. Discussing how the changes have impacted their day to day routines and what he think will happen as the world continues to move towards our new normal.

 

How did your department transition to remote working and how are they now working differently?

We continued to work in the field as we normally would, a key change for my team was the transition to ‘singleton’ van travelling. We also reduced the number of visits needed to the Trafford Logistic Centre (TLC), sending our engineers directly to customer sites as much as possible.

There has also been a greater need to check Health & Safety adherence for 3rd party sites and enhanced PPE needed due to the ongoing situation.

As a team we have more Microsoft Teams meetings than ever, more 1-1 check-in calls and more chats around mental wellbeing.

 

What steps did you have to go through to achieve a remote workforce for your department?

As a team we are already remote compared to the majority of the business. Our main changes came with the rearrangement of our fleet of vans to prepare for singleton vehicle use. This in turn caused some changes to shift patterns. In my view everything went well, the team were very accommodating.

 

What has the best experience been of working in the current environment?

For me it is seeing on a day-to-day basis how well the team support each other and go above and beyond for our business. The team environment, and our ability to offer a great customer experience on the ground never changed.

 

What would you change?

The only thing I would consider changing is how we initially organised our roster pattern, everything else that we implemented within our team worked well and I am extremely happy with the outcome!

 

What has been the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge has been manning the warehouse whilst balancing new guidelines on social distancing. We have achieved this simply with the support of our great staff offering as much of their time and flexibility as possible. We have also shifted field engineers to warehouse as required to assist on a case by case basis.

 

What does a typical day look like that is different from before?

For me it is being at home 95% of the time. For the TLC, we now only have 2 warehouse staff on site compared to the usual 4. However, the minimal pedestrian traffic has helped with the H&S need and social distancing.

The field supervisors switch between TLC / home / field as required and the field staff only visit the TLC for the collection of kit and those visits are pre-planned. All of the changes above have been designed to keep the traffic at TLC to a minimum

 

How have M247 supported you during this time?

M247 have kept our whole team informed of any changes, whilst listening to my advice on how we could best deal with the ongoing situation. Our Executive team and the wider company have reached out to my team to offer a thanks for the way they have adapted to the changes.

 

As a result of the current situation what do you think this will change in terms of how companies work flexibly in the future?

Generally, I think the situation will be a catalyst for change. Trust between companies and their employees has improved, and I hope that continues to be a theme as we all move forward.

 

Top tips and recommendations

Workwise, for me it is just to be available for your team. Offer your trust and support and be honest with the conversations you have throughout.  Our business thrives because we know we are in this together, and we will succeed together. There is no ‘I’ in Team.

As an individual, I like to have a routine but also enjoy time to relax with my family and dog!

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