Not only did we get to see inside the offices of SeeByte and the measures they have taken to make the workplace safe for employees, we got a good insight into their Covid 19 management approaches. SeeByte is a software house which services the defence and military sectors and therefore it has very specific and stringent security contractual requirements. So on the one hand it has a culture which attracts, retains and develops “cool” software engineers, so that it can compete with the likes of Google. At the same time it has rigorous approaches to security, IT infrastructure and data management to meet the requirements of its customers.
Then bring on lockdown and the need for everyone to work from home – well nearly everyone.
SeeByte have adopted a phased approach to working arrangements underpinned by open communication and consultation with employees, which have included:-
- Policy and procedures to follow relating to entry into the offices and presence in the office
- Adaptations to communal areas to make these contactless, hygienic and functional
- Duty management rota to ensure management presence in the office
- Online platform to communicate and “book” office time and ensure that numbers of employees are managed and meet capacity guidelines
- Collecting of data through online platform, meeting room logs and sign in registers to support Test and Trace measures
- Gradual phased opening up of office to all employees, transitioning from remote working to a combination of office and home working.
- Promoting personal responsibility for personal and office space hygiene and working practices
- Special measures to allow employees to return home after a long time away from family
- Development of more specific data sharing measures if home working is to continue as “home working environments” will have to meet security requirements
SeeByte will continue to navigate the journey through lockdown, encouraging employees to work a blend of home and office working, with more office working becoming more routine albeit on a very part time basis. Even with these consultative approaches they are alive to the possibility of difficult conversations with reluctant returners, at some point in the future. It is with the track record of all these measures that if necessary, they would be able to turn to some more directive conversations around the need for SeeByte to continue to meet its business and contractual requirements. That is some way off. In the meantime they seek to build a safe working environment, ensure personal responsibility for safe working practices and track information and data that are essential in the event of Test and Trace.
None of us know what lies ahead. It is difficult to predict what questions to ask, far less know the answers. Sharing experiences and approaches helps us to learn and grow as we navigate this journey.
If you would like to discuss how you are approaching a return to the workplace, please reach out to one of the Gravitate HR team and we will be happy to have a discussion with you.