Like many other companies, large-scale remote working became an abrupt reality at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. In fact, 100 percent of our staff moved to remote working overnight as our offices across Ireland closed in line with Government restrictions.
We were in a good position as a company to deal with many of the challenges this presented. This particularly applies to the technical challenges, as we are a technology business. Also, we had a mindset at the highest level of the company dating back to before 2018 that embraced modern and flexible working arrangements, including remote working.
Our approach to this has evolved even further, however, following the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the periods of lockdown, we continued to operate at full capacity, delivering for our clients. We also developed new, novel solutions for our clients to help them operate remotely while remaining regulatory compliant and ensuring IT security wasn’t compromised.
As our society moves back to a more usual way of living and doing business, we don’t plan to go back to the way we operated prior to March 2020. We did have employees who had remote working arrangements back then, but they were in the minority. The default position was to have our team working from one of our four offices in Ireland (and our office in the US).
We plan to take an approach that is even more flexible, where individual staff members have more control over how much time they spend in an office. We will also have a default position that is closer to a hybrid situation, where employees will have the option of spending a portion of their week working from home with some time also spent in an office. This is in addition to the many members of our team who spend considerable portions of their working week on client sites. Of course, these arrangements are only being implemented in full whenever Government guidance on social distancing and working from home allows.
Good for Business
This approach to flexible working arrangements brings many benefits to SL Controls, including helping our employees achieve a better work-life balance while also making our company an attractive place to work.
We are also aware that remote working should never impact performance or standards. Instead, it should make us better at what we do in addition to making our operations more agile.
Take health and safety as an example, as it is a considerable challenge when staff are working from home. After all, everyone has a different setup and different space in their home working environment, and they have different personal situations.
We have dealt with the health and safety issue through training, plus we have developed a comprehensive Remote Working Checklist that our employees complete so we can help ensure they stay safe when working from home. This checklist covers everything from desks and chairs to fire and electrics to stress and welfare.
We also have well-established management, training, mentorship, and operational procedures to ensure teams and business units continue to deliver for our clients while also helping us deliver on our ambitious plans for the future.
Taking the Opportunity
At SL Controls, we see the way the workplace in Ireland is changing as an opportunity. This period of change is a time for a reset to take place, where employees can become more content and productive while at work while also having more time to spend with their families. It is also where companies can become more agile, efficient, and better equipped to deal with the challenges – and opportunities – of the future.