The show must go on!

The show must go on!

When many Destination & Heritage locations closed their doors last March, in many cases the only staff left on site were our Security teams and on occasion a few cleaners. Our security teams still had to patrol and the cleaning staff were there to keep those areas safe and sanitised.

This enabled many of our clients to furlough, on average, 95% of their staff and take advantage of the much needed support from the government during a time when revenue was whipped away like a magician’s cloth!

Unfortunately the pandemic didn’t put a halt to the factors that we safeguard against every day, such as vagrants, criminal activity, unwanted pests, false alarms, etc.

Being the custodians of our Destination & Heritage assets during this time, where some of them house priceless artifacts, pictures, costumes or have high end jewellery, clothes and even cars stored within them, our teams could not remain at home.

Our Security teams re-invented themselves during the first lockdown and added many new duties from building manager compliance checks to litter picking. We even had to look after pets where owners had been stranded abroad amongst our residential properties and provide shopping services for those that had too self-isolate.

Doing this and travelling to work, whilst the risk of a fatal virus was known to be of risk to them, was not always easy for many of our team, but no one shied away from it and everyone took pride in doing their bit and it was clear to us that wellbeing and support from our management team was even more important to them now than ever before.

Therefore, we ensured we stayed at work too, none of our management team were furloughed and it was our job to support the frontline!

When the going gets tough……the tough get going!

We provided a suite of electronic checklists, use of PDA’s and all supported by a robust CAFM system, enabling us to remain connected to the wider team that were working from home and provide the information they needed to complete their compliance requirements. The use of Microsoft TEAMS was a gamechanger and the efficiency it provided was pure value add.

Business resumption in the summer of 2020 was more than just opening the doors, and turning the lights on, it was about being safe…COVID safe for everyone. We re-vamped our framework around wellbeing and reorientation for our teams to make sure they knew most importantly how to keep themselves safe whilst being back in the workplace, and in turn ensuring that our estates and buildings were safe for our clients and the public to return to as well.

Lockdown 2 & 3 took a slightly different guise as we were able to work in partnership with our clients to utilise the time to be proactive and take advantage of our empty buildings and estates.

On one estate we deep-cleaned over 472,000 m2 of cobbles, thankfully not by hand! At another we took the opportunity to repaint over a 1km long ceiling space in one hit that we could never achieve when the building was open and would have taken 4 times as long at 4 times the cost!

It’s now time to re-imagine and assess what we want to keep doing as part of our new ways of working and what do we need to revert back to as smoothly as possible as we welcome our guests back to our much loved icons across the UK.

I hope this article was of interest to you, please contact me if you would like to know more about how our business supported our clients and/or our teams throughout the lockdowns.

Also watch out for our next article on how an Intelligence led FM approach benefits the guest experience in high footfall environments

Claire Rumsey
Destination & Heritage

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