How have our staff found the change to remote working?

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How have our staff found the change to remote working?

The daily routine at ARQUUS involves hundreds of men and women working behind the scenes to help the company achieve its objectives of designing and supporting land vehicles for our armed forces. Let's take a look at how they have coped with remote working over the last few weeks.

REMOTE WORKING FOR OCCUPATIONS WHERE IT IS FEASIBLE

While most of our associates can work remotely, some jobs are better suited to it than others. This is in particular the case for our sales personnel. One of our exports sales staff feels that, since they do not have a permanent office anyway, this new way of working has been reasonably easy to adapt to: "I'm used to working in airport lounges and hotel rooms anyway when I'm on work trips abroad."

Although not as used as our sales staff to remote working from anywhere in the world, the company lawyer we talked to is also a fan of remote working: "I've found it easy because I'm used to doing it with the Volvo Group. Arquus likes us to have this flexibility, so I've got into the habit of doing it." The communications team feels the same: "These days everything's paperless anyway and with invoices or orders all on my computer, remote working isn't a problem."

Sometimes staff members are even one step ahead when it comes to any problems they might encounter in their daily lives: "I'm used to this, I regularly check all my tools are working properly, we've even had a satellite dish fitted on our roof to make sure the Internet connection is top notch."

BETTER UTILISATION OF WORKING TIME

Part-time work requires a change of pace, but without losing efficiency.

Our security officer agrees: "In the afternoons, I decide what I'm going to do the next day and prepare the files I'll need so that I can be as efficient as possible in my allotted work time."

Careful organisation like this means he can manage his time to the optimum and be efficient when checking in daily with his manager: "Every day I check in with my manager at 7:30 and 12:30 and we go over everything."Same thing with communications: "The morning is basically phone calls and then in the afternoon I can really concentrate on in-depth, productive work."

Everyone working remotely agrees that the main plus point is the time saved by not having to commute. For some, that can be as much as 2 hours saved everyday. For our security officer, this time is really precious: "I feel I am much more efficient because I'm in an environment where I don't have to travel. I can make much better use of my time."

Our company lawyer would agree, especially given the problems with travel in the Paris area over the last few months: "what with the gilets jaunes and the pension reforms, transport has been dreadful. We've wasted so much time."

REMOTE WORKING: YES FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT NOT ALL THE TIME

MISSING PHYSICAL CONTACT

The main downside of remote working is definitely not being with colleagues. Whether it's a question of obtaining quick answers to questions or just having some human contact, the home office is no rival for working in an office.

Our security officer confirms: "For me the only downside is not seeing colleagues, but that can't be helped in a crisis like this."

"We lawyers benefit a lot from being able to pop into a colleague's office for a quick chat. When we're working remotely this sort of brain-picking doesn't happen as often.", explains one of our lawyers.

To give remote working a more human face, video-conferencing has become much more common over the last few weeks. This allows a degree of closeness between colleagues, as the communications team confirms: "Even for quick chats, I would rather use Skype video than just an audio call, so as to feel that bit closer to my colleagues, that's very important to me."

REMOTE WORKING IN THE LONG TERM?`

"In my job, remote working is possible, but not full time, something important would be lost.", says our company lawyer. One of our associates agrees that there can sometimes be problems as not all employees are in the same boat, depending on their role: "Although I know I work efficiently remotely, efficiency is lost when our associates are working part-time, as it takes them longer to respond than we're used to."

Over these successive weeks of remote working, our lawyer has become aware of another drawback: confidentiality. People working in defence, more than in any other sector, have to maintain confidentiality in many areas. "There's no way of knowing for sure that a family member is not working for a competitor.", "The notion of enhanced confidentiality is very important at ARQUUS". More generally, "we have to pay particular attention to service provider communications."

 

 

 

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