The UK’s going back to work? Why some of us never left

Since the government lifted Covid restrictions in July, the country’s workers have gradually been leaving their homes to carry out again in person the jobs they’d been doing remotely. Much debate has surrounded employers’ ‘back-to-work roadmaps’ and people’s consequent eagerness or anxiety towards post-lockdown working arrangements. Many still expect a flexible mixture of home and workplace measures to be available and are reluctant to return to in-person employment full time. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that, between November 3rd and 14th, only around 67% of working adults in the UK travelled to work. 

Think back to March 23rd 2020. Much of the country was ordered to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. We staged public displays of gratitude on our doorsteps weekly for NHS employees and we were all conscious of the vital service care workers, retail staff and delivery drivers were providing. Meanwhile, many people whose jobs are impossible to perform remotely worked continuously and fulfilled roles critical to health and the economy unnoticed and without applause. 

PSC Global is only one of them. A key manufacturer and supplier of essential equipment for medical and scientific applications, including components for ventilators, MRI scanners and spectrometers, PSC Global’s team of 40 worked uninterruptedly throughout the pandemic to provide their critical products. They also managed to do it safely. Two essential measures and proactive qualities were fundamental to this achievement:

  • PSC Global’s ISO 22301 certification means the management systems we’ve implemented prepare us to be resilient and recover quickly when confronted with various interruptions to the business
  • ​The satellite facility we established in the Czech Republic in 2010 strengthens the security of our supply chain and increases our procurement options

To achieve ISO 22301: 2019 Security and resilience certification we were trained to plan effective, rapid responses to diverse threats to the business. We worked through scenarios from natural disasters and accidents involving vehicles to (prophetically) a flu epidemic. We were therefore prepared to put procedures in place immediately so we could continue operating safely.

We’re a close-knit, collaborative team at PSC Global and protecting our people was a top priority. So we could stick to strict distancing rules and limit contact, we installed protective screens and divided people into two teams over separate shifts with a half-hour changeover period. The management team were on site throughout to support our factory team who were unable to work from home. Proactive continuity planning meant home computing equipment was already in place for some, which gave us a head start. We quickly added printers and equipped the remainder. Though visitors were forbidden inside, we arranged critical socially distant customer meetings in the car park! 

The pandemic created unprecedented global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) that supplies couldn’t match and, where stock was available, it often fell far short of acceptable standards. While many businesses failed to acquire the items they needed to continue operating, we were fully equipped. Our facility in Prostejov in the Czech Republic proved its enormous worth. PSC Global’s established, robust supply chain management solutions at the site enabled us to procure high quality PPE quickly and cost-effectively so we wasted no time and protected people’s health as much as we could. Since Covid hit our Czech colleagues later than we experienced here, they benefited from the lessons we’d already learned and could adapt swiftly to their new working protocols. 

No one could have been totally prepared for the exceptional, momentous consequences Covid unleashed on the world. It was impossible to accurately foresee how the pandemic would evolve. Having said that, PSC Global’s cohesive teams here and in Prostejov united and successfully navigated the crisis together. ISO 22301 accreditation maximised our ability to deliver for our customers safely, cost effectively and to the same matchless quality on which they’ve always relied. 

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