Here's what I know: It’s time to get back to work

Peter Done: Group Managing Director and Founder

September 07 2021

Rishi Sunak said recently that people should start getting back to the office for the benefit of their own careers. Sunak points to the long term relationships he’s built over the years through face-to-face contact, saying that video conferencing is no substitute. Working from home long term, when people have the opportunity to be back in the office, is damaging to their careers and professional development. Fact. 

It stands to reason that what Sunak says has to be true. What is it everyone has the most missed over the past year? It’s face-to-face contact with the friends and family members. Everybody says the same thing. And of course, the same applies to the workplace. 

Some businesses can operate successfully remotely. But I think they are few and far between. For the majority, it’s better to be physically together. There’s a totally different dimension to the relationships that form when you’re working with people day in, day out; when you meet them to talk through issues, problems and find solutions in person. Not to mention the camaraderie and friendships that build up through the workplace which you just can’t form over a screen. 

It’s a dangerous consequence of lockdown that people have grown used to working in isolation. We see this for example at HM Treasury, which is struggling to get its employees back to their desks. And it’s our taxes that are paying for them to continue working from home with no good reason any more. As I know from personal experience over the summer, the service from the big banks and the Civil Service, particularly the Passport Office, has been shocking during lockdown. They aren’t bothered about their customers. At Peninsula, we are. 

We implemented all the modern technology to service our clients during lockdown, but as soon as we were permitted, we ensured we had people back in the office with every COVID-safe measure possible in place to protect our staff as advised by our Health & Safety department. 

This meant that whilst our competitors’ service dipped, with many posting messages about service delays and interruptions on their websites citing COVID as the reason, we always put our clients first continuing to deliver SuperService when they most needed it, during a time of real difficulties and challenges for many. 

Our goal is always to give our clients the absolute best SuperService that we can. And I believe we all owe it to the local businesses who’ve looked after us over the years to get back to the office wherever we are in the country – the sandwich shops, the coffee kiosks, the key cutters, the dry cleaners, the shoe repairers, the newspaper vendors, the taxi drivers, the local restaurants. I honestly believe we have an obligation to spend our money with these people, who depend on us for their livings. To see our city centres deserted would be one of the most damaging outcomes of this pandemic. The only way to stop that is to get back to our workplaces in person. 

If you’re finding you’re facing problems getting your staff back to work, we can help. Call our advice line for help and guidance. Or if you’re worried about ensuring you’re offering a COVID-safe environment to your staff and customers, again call our Health & Safety advice line and we can advise your every step of the way. 

It’s time to move forward.    

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