Arbroath-based transport and mobility services business, ESP Group, successfully moved more than 200 employees off-site to continue its operations, including setting up three additional emergency lines purely to support key workers as they travel in this critical time.
The business provides smart card technology and customer support (as Journeycall) for Transport for London (TfL) and West Midlands Trains and was identified as one of a range of key businesses “who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 crisis”.
Over three days, ESP’s IT team moved more than 200 people onto homeworking, providing computers, headsets and the necessary software to keep the service operating smoothly. Its Arbroath HQ now retains a small number of staff, comprising employees who requested to remain in the office while also adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Theresa Slevin, CEO of ESP Group said: “We now have 94 per cent of our staff working from home, and we continue to supply the same level of customer service that our clients expect from us. Transport is a key service and even though the numbers of people commuting have reduced, our products remain in use and travellers still have queries that need responses.
“Providing emergency lines for key workers was also a practical way for us to be part of the positive support for those who still need to travel for essential services to continue.”
The logistical feat of relocating a busy call centre across many homes was helped by a technology partner – EKO. ESP Group has been working with it on research and development of its virtual office software designed for remote working.
“I am immensely proud of how quickly our IT and human resources teams responded to the task of ensuring everyone was kitted out to work from home, but also made sure that individual staff still felt connected and a vital part of the ESP Group. We place a high value on staff wellbeing, so we have ensured that we have virtual check-in areas where team members can exchange information, report on how they are feeling or just find articles and tasks that help them get through lockdown.”
Those who are working in the call centre are doing so safely. Reduced staff numbers onsite allow for social distancing, and the business has also heightened its hygiene measures, including more supplies and scheduled deep cleans taking place overnight every two weeks in addition to the existing employed cleaners extending their hours.
As a business which has been chosen to remain open during these tough times, the management team has also offered to help the wider local business community, where possible. With the team set up to work safely, they are offering to deliver emergency lines and take over some of the workload from other local organisations which need critical customer service support and are struggling with logistics and a mobilised workforce.