What an 18 plus months it has been. It is safe to say that when March 2020 rolled around, not many of us predicted that by September 2021, we’d still be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftershocks that we’re all still feeling.
At HNC, when the first national lockdown was announced on the 23rd March, we shifted to a totally remote working environment and our team set up their work spaces at home in kitchens, spare bedrooms, garages and more.
Like most businesses, this move to remote working was something that we had never done before. For us in particular, this was a pretty seismic shift, as we are so used to going to sites across the country and visiting you, our customers, in person.
We’re proud to say that the entire team stepped up and continued to deliver the fantastic service that is expected from anyone associated with HNC. Throughout the last 18 months, there have been numerous rays of light in what has been one of the most challenging periods for businesses across the world.
We’ve delivered more projects than the previous year, despite moving into unknown territory by working remotely. We’ve also achieved record financial results for the business, with a 5.8 percent increase in revenues compared to the previous financial year – both of which we’re beyond proud of.
Our successes, despite the obvious challenges to contend with, have given us reason to pause and to reflect on how we do things going forward.
The very nature of our company means that prior to the pandemic, we were spending a lot of time travelling to various locations across the country visiting you, our customers. However, by working remotely, it has demonstrated to us that a lot of what we were doing, including check-ins, meetings and product demonstrations could, and have, all been done over the phone or via video conferencing.
When engaging with our staff about working during the pandemic, we listened to what they had to say.
One of the major benefits to them about not travelling and commuting in and out of the office is the improvement in their wellbeing. Having extra time with their families, being able to do things away from work, including hobbies and exercise, has been invaluable to them. Without our staff we aren’t HNC and this feedback has been crucial to us as we’ve been reflecting.
We’ve also had a positive impact on the environment. We’ve reduced our carbon footprint. We’ve driven more than 169,000 fewer miles, reduced our train travel by 61,500 miles, taken 165 less flights and 20 cars off the road by doing our meetings through video conferencing. They are stats that surprised us, but ones we’re immensely proud of. Now more than ever it is time for all of us to do our bit for the environment.
What this means is that as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re changing how we do things. We’re not going back to the ‘old’ normal. We’re continuing our new normal that we created out of necessity, but has become an intrinsic part of how we work.
Going forward, we are going to be a primarily remote company across all areas of our business. Whilst we will still make visits to see you, we’ll be doing it with much less frequency than prior to March 2020. For all the reasons above and more, we hope you appreciate just why we’re taking this approach.
The last 18 months have also proven to us that customer service won’t suffer because of this decision. Our team will still be on-hand with regular check-ins, meetings and demonstrations, providing the best-in-class service that has come to be expected from HNC and our teams will still come to site when it is necessary. It’s an exciting time for us and the future is looking bright for the business.
As the global COVID-19 recovery continues, we’ll continue to evolve how we do things and we’ll always keep you in the know about our changes.
Thank you for reading and we look forward to talking to you all soon.
John and Chris
John Stapleton, Operations Director
Christian McBride, Client Services Director