Like much of the country, Waterside Mooring have had to make huge adjustments to the way we’re working during the pandemic. To comply with government guidance, our teams have been working remotely at home across the country, using video and phone conferencing to carry on working together.
Our Mooring Maintenance and Sales managers were restricted in their ability to regularly visit sites for a good amount of 2020, with those restrictions now continuing into 2021. This means that, with the obvious exception of urgent issues and emergencies, our visibility to you has been considerably impacted.
The team have needed to find other ways to keep in touch with what’s happening on site, checking in with customers by phone and keeping in regular email contact where needed. Here, Sales manager Brad Cahill shares his account of how he's adapted to these changes...
NOTE: This was written in Summer 2020, prior to the current lockdown, in localised Tier 2 restrictions which permitted travel in this context.
7:50 First job of the day - feed the cats. We adopted them recently, and as my partner's a key worker they're keeping me company (or giving me more to do, depending who you ask)
7:55 Kettle on, make a brew. I'd normally be in the office now, catching up with colleagues as they arrive and exchanging updates, but as we're all working remotely my phone is already ringing with some news from the regional team.
8:00 Log on to laptop. I check my calendar to review any site meetings or scheduled calls I've got today. I find it helpful to mentally prepare for the day, and I plan projects in-between my appointments, leaving a bit of time spare in case of anything unexpected.
8:15 Check my email and voicemail inbox. I treat this as a high priority task, and checking regularly through the day helps me respond to customers and colleagues quickly.
8:45 Check my newsfeed. It's essential for me to stay in tune with Canal & River Trust and Waterside Mooring memos, and there's plenty of competitor and industry news and customer updates to keep in the loop with too.
9:00 Time for site visits! My area is currently under Tier 2, so I'm able to visit some local sites today.
9:30 Arrive at my first site. Sanitise hands, slip on my latex gloves and disposable face mask.
9:40 Carry out site inspection, recording positions of boats on site and checking this matches our records, to ensure all craft on site are authorised to be there.
10:00 Greet customers from a safe distance, looking like an extra from Holby City. I'm used to the PPE now, but it can be difficult finding a balance between those who feel we're taking unnecessary risks, and those who want more presence from us. I do a risk assessment as I go, but I can understand the differences of opinion.
10:10 Customer offers to make me a cuppa. Regretfully decline, due to social distancing guidelines. Make a mental note to remember my flask next time...
10:15 I see a few moorers along the towpath, who notify me of any issues on site since my last visit. Some stop for a (distanced!) chat, which I appreciate - the job can be quite solitary, even more so at the moment, and while we spend a lot of time on the phone, making (safe) face-to-face connections with people can really help improve our wellbeing.
10:30 Back to the car. Dispose of gloves and mask, sanitise hands. Set off to my next site, and repeat!
12:00 Eat my butties in the car. Check WhatsApp, and catch up with a few friends who are also working from home at the moment.
12:15 Check my email and voicemail inbox, for anything I've missed while busy driving or talking to customers this morning.
13:00 Arrive back at home, partner is already there and has the kettle on. Yes please!
13:05 Laptop on, check my emails and voicemail inbox again. I try to keep on top of messages, to save things bouncing around other colleagues when I'm not available, and work getting duplicated. If I'm on it, I let involved colleagues know, so that we're all in the loop.
13:10 Catch up with the boss, and then my regional counterpart, Rob the Maintenance manager, to make sure I'm up to date with everything happening in the area today. Our paths cross quite a lot with the regional teams who look after the area's waterways, so we speak regularly to share information about works underway, or problems my customers might flag up that the regional team are already on with.
14:30 Update our system with any changes on site. Record and action any issues noted to me during today's visits, and follow up a couple of points.
15:00 Kettle on, make my own brew this time.
15:05 List vacancies on the Waterside Mooring website ready to go live the next day. Send welcome emails to a few new customers, to make sure they know what to expect when they arrive on site, and have all the information they need to access any facilities there.
15:30 Listings didn't take me long, so I spend a bit of time researching industry changes and trends. I also review my sales analytics and data, and make note of a termination request that's come in from a customer selling their boat. The Support team will handle the ending of the contract, and arrange the customer's refund, so I acknowledge the request and diarise to visit the site in a few weeks, with a view to re-list the berth.
16:00 Feed the cats, again...
16:05 Check my email and voicemail inbox. I try and operate a zero inbox, meaning that by the time I log off for the day my inbox is empty (or as close as it can be).
16:30 Finished for today, same again tomorrow!