They say desperate times call for desperate measures but I couldn’t disagree more.
Desperate times call for calm, they call for plans and positive action and looking across the housing sector, I’m inspired to see this type of approach coming to the fore. Housing providers and technology companies continue to provide quality services to their customers and have embraced new ways of working.
Never before has good communication, quality information and effective collaboration been more important.
The Aareon reaction
At Aareon UK, we took decisive action early on, choosing to close all of our offices in Swansea, Southampton and Kenilworth and to take our consultants off the road almost a full week before the official lockdown. This gave us a tremendous head start in getting used to the entire organisation working from home.
When organisations across the country faced the same situation, we were already settled into this new service model and were able to focus on our customers’ needs and didn’t have to worry about our own situation.
Heroes behind the scenes
Having worked in an ICT support role in the past, I know what a thankless task it can be and one great positive thing that has come from all this is that these hidden heroes have been pulled from the shadows in every business across the land and placed firmly in the spotlight.
They’ve been deploying hundreds of devices, changing network configurations, helping set up remote working for so many and still calmly and politely helping me out when I have forgotten my passwords yet again. The efforts of the support staff here at Aareon have not gone unnoticed, both internally and by our customers.
Regardless of who your IT supplier is, one thing I would urge you all to do is if you are getting a good service, remember it is probably from someone who has never worked from home before, someone who has never spent so much of their working day alone before. A simple thank you, an email of appreciation, will mean the world to them and strengthen your working relationship for years to come.
New skills & new opportunities
For me, the current crisis has forced me to quickly acquire some new skills when we had to create an informational video for our customers. We wanted to rapidly get advice to our customers about how they can best use their Aareon products to automate communication to their customers, to make the most of self-service during lockdown and to protect and inform staff about who is self-isolating.
Andy Bryan is a housing solutions consultant at Aareon UK.