As the country dived into lockdown on the 24th of March 2020 and again on 21st October 2020 life as most people knew it changed. Everyone began to restrict their movements and had to quickly adapt and adjust to their new norm. For our front-line workers their work has become more crucial than ever and the roles that they carry out has never been as important.
For Obelisk, we continue to provide Telecoms services to all our clients. We have a key role to play in ensuring the network operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while adapting to the constantly changing conditions. The reliance on the service we provide grew overnight, from 29% of the population working from home to 61% in a matter of days. Despite this we were able to adapt quickly to ensure we could maintain an excellent level of customer service for our clients while also ensuring the safety of our teams on the ground.
Our Executive team took immediate steps to ensure workforce safety and business continuity. The initial step was the formation of our Covid-19 Response Plan, which implemented our new measures including PPE, hygiene practises and adjusting workplaces to allow for physical distancing. With a widespread workforce, getting much needed PPE and supplies to our teams seemed like an unmanageable task, but through effective team communication and support from our SHEQ and logistics teams we managed to reach and replenish everyone who was working out on the field.
Our CEO Jarlath Finnegan kept everyone updated weekly and had this to say regarding our Covid-19 experience as a company:
“As a business we have learnt a lot about ourselves during this emergency, especially how resilient our people are. They say you only know how good you really are in times of crisis, well if that is the case, we should all take a bow.”
Our field teams remain in full force during the pandemic, but these were greatly aided by our strong background team who very quickly adapted to working remotely. Our HR team were at hand every step of the way giving advice and forward planning for a safe return to our offices. Our HR Director Lisa Healy gave us her thoughts on how her team have also had to adapt during this unprecedented time:
“From a HR perspective we have had to change our strategy to suit this new normal we find ourselves in. We have put an increased emphasis on employee health and wellbeing. Our remote working strategies and new flexible working policy were introduced to support our employees. For the short term we have adapted to virtual recruitment and onboarding (something we never thought we could do!!) and a key focus is on return to work planning and ensuring the safety of everyone as they gradually return to office working, albeit in a vastly reduced capacity.”
Along with all the challenges Covid-19 has brought to the workforce, our teams continue to maintain the network in all weathers and conditions and along with our clients have increased connectivity for many communities throughout Ireland. The caption “We go to work so you don’t have to” from a child of an Obelisk employee sums it up perfectly, along with their creative artwork from our email banner competition. The last 8 months have been a learning curve for Obelisk and the country but we have faced it head on and we look forward to big projects that are ahead of us for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.