Let’s face it, recent times have been unprecedented for us all. Working patterns have changed, our day-to-day lives have altered significantly and holiday season – as we know it – has been turned upside down!
Here at Riverside, now that restrictions are lifting and all the staff are able to return to HQ, business is slowly returning to normal. But, during the lockdown period, as fewer staff were on site due to working from home where possible – and social distancing requirements meant that there were less of us around at any one time – our MD Jonathan ‘stepped up to the plate’ to keep everything ticking over nicely.
Here are just some of the things he looked after in a typical week…
I’ve always been an early bird, so I like to get up and at it as soon as possible each day. Due to COVID-19, both of my children were at home with my wife – rather than requiring drop offs at school or grandparents – so I made it standard practice to get up at 6am, grab some breakfast and then head into the office, where I could get my head down.
Planning for the day ahead is key to me so – armed with a strong coffee – this was always my first task once I was settled at the Riverside site. Identifying my most urgent versus the less important jobs – then putting them in a logical order – was a slightly harder ask, as I felt like the pandemic had thrown even more procedural items my way, as a business owner.
Flexibility has been the key throughout all of this, as well as a real ‘back-to-basics’ approach to good customer service. We regularly check in on the needs of our clients via email communications, but I took the time out to pick up the phone – whether that be to follow up on a recent install or to merely get in touch to see how things were for them during such a difficult time.
Meetings have been few and far between for many months – although I did have a couple via Google Hangouts with our PR and digital teams, to ensure that everything continued as ‘normal’ while many other things had to stand still. A key requirement for me was ensuring that potential customers knew that we were still open for business and available to offer advice and training where possible, so keeping active on social media and via our website was a vital part of this.
While many of our clients were forced to pause their entire operations due to the coronavirus, there were also those whose businesses ramped up as a result. This meant they required more assistance from Riverside – in terms of the purchase of additional consumables, or even guidance on our larger models of machinery – all of which I was happy to provide.
In fact, we’ve even dealt with an array of new customer enquiries over this period – and recently installed a brand new compactor for a growing company that simply needed greater waste-processing capabilities!
It’s fair to say that – thankfully – the business didn’t come to a stop, it was just very different for me for a short period of time. I feel that as a result of this, I was able to fully immerse myself in every single Riverside process – from the email enquiry follow ups, to preparing consumables ready for dispatch. Although I profess to always having been a hands-on MD, I have been able to use my skills and expertise on anything and everything that has been thrown my way. There’s nothing that I’ve been afraid to get involved in – like many employers the virus has really shown what true grit and determination looks like to ensure company survival!
Switching off from work was certainly more of a challenge – and any business owner who says that they forgot about their ‘baby’ during COVID-19 has to be a liar! It’s times like these when you realise the true value of hard work, effort and what your company truly means to you as an individual. Hardy British entrepreneurial spirit has kept many enterprises going – although sadly for some it just hasn’t been possible – and I thank my lucky stars that Riverside is coming out of this on the other side.
I’m looking forward to the future of the business post-pandemic, and it’s great to see so many of our partners, suppliers and friends getting back to a level of normality – let’s hope it isn’t too long before we see the back of COVID altogether!