Since the original announcement of lockdown and businesses being asked to work from home wherever possible, it has been a very challenging time for our business.
The nature of our business means that the way we work is by being out and about, whether it be our security engineers doing installations, call outs, servicing, etc, or our sales staff surveying new jobs. Our work is done in homes and business premises, so contrary to the Government’s advice, we simply couldn’t send everyone home to work from the safety of their home office.
Naturally we were faced with a very difficult decision which resulted in us closing the doors to our office on Thursday 26 March 2020, sending all of our staff home, who were then placed on furlough, apart from two engineers who were kept on to cover only commercial emergency call outs, our accounts department manager and of course our managing director. To reduce any risks to our staff and customers we stopped all routine and new work, with our two engineers being fully briefed on the new safety guidelines. Thankfully, they have remained healthy throughout this whole process and have been flexible, helpful and supportive at all times!
We formally re-opened in early June, at which time we were operating with only a handful of staff members back in the office. Thankfully with limited numbers and large enough offices, we could (and still continue to) do this safely.
For the first two to three weeks of lockdown, the phones all but stopped ringing, something which we have never experienced before and in all honesty, this was worrying. We were faced with many ‘what if’ thoughts and this was a very concerning time for us.
After many sleepless nights and weeks of uncertainty, the phones started ringing again and whilst we are still quieter than usual, things are definitely looking up. We have several months of routine maintenance visits that we are now catching up on and our customers (both domestic and commercial) have been very accommodating of our engineers whilst on site. We are also catching up on new installations that had to be cancelled due to lockdown and new enquiries are steadily increasing as everyone returns to some resemblance of normality.
We were able to gradually bring our staff back to work and by the beginning of August, everyone had returned, which is fantastic! With regular updates and honest discussions with our staff during lockdown, we found that everyone returned to work with a positive and helpful outlook at a time where everyone was, and still is, having to pull together and pick up tasks that are new and unfamiliar, to get the business moving again. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been a real lifeline for us and our staff during this challenging time. We are certain that us being able to ride the storm is also due to our well established reputation within the security industry.
It is fair to say everyone that works at CTS has been on the same rollercoaster of emotions over the last four months, but we have pulled together, and our team spirit is stronger than ever. We will therefore be able to continue to offer our customers the excellent service we always have done, and no doubt they continue to expect. With new products and services on offer as well as a brand new website, we are very ready for the future and the new normal!